According to the 2012 MarketingSherpa Search Engine Marketing Report, of all SEO tactics available, “content creation works the best, but takes the most work,” says Kaci Bower, Research Analyst, MECLABS.
B2B Internet marketers need new content to enforce and build upon keyword strategies, acquire links, and attract attention in social media.
In my experience, effective SEO-centric content creation requires planning on both the long and short term impact, and a strict attention to detail. With a myriad of responsibilities on the B2B marketer’s plate, it certainly is not uncommon for details to be missed and corners to get cut.
Some of the SEO best practices I see get missed:
- Optimization of key page elements (HTML titles, meta descriptions, etc)
- Cross-links between relevant content assets
- Share-friendly icons and functionality
- Social media and traditional link building outreach
With a little assistance from Help a Reporter Out, here are four examples of B2B content marketing initiatives, that stand out because of their focus and adherence to SEO strategy as well.
Social Media Combined With SEO In Neolane’s Campaign Management Infographic
Digital marketing software vendor Neolane recently launched an infographic poking fun at a significant challenge campaign management providers face, the ability to overcome the onslaught of spam in online marketing communications. Running through the social media marketing initiative, here are examples of key SEO best practices merged into the process.
- Application of keyword strategy in traditional SEO page elements (HTML titles, Meta descriptions, body copy, etc).
- Social media buttons for popular social networking websites at the top and bottom of the post.
- A specifically “share-friendly” HTML page with social media buttons for similar social media websites (including Pinterest and StumbleUpon) that points users right to the infographic content. This page also contains keyword-specific cross-links to solutions pages and back to the company blog.
- Embed functionality for the infographic on the main blog post and a more share-friendly page.
Delivering Link Communication Through Social Media Assets In The Healthcare Space
Kaysha Kalkofen, co-founder of the St. Louis-based digital marketing agency tSunela, talked to me about their client, Christian Hospital. The hospital engaged tSunela for search engine optimization (SEO) and social media outreach.
In addition to core SEO best practices for keyword optimization and social media asset visibility, Christian Hospital actively maintains a communication to their network through popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and now Google+.
This communications includes announcements of hospital events, workshops and information, as well as content they feel their audience will find of value and hopefully share as well.
It appears to be working thus far. Here is an example of Ragan’s Healthcare Communication News picking up and publicly thanking the organization (linking to their Google+ account) for a valuable piece of content shared.
In addition to examples like this one, Christian Hospital has also experienced an increase in website activity since the beginning of their SEO efforts and a more immediate way to respond to patient care concerns through social media monitoring.
Content Marketing & SEO In Enterprise Technology Event Coverage
The Wikibon / SiliconANGLE team produce live video coverage of popular enterprise technology events like EMCWorld, Strata Conference, and Hadoop. The end result is a series of video, blog post, and research assets from contributing members of their team.
- Blog posts contain cross-links back to video and event coverage.
- Video assets contain social media sharing elements and embed functionality
- Assets written and produced are consolidated in one curated content page (below), which can more easily be distributed for outreach to bloggers and site owners.
- The screenshot below represents a nice win from a link building perspective: a link on a highly visible page within an HP product site.
Vocus: Maximizing The Value Of A Content Marketing Asset
The team at Vocus did their part to wrap tactical SEO initiatives around the launch of their Expert Guide to Online Content Marketing white paper. While the PDF itself is not a great example of a content format optimized for search, careful application of SEO strategy was applied to help ensure organic search engine visibility.
- First, Vocus created an SEO friendly landing page which incorporated clear conversion action, social media sharing functionality, a summary of key information for the user.
- The team published blog posts in 3 phases to make it more digestible, and created associated video to support the guide, and linking to the full PDF in each posting. Assets were distributed through applicable social media assets as well.
From Stacey Acevero and Scott Benson of Vocus, with respect to using direct PDF links in blog posts, “we’re tracking each click on the PDF link as an ‘event’ in Google Analytics and also counting this as a traditional “PDF download” – much like a lead generation lead, but without the user information. It was a basis for measuring the posts success, not a true lead.”
From the social media perspective, “not only are people sharing our post socially, but this piece is directly responsible for as many as 79 new Twitter followers and 101 Facebook Likes – each of these “goals” has [a defined] value to our company.”
The above examples are meant to provide tactical tie-ins between SEO best practices and specific B2B content marketing initiatives. This is not an evaluation of any of these organizations’ overall B2B SEO strategy. While these examples provide B2B marketers with a short list of factors in the content creation process that help enhance SEO, make sure to adapt those used as reference to your own organizations needs and priorities.
Good luck in your content creation and marketing efforts and make sure that SEO remains a key focal point in all of these endeavors as well.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.