B2B Search Marketing often presents unique challenges for search engine optimization and managing profitable SEM programs. Columnists provide tips for common business-to-business search marketing issues such as lengthy conversion cycles, finding qualified buyers, the role search marketing plays in the overall sales process and more.

13 Reasons Branded PPC Campaigns Are Beneficial For B2B Brands

brand-branding-shutterstock Branded PPC campaigns are a difficult concept to swallow for many marketers. Why would someone pay for a branded term they already (and will always) rank first for in organic search? In the B2B world, paying for terms surrounding your brand can yield numerous benefits. Here are the top 13 reasons you should consider building a branded campaign for your B2B brand. 1. Domination In SERPs Having multiple listings on one search engine results page (SERP) is a way to deliver a wider range of brand messaging to searchers. It also creates more opportunities for searchers to click through to your [...]

A Step-By-Step Guide To Link Building For Boring Industries Or Products

innocent-drinks Within the current search landscape, most search engine optimisation campaigns have become increasingly content-led. The majority of the campaigns that I work on revolve largely around the production and placement of high quality content on top-tier sites. This approach to search engine optimisation is more akin to a typical PR campaign than a traditional SEO campaign -- and the former, in my opinion, is the way that most digital agencies should be positioning themselves. Yes, I'm gonna say it: content marketing is the way forward. Now that I've got that buzzword out of my system, we [...]

18 Lessons Learned In Leveraging Event Marketing For B2B SEO

Highly Effective Marketing Methods Here's a painful truth: for B2B marketing success in fast-growth environments, inbound marketing only plays a small role in the process. Outbound marketing efforts, like event marketing, often play a much more significant role. In fact, according to a study released last year covered by InsideSales.com, event marketing was the second most effective B2B marketing tactic in generating leads and driving brand awareness. Image Source Ask your fellow B2B event marketer what the budget typically is for hosting a booth at a "significant" industry trade show. I'll bet the fees are well into the [...]

Beyond A/B Testing: Strategic Conversion Optimization For B2B Websites

conversions_shutterstock When it comes to conversion rate optimization (CRO) for B2B sites, A/B testing is a great place to start -- but it's only one tactic in what should be a site-wide strategy. B2C and e-commerce sites are largely focus on improving their product pages to boost transactions. However, as I mentioned in my previous article about the relationship between organic search and conversion, B2B sales don't have the same immediacy. Because it's a much longer sales cycle, the focus tends toward a deeper level of engagement. B2B engagement strategies should take a holistic approach to continuous site i [...]

How Much Content Do You Need For B2B SEO Success?

Netline CMO Report While B2B SEOs understand the value in content marketing initiatives, we sometimes fail to understand the level of content commitment required to demonstrate success. In the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council's recent study, "The Content Connection to Vendor Selection," researchers uncovered six distinct personas that all consume different types of content and share that content with other levels within the company. According to the report, these various buyers consume a spectrum of content marketing assets in an effort to keep current on new technologies, glean insight and shape purc [...]

How To Choose The Right Social Media Networks For Your B2B Business

social media One of the most important steps in launching a successful social media campaign is choosing the right platform to connect with your audience. For B2B firms, where the social interactions and buyer relationships are more complex than in many B2C contexts, this is especially true. The benefits of social media marketing include brand awareness, building your overall profile with specific audiences, connecting with a broader conversation in your niche, and driving traffic and exposure to your key content. If you want a general background on the relationship between social media and B2B compa [...]

How 3 B2B Companies Integrate SEO In Their Online Marketing Strategies

2014 State of Marketing Even though B2B marketing goals and objectives remain relatively consistent year to year, what's changing are buyer expectations of marketing programs and communication. In late 2012, Simon McEvoy of Tangent Snowball wrote about the influence consumerism was having on the B2B buyer. After all, B2B buyers are people, too. The exposure of dynamic communication and marketing campaigns at the consumer level ultimately influences their expectations of marketing as  business buyers. Similarly, we interviewed Michael Ni of e-commerce platform Avangate at the end of last year, discussing th [...]

How To Optimize Database-Driven B2B Websites

global business network traffic Database-driven websites are very common in the B2B sector. This is because many companies want to have a catalog of products available on their site for distributors, but it would not be cost-effective to manually build out those pages as they are meant to generate leads, not revenue. Optimizing database-driven B2B sites follows the same basic SEO principles as any other site, but the execution is much different. Below is a simple guide on how to optimize dynamic content for product catalogs or similar content. How Database-Driven Sites Work If you aren't familiar with how a database- [...]

Are You Using Your B2B Marketing Personas Effectively?

personas Is your company using customer avatars or marketing personas effectively? The idea of persona-driven marketing appeals to practitioners for a wide variety of reasons. It's part of what I'd call core inbound marketing dogma. Yet, marketers are admitting that they're not really using personas or that they're failing to use them effectively. Let's take a closer look at why personas matter, how they fit into the B2B content marketing landscape, and explore some strategies for developing customer insights that will really help you make progress with your B2B inbound marketing. Getting A Baselin [...]

The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Baidu SEO

Chinese search engine market share diagram Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, which makes it a very powerful channel for B2B marketers in the global market. As of November 2013, Baidu held 63.55% of the search engine market share in China. The other two big players in the market are 360 with 21.84% of the market and Sogou at 10.53%. For any B2B company with a Chinese website, optimizing for Baidu is a necessity. While it's important to keep 360 and Sogou in mind as well, both are very new search engines that only recently emerged in the China market, so there's not much documentation out yet on SEO guidelines. [captio [...]

