Search Marketing is the most direct form of digital marketing and can work great for B2B businesses targeting SMEs. The main drawback of B2B search marketing is that businesses targeting large businesses may struggle to find large volumes of search traffic to target as there are simply fewer customers to target.
The world of search marketing is huge with SEO and PPC functioning as disciplines within their own right. Due to the sheer scale of knowledge that is required to have a robust understanding of search marketing many businesses owners do not even want to brooch the subject.
Both SEO and PPC have their own specific advantages and disadvantages; SEO is generally cheaper over time and many aspects of SEO can be implemented in-house for free, PPC can cost a lot more than SEO however PPC has a far faster ROI and it is far easier to target individual products and services.
Content Marketing and SEO
Content marketing and SEO go hand in hand, content marketing is the process of marketing your business through blogs, videos, infographics, and high-quality images, these content assets can attract backlinks which is an important ranking factor while blogs specifically are a great way to feature the keywords you wish your website to rank for.
The type of search marketing which is most relevant will depend on your business circumstances. PPC is usually better for businesses wanting fast results that can have a large enough marketing budget for both an agency and the ad spend of a PPC campaign.
SEO is better for either those who are willing to do a lot of the SEO work themselves or businesses that can afford a monthly retainer for managed SEO services and are willing to wait the time it takes for SEO to produce an ROI. As a general rule of thumb, it is better to invest a large amount in one form of search marketing than to invest small amounts into both SEO and PPC.
How Can SEO Help My B2B Business?
Many B2B business owners have felt that SEO is only really relevant for B2C businesses as they feel B2B decision makers are more likely to search for a product or service through traditional means such as trade shows, recommendations, and direct partnerships.
However, research from Marketo states 61% of decision-makers start their decision-making process with a web search. B2B SEO is different from B2C in the sense that there is typically a far longer sales cycle. Decision makers will first need to discover your website, then they’ll want to assess your credibility and quite often they’ll want to speak to your sales team directly before making a purchase.
That’s why with B2B digital marketing it’s always a good idea to incorporate content marketing into your SEO campaign. Combining the two marketing disciplines allows the decision maker to find your website easily through a web search, they’ll then be able to check your credibility from the content that is featured on your website and with a optimized website they’ll be able to contact one of your sales representatives through the numerous contact forms and contact details you’ll have throughout your website.
Sales Funnel Strategy
Whilst SEO is a great way to bring traffic to your website with regards to B2B marketing in order for it to be effective business owners need to be utilizing lead capture tools in combination with sales funnel strategy along with Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), in order for that traffic to result in sales.
There are various ways in which SEO can be combined with other marketing methods in order to attract more leads but the most effective strategy will be highly based on the type of B2B business you are running and the competition in that specific marketing field.
Often search marketing specifically SEO is neglected by B2B business owners as they feel it would not be effective, this often means that the competition is lower meaning that cost and time spend on SEO is a lot lower.
Finally, B2B business owners can combine SEO, content marketing and re-marketing to capture highly qualified leads. Creating a blog piece that answers a particular question related to your business' services will bring visitors to your website who initially had little intention of purchasing your services but now are aware of and trust your brand as it has answered their question. Using a re-marketing service such as Facebook’s re-marketing pixel business owners can then target the visitors of the blog piece at a later stage, converting a visitor with little intent into a paying customer.
How Can PPC Help My B2B Business?
PPC is great for B2B because it allows you to directly promote the specific services you wish to market the most. The ability to target large volumes of search traffic as B2B business can be a lot easier through PPC when compared to SEO. This is because B2B business related keywords tend to have lower search volumes when compared to B2C. Which in turn means that for a search marketing campaign for a B2B business to be successful more keywords need to be targeted in order to make up for the lower search volumes.
It is difficult to target large volumes of specific keywords with SEO, as there is no guarantee that Google will allow you to rank within the top three spots for any specific keyword. When compared to PPC it is relatively easy to target large volumes of specific keywords; so long as your CPCs and Quality Scores are high enough your company will rank within the top spots.
Finally, the re-marketing feature of PPC is highly beneficial to the B2B market, especially when used in conjunction with various other forms of digital marketing. There are two ways in which your business can do this through the search network and the display network. The search network allows you to either increase bids for someone who has already visited your website or target a keyword you do not normally target specifically for anyone who has already visited your website.
This is particularly useful for the B2B market because as mentioned previously there tend to be lower search volumes for B2B related keywords. This means that if someone enters your website through a high purchasing intent keyword and then leaves without purchasing anything you can target them again through keywords with a lower purchasing intent but with a higher search volume.
The display network re-marketing is great for B2B businesses as decision makers in B2B rarely make purchases straight away, with the display network you can re-market them on website’s relevant to your products or services.
PPC and SEO are both great marketing methods for B2B businesses how applicable they are to your business will depend on your circumstances and industry. In order for search marketing to be effective the right level of financial and time commitment must be attributed to your marketing campaign. Any attempt at search marketing with less than the required budget will usually result in all of the budget being wasted.
- Using SEO for B2B business should be utilized more and more today, because a lot of B2B businesses are purchasing online
- You can combine SEO with content marketing to create quality leads
- PPC is a great tool because it allows you to promote the things that you would like most on the market