What search marketing strategies are B2B businesses using most, and how do yours measure up? Marketers are relying less on traditional SEO tactics, such as metatags and link-building, and more on content marketing, a new report reveals.
Some three-quarters (73%) of respondents in the survey say their companies create content as part of organic search marketing efforts. That’s more than the 69% who use metatag research/deployment and the 52% who use link-building. Respondents also use blogs (65%), social media integration (54%) and responsive design as part of their organic search marketing efforts.
Organic search marketing takes place throughout the sales funnel, but is used more often during the later stages such as educational, engagement and following up. Paid search marketing is more often used at the beginning of the sales funnel with a goal to increase awareness, consideration and intent to purchase.
How are businesses using keywords for search marketing?
- 76% use generic informational keywords to direct users to their websites and increase awareness of their brands.
- 52% use keywords to direct prospects to comparison pages where they can assess the company’s products or services against those of the competition.
- 43% use keywords that reflect specific product or service features and benefits—for example, “cheap,” “low-cost,” “fast,” “best.”
Social media is a big part of B2B search marketing tactics. More than three-fourths (76%) of B2B companies in the survey say they use social media to improve their search engine rankings. LinkedIn and Twitter were the social media channels used most often, and are also considered the most effective by B2B marketers in the survey.
What does the future hold in store for search marketing for the rest of the year? A whopping 69% of respondents say the rise in the quantity and quality of content created for marketing purposes is the most significant search marketing trend for 2014; one-third say the increase in video searches is also very important.
What do these trends mean for you?
- Make sure your keyword strategy reflects the specific goals you are trying to achieve, whether that’s raising awareness of your brand, driving customers to your website to get more information, or helping them make a purchasing decision by comparing products or services.
- Review your content creation strategy to make sure you’re developing enough quality content to stand out from the competition.
- Consider using online video, if you aren’t already, to get ahead of the trend toward video searches. Informational videos on how to use a product or service, industry insights from leaders at your company, or testimonials from satisfied customers can all be effective video subjects to attract and educate prospects.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.