Digital Marketing, SEM, SEO
Digital marketing, search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) arguably are the most important marketing activities a B2B technology company can undertake. You sell to engineers, technicians and technically minded individuals. More than half of these individuals begin every purchase by researching online. So if you’re online presence isn’t optimized for customer industries and applications; if the content isn’t search-engine friendly and supported by adword campaigns; and if you don’t use campaign tracking to listen and learn from your customers, your organization isn’t achieving its sales potential.
TECH B2B has developed a 5-point process for evaluating our client’s digital presence and improving their results:
Step 1 Keyword Analysis
Keywords are essentially phrases that web users use to find relevant information. In this case, we want to know the words they use to search for our primary stakeholder services. Since we don’t have a comprehensive keyword list for each stakeholder group, we:
1. Start with a review of keywords adopted by top 5 competitors for each stakeholder
2. Expand that list use Google Adword Research Tools
3. Prioritize our keywords based on stakeholder review, auction price for adword purchases, and overall advertising budget.
Step 2 Website Content, Traffic and Structure Analysis
Armed with our list of keywords/key phrases, we develop content for the following stakeholder subdomain structure making every attempt to include core keywords relevant to each page into the URL, metadescription, page title, first/last paragraph, body text and alt-text tags for supporting files on that page. We look at your website traffic patterns, and see where customers enter the site, where they go from there, and where they leave the site. What paths are effective at converting potentials into sales, and where does the site fail to convert?
By building content around stakeholder services and products with careful attention to keywords, we can help people find us when looking for specific training, machine vision services, and robotic solutions, while improving our search engine ranking for key search terms.
Typical page concept, which should include video, photos, text, and supporting documents:
- Overview product or service
- General product/service video
- Technical information (data sheets, white papers, etc.)
- Cross sell opportunity (e.g. from TCP page: “Can we help you with your robotic programming or training?” with relevant links to those pages.
- Note: All non-textual content needs to have alt text descriptions that include relevant keywords.
By building content around industries served by stakeholders, we can present all the information a visitor from a particular industry will find interesting:
- Overview of industry expertise
- Product/service information (see below)
- Technical information (data sheets, white papers, etc.)
- Case studies
Industry pages also act as ‘landing pages’ for advertisements so that we can direct people through online, print and other advertisements and outbound marketing vehicles.
Step 3: Website Code
TECH B2B Marketing can write your website code, or suggest URLs (including researched keyword search terms), meta descriptions, titles, alt-text descriptions for supporting pictures, videos and data sheets etc. to webmasters. It is this data, plus backlinks, that account for 90%+ of ranking position on a Google search engine ranking.
Step 4: Backlink Building
Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites that point back to your website. Google classifies each website based on a number of factors, including popularity, quality of information, etc. Therefore, the higher the “class” of the referring site, the greater the weight of that backlink when considered by Google’s indexing algorithm. Not all backlinks are the same. Commercial websites, purchased links, etc., are of lower quality than non-commercial sites with high traffic and many unique visitors.
Backlinks are acquired primarily through out-bound marketing, meaning the labor is not conducted on your website. Ranked by cost to acquire from low to high:
- Industry directory listings
- Non-commercial blogs
- Press/media stories/social media*
Note social media is listed as one of the highest costs because it is the beast that is never satiated. Developing stories for the press is also costly, but B2B customers refer their friends to good technical articles because quality magazines are considered trustworthy information sources that can help people do their jobs better.
A Twitter account, or FaceBook page is only as good as number of posts and followers/likes that you acquire. You acquire followers/likes by posting constantly, and visiting other like-minded groups and commenting on their posts – all of which is time intensive and comes with a price. And when was the last time one of your customers sent you a ‘tweet’ or referred a Facebook post that was about work?
In TECH B2B’s experience, B2B companies should have a Wiki corporate page, YouTube channel (when video is available), and a LinkedIn page. Twitter, Pintrest, Digg, and all the rest are primarily for consumers and B2C companies that do time-sensitive sales and ‘special deals’ that are constantly changing.
The good news is that the website content can be easily adapted for LinkedIn and Wiki pages. Additional costs are not necessary beyond a cursory edit and minimal labor costs for ‘pasting’ the information into the relevant templates.
Step 5: Campaign Tracking
In North America, privacy laws allow companies to track individual progress through your website.
In the case of corporate newsletter recipients, you can track where each recipient enters your site (land page from a story, ad, etc.) reads on your site, how long they stay there, and where they exit your site. All this information can be extremely valuable for CRM systems and future lead nurturing programs. For example, customer Jon Smith clicks on a story from ’s corporate newsletter (issued in North America) on water plant automation training. You can then send personalized emails to Jon every time a new product, service or customer success story is available, with a gentle ‘call to action’ requesting a meeting or demo. The information can be entered into CRM the next time a sales person contacts Jon, or the next time Jon calls on an unrelated matter. “Jon, We’d be happy to send you that updated manual. By the way, I know you’re interested in training programs and CEU credits. Did you happen to see the announcement that we’ll be holding a seminar in your area next month.” This approach is widely used by Fortune 500 companies and is a proven method to increase lead-to-sales conversions for new customers while expanding the sales to existing customers.
When the website visitor comes from an outside source, referred by a story in the press, Google Adword, or other method, the individual remains anonymous. But if 50% of your new visitors over a 6 month period are interested in your new water plant automation program, but your market penetration is only 5%, then it might be smart to spend some advertising and/or PR dollars to increase your visibility in the water treatment market or make the commitment to exhibit at an additional conference in that industry. (Marketing prioritization).
Download the TECH B2B brochure
Watch & Learn: TECH B2B Marketing SEO Webcast
Watch our archived webcast, which looks at the latest strategies for building and creating business processes to support SEO optimized content and website growth, along with technical coding factors that are important for organic SEO and site usability.
Case Study: HP, Customer Portals, and the $350 Million Deal
See how TECH B2B developed customer-specific content for HP’s 1-to-1 customer portals, leading to a $350 million sale.
Case Study: Size Matters When It Comes to B2B eCommerce Sites
See how TECH B2B effectively grew the distributor’s ecommerce site by more than 8049%.
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