A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to provide some free consulting on how I would start SEO for a new B2B services or products company.
Here are my notes:
#Sandra’s advice on how to start
There are different kinds of web visitors. Try to find groups and segments, and the info that they are looking for.
- Existing clients
- Potential clients
- Job seekers
- Investors / stakeholders
Learn as much as you can about your web visitors, clients and potential clients.
- What are their interests?
- What do they read?
- What are their work goals? What do they need to achieve?
- What are trends and changes affecting the industry?
- What are the challenges?
- How do clients select a product/service?
- What are the painpoints?
- What happens when a project fails?
- How long is the evaluation time before a product/service is purchased?
Build a persona description for each important web visitor group. This will help you create web pages and blog posts tailored to this type of web visitor.
Interview clients (if you are allowed to) and client-facing staff (if you are not).
Analyse the websites of competitors.
Remember, products and services that achieve a similar solution to yours are also competitors. I encountered technology companies that argued there’s no competition for their new service. Many times they ignored substitutes.
#Factors influencing SEO (cross-clicks, anchor texts?)
Follow best practices for on-page SEO.
— Panchenga (@nchenga) October 17, 2017
Remember that page titles and meta descriptions are the very first texts that a web visitor will see in the SERPs. Prepare these two with care.
For any web page, these elements remain important:
- Page title
- Heading 1
- Heading 2
- Internal links within the main body of the text
- Backlinks from relevant, high quality websites with good anchor text
Follow the tips in this article on RankBrain:
- 301 redirects for missing pages
- rel=canonical tags for duplicate content
- optimize structured data and alternative tags
- resolve any broken links
Publishing long paragraphs without headings, bullet lists, images is a recipe for failure. Many people scan thru a web page before they dig in.
Remember that Google is looking at many additional factors. It measures engagement.
Think in topics.
Consider search intent. Are search words informational or transactional? Always check the SERPs to see what kind of results display.
Voice search is changing how keyword research has been done in the past couple of years. Expect more 3-word phrases, more questions, more variants as people search by speaking to Cortana, Alexa, and Google Voice Search.
Content should be “useful” for your clients, help them achieve their work goals faster, educate them.
Who cares if you are the world leader? Can you solve my business problem? Are you a reliable provider? This is more relevant to me.
Here’s a good test:
- Is it useful?
- Is it aligned (with both reader needs and business goals)?
- Is it unique?
Regular blog posts:
- Blog as often as you can without comprising on quality.
- Produce short, useful videos (20 to 30 seconds long).
- Share your slide decks.
You need both: Quality and quantity.
If you can: Try two new blog posts per week. Higher frequency helps you find what will stick faster.
#Platforms (B2B) – target, content, frequency
Find out what your competitors are doing (special industry platforms?, Twitter? Linkedin? Whatsup groups? Chatbots?)
Linkedin is probably the best B2B social media platform of the moment.
Build communities of people interested in your service.
Promote your content on social media.
#Measurement and evaluation
Tools I use regularly include:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
Measure the number of leads to try and find what kind of pages or marketing activity will convert better.
Find out how many sessions you need to convert a web visitor into a lead.
WordPress plugin for OpenInbound:
Drupal module for OpenInbound:
Measure usability with Hotjar or Crazy Egg.
#References on internet marketing for further studying
I read a huge amount of SEO news. Regular reads include:
Be careful, even wary, of case studies, success stories, sweeping generalizations, easy fixes.
#Consider the interdisciplinary nature of SEO
Technical aspects, content, interaction design, usability, marketing strategy need to play together.
Build a small, agile team.