A 7-Step Guide To Maximizing The Reach Of Your B2B Content

SEO Content Plan Forrester Research recently released a report called Put Distribution at the Heart of Your Content Marketing, which addresses an issue of increasing importance within the content marketing world. Many marketers are very focused on writing top quality content. The process of brainstorming, creating, editing and even designing that content is a full-time job in midsize and major B2B organizations. But on the distribution end of the cycle, many companies are struggling to find a successful formula. Yet here’s the simple truth: without a clear dissemination strategy, you’re not maximizi [...]

The Importance Of Responsive Web Design For B2B Sites

Desktop Tablet Mobile Devices The mobile takeover of web surfing activities is growing rapidly each year, so it's imperative for B2B businesses to conform to the trend. Yet, a large number of B2B sites are still not doing anything for tablet or mobile device users. At the same time, traffic from mobile and tablet tends to be much lower than on B2C sites. Out of 20 B2B websites I surveyed, all of them had somewhere between 8-15% traffic from mobile devices. Although these aren't high percentages, that's still a lot of users that are receiving a poor user experience. It also represents a missed opportunity for search traf [...]

5 Increasingly Commodified SEO Solutions That Confuse B2B Marketers

Conveyor Systems While discussing the changes in the search industry with a B2B marketing colleague earlier this month, he mentioned that many marketing professionals may be confused about SEO, particularly when it comes to advising clients on search initiatives. Jargon, conflicting "expert" opinion, and technological changes (like search algorithm updates) all add to the confusion. B2B marketers know how important organic search can be to their online marketing initiatives, but often get confused as to what they truly need. All they know is that they "need SEO." The commoditization of various SEO servi [...]

How To Run A Successful B2B Social Media Marketing Campaign

social media Many marketers think of social media in the context of B2C companies: after all, 4 in 10 consumers buy products that they've favorited, liked, tweeted or pinned on various social networks. Yet, according to a recent study from MarketingProfs, 87% of B2B marketers use social media platforms in their content marketing efforts. In fact, of 13 tactics proposed from the content marketing arsenal, social media was the most popular. So the question stands: how can a B2B marketer ensure that his or her social media inbound campaigns are the most effective they can be? Here's a closer look at som [...]

B2B Website Pitfalls: What Is It That You Do Again?

B2B search content strategy Have you ever visited a B2B website and come away unsure of what the company actually does? If so, you are in good company. Many B2B websites are verbose, yet vague and confusing. In many B2B organizations, websites are given low priority, especially in light of long, complex close-cycles that hinge on offline business relationships. When it takes months to go from initial client contact to signed agreement, it can be difficult to justify B2B website optimization. By comparison, many e-commerce companies often have laser-thin profit margins that leave little room for error in website conte [...]

3 Ways B2B Search Marketers Can Stand Out With Rich Ad Formats

b2b-building-blocks We all know B2B customers differ from regular consumers for a variety of reasons. Their purchase cycle is longer, as they have to consult more options before pulling the trigger on signing a contract for a solution or purchasing a product. There is also more risk involved when a B2B client finally makes a purchase, as the success of their business may hinge on the decisions they make. We also know it's critical for paid search to be present to finally close the loop on the sale or lead when that B2B client is ready. But when the search engine results page is a sea of text ads and organic li [...]

How B2B Sites Can Align Their Website Strategy With SEM Tactics

aligning website strategies A B2B website that does not drive traffic, promote the brand, deliver company messaging or convert users into customers represents a waste of online marketing investments. A good B2B website should help build a strong brand while educating relevant users on industry topics and promoting products and services. Fully integrating all SEM tactics with website strategies will help the website achieve optimal results. This involves combining analytics, content marketing, SEO, conversion optimization and website maintenance into one large, overarching website strategy where all website changes are [...]

20 Ways To Get Your Content In Front Of Early-Stage B2B Buyers

Where B2B Marketers Start Buying Research A recent article in BtoB Magazine highlights how marketing to the electronics engineering vertical is changing due to technological innovation and the demands of a more specialized (and time-constrained) workforce. The focus of the article centers around content marketing designed to attract buyers at every stage of the buying cycle, particularly early-stage awareness. B2B marketers in this vertical are beginning to understand that the investment in early-stage engagement initiatives is just as critical, if not more so, than late-stage, more traditional marketing collateral such as technica [...]

How To Achieve ROI From Your B2B Content Strategy In 60 Days

content marketing cycle B2B firms are natural candidates for inbound marketing and content strategy campaigns. Many entrepreneurs believe that effective inbound marketing efforts require tens of thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, and at least a year to get traction in the marketplace. However, with content marketing, it's possible to make a significant impact against specific metrics in a short period of time. Here's a plan that's achievable for any content marketer or entrepreneur at a B2B firm. If you're strategic, you can plan, develop, launch, and begin to reap the benefits of a content marketing campaig [...]

Social Media Plugins: Are They Weighing You Down?

ge-screen-zoom-to-social-media-570x270 Many B2B companies use social media plugins on their websites to increase engagement and sharing of their content. According to AddThis, 14 million domains use the AddThis social plugin; another 2 million publisher sites use the ShareThis plugin. In fact, one of the three largest B2B companies in the United States (in terms of revenue) uses AddThis across its website. Social Media Plugins & Site Speed However, what users of these plugins might not know is that these tools can significantly increase page load speed. For instance, on one major project that my firm recently launched, the pr [...]

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