Before Or After The Form? Balancing Lead Generation & SEO Strategy
Recently, our company started working with a client launching a new B2B website, which incorporated a membership-based conversion action (IE, member registration).
As we went through the checklist of SEO best practices for launch, a question arose on the visibility of content marketing assets being created.
Where would the value-added material our client was developing, get placed for targeting our SEO keyword strategies?
Our client had not really thought about this.
There was no argument to the logic that keyword strategies required content, and content needed to be accessible to search engines.
The organization had just gone under the assumption that these content assets would be better suited post-registration. That would end up meaning that barely any of their content assets would be accessible for our SEO strategy.
This certainly would be an issue.
B2B SEO’s face this issue, or similar situations, often. Because of the need to satisfy lead generation goals, B2B marketing strategies often encourage content behind registration forms. This article takes a look at how search engine marketers can balance SEO and lead generation initiatives, in an effort to create a win-win for the B2B organization.
Evaluating Content Marketing Assets
For the situation above, the first step in resolving the SEO issue was in the identification of the types of content marketing assets the organization would have available. Once organized, we could collectively decide whether they should be accessible pre or post-login.
Examples of content assets for consideration included:
- Articles & Tutorials
- Blog Posts
- Videos & Video Transcripts
- Product Support, FAQ’s, and Traditional Utility Resources
While the SEO might appreciate and recommend all content assets be placed before registration, it is a worthwhile exercise for stakeholders to have input on the balance between search visibility and lead generation value. Opinions almost always differ.
Some of the questions B2B SEO’s should consider in making determinations on the accessibility of content marketing assets:
- Does my content expose trade secrets or premium intellectual property?
- Will registration provide the additional value my competitors are missing (IE, it is unique enough to stand on its own)?
- What are the opportunities for keyword targeting that a particular piece of content represents?
We were fortunate to get buy-in for making all of the content types listed above accessible before registration, however it ended up making sense to keep specific marketing collateral with deeper technical information away from immediate public consumption.
Creative Suggestions For Achieving SEO Visibility
Sometimes we’re not so lucky, or it just does not make sense to sacrifice immediate conversion opportunities. In that case, it is up to B2B SEO’s to find alternative ways to leverage content assets for SEO strategy. Here are some ideas and suggestions to consider:
Content Asset Snippets
Pull summary information from white papers, strategic research, or detailed content assets to develop shorter articles that can be used on the website or perhaps for third party article submissions. Develop landing pages that maximize the value of content assets through summary copy while still attempting to achieve lead generation goals.
Social Media Friendly Summary Assets
The simplest being a well done PowerPoint presentation, which in turn could be placed in Slideshare. Once in Slideshare, use LinkedIn and Facebook applications to further embed the presentation in popular social networks and create landing pages with high level summary information.
Blog Post Summaries & Previews
Blog posts provide a perfect opportunity to highlight deeper, more lead generation-specific content assets. One of the best examples of an organization implementing this type of strategy effectively is Marketingsherpa. Marketingsherpa blog posts almost always use research or upcoming events and workshops for the basis of blog content development.
Lastly, make certain keyword research is applied to every content marketing asset, and fight hardest to get visibility for the content that will best support overall SEO strategy.
If your organization demands content assets stay behind a registration form, suggest one or two of the most keyword rich assets remain publicly accessible as a way to demonstrate company expertise and potentially be leveraged for link building outreach.
Balancing short and long-term marketing goals for the B2B organization is a challenging proposition. Since SEO strategy takes time and patience in development, immediate lead generation requirements create potential conflict. B2B SEO’s need to lead the effort in maximizing content marketing efforts for search engine optimization and finding creative ways to provide keyword visibility in the face of lead generation pressure.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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