Webinar with Craig Campbell

In today webinar I will cover the following topic:

How to execute Content and SEO strategies for B2B

The key to being successful in creating SEO and Content Marketing Strategies for Businesses is to understand the funnel and its stages:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Comparison
  • Conversion
  • Retention

In B2B we are trying to reach different personas and we need to create completely different content for each stage of the funnel. 

We also need to understand that our keywords will behave differently as we move in the funnel. It is not the same to create content for the awareness stage than to create content for the retention.

  • Awareness Stage: Long tail keyword- informational keywords
  • Consideration: Specific terms- user intent
  • Comparison: competitor brand keywords-Long Tail
  • Conversion: Long Tail- Questions  Keywords
  • Retention: Branded keywords, phrase keywords

From my experience with  B2B clients. I know that users usually don’t convert in the blog.  It is more likely that users convert in the service pages. But they learn about the products and services in the blog. 

Services pages are transnational pages while blogs are informative pages.

Products and services are not linkable pages because they don’t offer value like blogs.

Then who will link yo these pages?

The answer is simple… Nobody!

On the other hand .. Blogs are the ones that can earn links. The blog is where our content marketing strategy plays a big role.

Users land on the blog and from there they begin to explore other pages, such as services/product pages, from here we generate most of the leads in B2B.

When we publish content that earns links we are working our way up to improve DA and that helps overall SEO. If our website is increasing rankings and earning keywords we have more chances of getting leads.

59% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead generation goals. (Marketing Charts)

SEO Process

Audit your site for technical problems

I use Screaming Frog and SEMrush(Project- audits)

Here we can find:

  • Canonical errors
  • Chain of redirections
  • Missing Meta Description
  • Missing and /or duplicate Title Tags
  • Broken Links


I highly recommend to fix all the technical as a priority- It doesn’t matter if we create amazing content if the site has major technical issues is very hard to rank

Tip: Make sure you have all the elements of On-Page SEO in place:

Content Audit

Check for cannibalization, thin content and duplicate content.

Here I Decide what content stay, what content can be combined and what should delete.

One time one of my clients had 25 pages with content around the same keyword. I could not believe it but I combine several pieces into a pillar page and I reuse the others ( I revamp them with a long tail, user intent, and phrase keywords ) I add those as clusters. 

I know that we can have important terms that we want to rank for but it is important to structure the content in a way that makes sense, not just create a bunch of content without any strategy behind.

Tip: Run a content audit at the beginning of the project is very important because will give you a sense of your assets and what is missing even before you start to draft your Content Marketing Strategy. Here you can start mapping your strategy by discovering what part of the funnel needs more content.

Local SEO

Make sure that all your listing and citations are accurate.

TIP: In addition, you can create other directories (reputable and relevant only) profiles such as Angel List, Merchant Circle, Alignable, etc. (find a relevant in your niche and check the DA and make sure is no a spammy website)

Remember ..We need a mix of external links… no all links from directories… so don’t overdo it.

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

I know that this is very basic but you can be surprised that many websites are no mobile-friendly

52% of buyers prefer mobile-optimized content. 
Then optimizing for mobile is a must thing to do.

Leverage Scheme Mark-Up

I used it and I have seen big differences. After I implement scheme my content performs better in Search Engine. This can help you to appear in Google’s Answer Box. 

You can use a WordPress plugging:

  • Schema Pro
  • Schema App Structured Data

Secure your website with HTTPS:
Nearly 21% of the Alexa Top 100,000 websites still don’t use HTTPS
It is incredible the number of websites that are still in HTTP. When I have a new a client that has his website on HTTP version my first suggestion is to migrate it to HTTPS.


Optimize for Site Speed

This is a very important thing to check and fix. I used Google Lighthouse extension to run reports.

After I send the report to the developers to fix and improve site speed.

First Thing to Do

  • Identify who are my personas?
  • In B2B the decision is made by a group of people
     

At the opposite of B2C in B2B, I have to cater my message to different people in different parts of the funnel.
I need to create powerful content for the top of my funnel to be considered by the CEO or CMOF of a company. 
For example, A startup that wants to build a new eCommerce site but they don’t know yet what platform to use: This is a very early stage. 
Will search for:

  • the best eCommerce platform
  • Best eCommerce platforms for start-ups
  • Best eCommerce platforms 2019

From these results, the director of the start-up will use this list to consider vendors.

