B2B BUSINESS OWNERS:
Why Should You Invest in SEO in 2021?
If you’re struggling to get new eyes on your business pages.
Wondering how to get beyond word of mouth referrals, then this is the strategy that you should pay close attention to.
While you consider your 2021 digital marketing plans should actually include, some might be sitting back thinking, “why do we need to fund SEO for next year?”
I recently recorded a brief video presentation to help shed even more light on this topic... take a look.
So, the business owner is overheard saying... "Why should I invest in SEO? I haven't ever needed it before?"
That statement generally follows this statement:
“My business relies on referrals…”
And we all know what happens with businesses that solely rely on referrals...right?
Let me break down a few very simple yet important concepts to help bridge the gap between B2B who relies solely on referrals and one that invests in their business for long term growth.
When comparing your other digital marketing channels, you likely think - when it comes to a return on my investment, it must be pay per click, Google Adwords right?
For any B2B company, SEO is one of the few sustainable ways to create an audience, generate leads, and, ultimately, close customers. More than 70 percent of B2B researchers admit that they start their buying process with a generic search. Yes, in 2021, we are still starting our search out with a search. (hmm, yeah but didn't they say SEO was dead 15 years ago?)
SEO Helps Your Sales Team
What does your sales team need this week? (This is not a trick question)
The answer is likely
You have a sales team that always needs new leads. Your business should not solely rely on word of mouth or referrals - it’s not a solid marketing strategy.
In fact, it is not a marketing strategy at all.
Suppose your sales team starts each day with about 5-10 hot new leads from prospective clients and customers searching for solutions to their problems?
They could be in varying stages of their buying journey.
People ready to buy, or at least ready to ask questions, and just genuinely interested in what you can do to help them.
That does happen, when there’s an SEO program in place, and one that is aligned with your sales team’s goals and objectives.
I’ll give you the simple 3 step strategy for how to get that done.
This strategy will assume you recently had your site go through a full technical site audit performed, and had a chance to address any/all crawl related issues, etc.
Before we move on and for those of you, who haven’t ever heard me describe the need for this, I’ll break it down very simply here - if you’re pages suffer from “code bloat”, broken links, or other signals or directives informing the search engines to avoid your site, you’ll never get any real good traffic traction until those are resolved.
SEO Should Align with Your Business Goals and Objectives
Start with the basics.
Let’s say you have a B2B technology business based in North America and you’d like to expand new customer reach beyond your local geographical area.
Please do not tell me you just want “more traffic to come to the site every month” !!
What does that even mean?!
Let’s get more specific than that.
How about, some percentage increase in warm leads to the sales team?
Like 5% of all new traffic results in a request to speak with a sales representative?
Maybe if you have other digital marketing activities in operation, say, PPC, you may want to reduce your cost per click ad spend, and get more organic traffic instead.
This is good, but it’s not following the S.M.A.R.T (Strategic, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely) approach
All your digital marketing goals should follow this method for defining the overall digital marketing strategy for your organization. Making sure your SEO program strategy is aligned to that is also incredibly important
One very common way SEO gets overlooked in most businesses is keeping it siloed or separate from all the other digital marketing activities.
Do not make that mistake!
They should all be well coordinated and working together.
Each of those stakeholders should also be communicating regularly with them often. Doing any marketing, especially SEO in a vacuum is a recipe for disaster.
Just in case you might think this only gets lost only on those smaller businesses, I have quite a few stories of large well known brands that neglect their SEO only to find their revenue and sales are way down, and their only way to patch that problem up is to spend millions of dollars on paid search.
While that’s a nice short term fix, it does nothing to solve the longer term problems they’ll encounter down the road.
Yes, SEO ROI is a thing.
Your SEO program should include some way of identifying the return on investment. If you need more information about that, we created our own proprietary SEO ROI calculator to help you figure that out.
Make sure you have all those numbers in place. It’s critically important that you understand SEO numbers before you move into the other areas of this three step strategy.
Who is Your Ideal Customer?
Are you effectively attracting new customers? If not, you really need to revisit or establish a full and complete content audit.
Start by really determining your ideal avatar, or ideal customer. Who are they?
Maybe that person is CTO, Chief Technology Officer or some very senior executive within the technology team within a business or industry you’d like to target.
You should have at least one or two of these personas identified. You should try to aim for at least 1-2.
Best way to find out the pain points and challenges of your ideal client or customer?
Hot Tip: Ask your sales team!!
They know exactly the most frequently asked questions your ideal audience is asking. They also know the words, phrases and product descriptors that your internal team may not be used to hearing.
Get your sales team involved - ask them how you can help them get warmer leads?
Ask your sales team a few of these questions to help get started:
- During your initial phone conversation with a prospective customer, what words or phrases do they use to describe their specific challenge?
- Why or how did they find out about your business / offering? Did they search and if so, what were they looking for?
- What kind of information are those prospective clients looking for that the sales team has to provide for them before they’re ready to make a buying decision? In other words, are your sales team answering the same questions over and over, or are asked to provide some type of reading material on your product or service operation?
- What type of material would these prospective customers like to consume before getting on a sales call? Maybe a video tutorial, or white paper or some other very descriptive piece of information that may fall in the middle of the buying cycle?
Tracking & Measuring Your Organic Search Traffic
Are you effectively tracking and measuring all that traffic coming into your site from Google?
If not, you should absolutely take the following steps first.
All my clients start with these first initial steps before we run any audits, and you should always include this as part of any SEO program.
- Setup Google Search Console - Google steps you through this very easy setup process.
- Setup and establish Google Analytics - Here’s Google’s Analytics setup process
It may appear confusing and somewhat uninteresting to start with, but once you extract the information you need in order to realize how successful your organic traffic is or where it’s coming from and where it’s going to - you’ll immediately see the benefits of regular and ongoing SEO reporting.
Myth: You can’t track SEO results
Please forget the thing about looking for keywords in your analytics. And looking to see how many backlinks you have is also NOT an effective or accurate method for determining your overall SEO health.
That’s NOT what you should be tracking and it’s not how you can tell whether or not you're doing well from an SEO standpoint.
One of the most common challenges I hear from so many other SEOs is that they’re under-appreciated, not valued, and consequently, under-resourced.
The very simplified reason for this is they have been ill equipped in effectively translating the importance SEO has on a business revenue and growth.
SEO, by its very nature, has the highest rate of return of any of the other channels.
But, SEO is the gift that keeps on giving. Every piece of content written results in increases over time because it will keep adding value long after you’ve paid for that SEO work. If you haven’t been able to realize that benefit yet, you have to ask yourself, if your site’s pages are not visible to prospective buyers, then how can you acquire new customers?
As a business owner, what do you really care about most?
I’m 100% sure it’s not the number of backlinks you have or the #1 ranking keyword.
It’s more likely sales, and leads and anything that contributes to the overall growth of your business.
That’s why it’s critically important to ensure you properly fund SEO for 2021.
Lucky for you, I’m offering you an opportunity to speak with me one on one for an intensive one hour SEO strategy session, where you’ll walk away with a solid roadmap for exactly what you should be doing for 2021 - complete with a competitive analysis.
As a way to offer my help at a rare deeply discounted rate, I’m only offering this to you, my readers and YouTube channel watchers, until January 31st - head over to https://bartoliconsulting.com/seo-consultation/ and sign up today!