On the other hand in the company that offers eCommerce platform doesn’t have content around this topic will be missing a big opportunity.

The Audience

Tha audience is a key in B2B and we must ask ourselves the following questions about the audience?

  • What information my audience is looking for?
  • What information is valuable to them?
  • We provide a response that will resolve their problems.
  • What benefits do we offer them- Content- Newsletters?

72% of B2B buyers turn to Google during the awareness stage (pardot.com)

Tip: Make sure you are creating content for all the stages of the funnel and for all the decision-makers.

Talk with the sales team and ask then who are the people that usually make the purchase decision.

If you don’t go the extra mile it is possible you will miss big opportunities lets say we write great content for the awareness stage but we haven’t  create content for the comparison stage 

For example:

  • E-commerce platform comparison 

This will be a big mistake!

The Content Marketing Strategy is:

Create blogs:

Related to the products and services (  Not all the services that a client provide are the same -I will recommend picking the ones that have higher ROI)

Review of Service and Products pages:

Here I use the topic cluster approach. I make my mains services pages strong and I add sections to link to the related inner pages ( clusters). I will add a good set of keywords to each topic cluster.  Also add links to catalog, price pages, testimonials, case studies, and everything that is relevant to the user.

Work in content to push conversions:

Tip:  Be careful when you use email marketing and make sure you are sending related content no content that the subscriber doesn’t care about.

Ebooks, Reports, White papers – I will reuse them in the newsletter and in a  segmented email marketing campaign.

At the moment of subscribing, you can offer a variety of topics to the user to pick a few. Then you segment the newsletter for optimal results

The content strategy must contain a mix of content

  • Static pages – Transactional Pages -These are my products or service pages
  • Blog section- Informative Pages -Create blogs to link to my product or service page
  • Authoritative Content – Interviews -We can interview reputable people in the industry and write an article about it. This will increase mentions, links, and shares
  • Prove expertise – Guest blog post -We can create an article that links back to our interview or any other blog and pitch another website to be a contributor.
  • Infographics -Many people don’t like to read but they love graphics – we can reuse content by creating infographics. W can also earn links by submitting the infographic to infographic websites. 
  • Videos -Youtube is the second search engine- reusing text content in video format will provide opportunities to earn links and get more visibility.
  • Presentations -We can create a presentation from original research or any other data-based content. And submit these presentations to websites such as slideshare.com

Google remains the top source of traffic for blogs (growthbadger.com)

What type of content I can create:


Trending Topics in Pop Culture

  • Ex: in the  Oscar Award time…  A company that sells Nomex fibers can write an article for its blog about the movies that use Nomex solutions for its dangerous scenes (Nomex is a special material that is resistant to heat and fire) 


Case study

Software that calculates how to allocate budget for marketing ( traditional and digital ) can create a case of how the software helps to maximize marketing budget to a specific client. 

Industry Report 

Expert interviews: I interview experts, actually I saw Craig in a SEMrush webinar after that I decided to connect with him on LinkedIn and interviewed him. I wrote an article in SEW, you guys can go and check it out is a really good article.

Guides

Indeed Employer Dashboard 101

Resources and How to Page

How to use Wix website editor

Calculators, quiz pages, etc.  


The top 10% of SaaS blogs receive 104,000 visits each month from organic search (ek-byford.com)

Top-performing B2B blog posts include “the future of” you need data-driven articles and opinion articles. (buzzsumo.com)

How to create original content 

  • Gathering data and write the conclusion of the finding
  • Survey – get a new response- conduct a study
  • Combine your data findings with other data

You need to find what is not yet said,  stats- something fresh that people want to link to. It is a great way to contribute to the industry. This gives you the authority on the topic. 

Surveys are one of the best and easy ways to get insights.  There are many services that can help you with this such as:

  • Survey Monkey
  • Google Forms

I personally prefer Google forms because it is free (Survey monkey also has a free version) but Google forms offer more. You can create unlimited surveys with unlimited questions the only downside of Google forms is that has limited customization options.

Only 39% of marketing teams have published original research in 2019 – Source Buzzsumo.

39% is no big number is less than half. We should take advantage of this huge opportunity and work on original research.

Has your marketing team created and published original research in the last 12 months?

BuzzSumo

Why people don’t work in original research? It can be because of tales 2-4 months.

This is a time-consuming practice and that’s is the reason that only a few marketers are doing it. 

Tip: If you plan to use research to earn backlink don’t limit your audience. Your audience are not your prospects only. Think about topics that are relevant to bloggers, journalists, influencers each and everyone that is involved with the industry. You need people to engage with your and link it to you.

  • 76% of B2B buyers listed white papers as the material they were most likely to share with colleagues (demandgenreport.com)
  • Make sure you leverage your traffic. Create an engaging Newsletter sign up form
  • CTAs in your pages- Make things easy for users – Tell them what to do next
  • Offer Ebook, white papers- industry reports, etc.

It is really important to leverage your traffic. A well-segmented email marketing campaign and newsletter will increase conversions.

95% of buyers are willing to share their name, company and email address in return for content(demandgenreport.com)

Hustle Panda is a company that helps startups to find brandable .com domains

They do a great job with their newsletters.

1)Clear: Subscribers know what they will get

Frequency: Subscribers know that they won’t be spam daily with your emails.

This form don’t offer any value because don’t say what people what they will get and the frequency.

It is not attractive, it is too generic. Why people will subscribe?

89% of B2B marketers use content marketing (Content Marketing Institute)

But only 37% have a content marketing strategy in place ( no document it)

45% of content creation is done on an ad-hoc basis

A content marketing strategy that is no documented it is no scalable because we don’t have data to make future decisions. It is crucial to track our strategy in order to see what works and what doesn’t. When we identify the sweet spot is just rinse and repeat. 

Create content without a plan is a waste of time and money.  

Now comes the fun part- Keyword Research!

I like to do a deep keyword research- I want to make sure I am not missing any opportunity.

  • Ahersf keyword to define keyword difficulty – competition
    •  I want to find key phrases, long-tail keywords
  • SEMrush 
    • Magic Tool- I love this feature because on the left side show me tags that I can add to my keywords. I also can find question keywords. I love question keyword because these ones provide me a lot of opportunities to outrank my competitors.
  • Answer The public- This is a great tool and is free.
  • Keywords Everywhere extension. Very useful 
  • Google Search
    • “People also ask” I used these phrases – question keyword ideas as subtitles H2 ( they work great) 
    • ”search related to” ( I try to add these keywords in my content as much as I can)
  • Google Console- Google Analytics ( hanging fruit keywords)

The anatomy of the page

  1. Content that answers the questions
  2. A good mix of keywords
  3. Evidence – testimonials- case study links 
  4. CTA

This is a winner layout for a page. If we include all these components the page will generate leads.

What is the biggest SEO challenge for B2B? Backlinks.

93% of B2B content gets zero external backlinks (https://backlinko.com)

Data/ Research shows the higher rate to earn backlinks followed by videos and infographics. We must create content in different formats to maximize our chances to earn backlinks and increase DA.

  1. Reuse content

We can reuse our content in different ways; For example 

  • we can create an ebook from a series of blogs.
  • We can create an infographic version of our top rating blog
  • We can create a video from a blog or vice-versa
  • we can also create a playlist video from a set of blogs

The opportunities are infinite. It is just about planning and creativity.

  1. Amplify content
  2. Collaborate- relationships

Content Amplification:

  • Collaborate with influencers in the industry (journalist) 
  • Outreach to let others know about your last original research content
  • Social Media Paid Ads
  • YouTube  ads
  • Quora Ads
  • Reputable directory (Thomasnet -manufacturer industry)
  • Email marketing ( newsletters)
  • Republish your infographic in other sites
  • PPC ads 
  • Native ads
  • Remarketing

Quora ads offer an interesting way to advertise based on topics, keywords or questions. I like to diversify my ads and test new options. Price per click varies. In my last campaign, I paid around $3 per click. 

Linkedin ads. Are a great way to amplify your content and also get leads. 

It is all about your goals. If you want to increase your email list you can offer a white paper. If you want to generate leads you can offer a special promotion on Linkedin and if you want to use it for awareness you can definitely use your content.

Linkedin is very powerful for B2b,  the downside is that CPC can be higher than PPC. 

I also love social media ads because are very affordable and provide results. These types of ads are great for awareness

.
These efforts will generate referral traffic

We need connections to amplify content- How we will get these connections


Linkedin

 ( I have built most of my relationships via Linkedin) Don’t ask for anything but offer some value this is the first step to build a long term relationship. I personally hate how when people that I don’t know pitch me on Linkedin. Why they think I will buy service from somebody out of the blue- this is not the way. We build relationships first- we do things for others first then later I would ask. Many people use Linkedin as a new version of call calling. 

Followerwonk

it a great tool that is connected with Twitter and allows you to find bloggers- influencers. I recommend it!

I love followewonk because has helped me a lot to find influencers. I worked with people that I have found with Followewonk and I have achiveded great results – links, mentions, etc.

Brand24

This is a very straight forward tool – You create a new project with brand and keywords and start to track mentions. It also allows you to engage)

Buzsumo

I use blogger or influencers in the filters

Attend events

This is a great way to know people in the industry; (Build relationships offline is powerful).

Take-Aways:

  • Fix all technical problems- This is basic
  • Make sure that  all On-Page SEO Components are in place ( SEO 101)
  • Run Content Audit before start crafting your new content

( this will save you a lot of time at the moment to come out with ideas. It will also provide you with information to build powerful pillars and clusters based on what you already have).

  • Understand your personas and their role in the funnel

( This is a key to create the right content and to know where to focus for maximum results)

  • create custom content  for each stage of the funnel

Don’t let anything un attendant- plan for success. If you find that you need to focus on awareness and also in nurture do it. Create content to target these pages and you will get results.

  • Use the blog as a tool to drive qualified leads to your transnational pages ( Service/Products). Set up proper goals in analytics to track this.
  • Create a mix of content

A good mix of content will attract the right links that will only help you with SEO but with relevant referral traffic.

  • Feature your client company as an expert on the topic by adding original content

This is a project but If you do at least 1 time a year you will see the results.

  • Amplify your content
  • Build long term relationships – build links

This is my favorite part. I really believe in long term relationships. I am a friend of people I work with. I am always keeping in touch with them. When it is their birthday I sent a small present a card, a text, It is important to show appreciation for people always no only when you need them. 

  • Use the blog as a tool to drive qualified leads to your transnational pages ( Service/Products). Set up proper goals in analytics to track this.
  • Create a mix of content

A good mix of content will attract the right links that will only help you with SEO but with relevant referral traffic.

  • Feature your client company as an expert on the topic by adding original content

This is a project but If you do at least 1 time a year you will see the results.

  • Amplify your content
  • This is a must-do because if you don’t apply your content it doesn’t matter how great is your content nobody will read it.
  • Build long term relationships – build links

This is my favorite part. I really believe in long term relationships. I am a friend of people I work with. I am always keeping in touch with them. When it is their birthday I sent a small present a card, a text, It is important to show appreciation for people always no only when you need them. 

Important !!

Something I want to add- is to be smart at the time to set up KPIs in B2B

We have some metrics we track in SEO such as traffic, sessions, backlinks count, etc.

But in reality, these metrics don’t mean anything for our clients.

Be clear when you work in a project and explain to your client in a simple way how you will build the content and where you think they should focus. Each client is different and has different priorities, sometimes are different from the ones we may recommend. I always listen to my clients before I map my content marketing plan. I create strategies to align with their objectives. Of course, I also give my extra recommendations because as a Digital marketer I see things they can’t see. I provide them with my suggestions to leverage the hanging fruit such as pages that have low rankings on the first and second page- when I see the opportunity to push these pages up with a little effort.

The KPIs I use for lead generation are:

  • Track white papers- ebook downloads.
  • Track every page that triggers a form.
  • Track all thank you pages

 I want to know how many people went to the form vs how many people completed the form ( TK pages)

It is always something new we can test or learn!

The Goal; Increase DA – Rankings to beat the competitors- 

Ultimate Goal: Lead Generation!

  

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