A lot has changed in the world of search engine optimization over the years and has greatly influenced how people do digital marketing, especially in B2B. As B2B search engine optimization (SEO) aims to increase organic search engine positions for target keywords in search engines, being discoverable in search is therefore essential.
B2B SEO is far more different than B2C for a variety of reasons. However, some businesses take this lightly and get disappointed with the results. Since B2B SEO is more expensive and takes a longer cycle time, it’s just right to invest in the right strategies, particularly in keyword selection. Beyond getting SEO juice, keywords reveal a lot more about users and what they’re struggling with.
Keywords are a critical component for SEO strategy because they play a significant role in helping your website rank on SERPs. Aside from that, it also helps users make informed decisions, especially when incorporating meaningful keywords with relevant and caliber content. It’ll make them wonder why they need your product or service. The only remaining question is, how? Let’s break it down.
Seed List Is A Must
In the simplest terms, a seed list is the baseline keywords and phrases most relevant to your business. As per Neil Patel, it makes sense to invest the most time and money in keywords closer to the bullseye. Now, before adding more terms to the list, it’s important that you have discussed with your client about their contact and speak to them about what they care about. In short, what do they want to achieve for searchers to discover their product or service?
It’s paramount that you appeal to your client’s customers the way they want their brand to. Deliver your client’s goal of providing what their customers need and care about by appropriately portraying it to their audience. Capturing this would give you a better grasp of the direction you’re going with your keyword research. It doesn’t have to be long, but eventually, the seed list will expand moving forward.
Review Your Content
Once you’ve had a good understanding of the direction you want to go, the next step would be reviewing your content and making sure that it is relevant to your set goals. Start by checking your homepage – what message does it relay to your target audience? What do you offer and the highlights of your product or service? It doesn’t have to be limited to the homepage.
Dig a little deeper and review the contents of your top-level pages such as the About Us, Products/Services, and the Blogs. The way you convey your message and brand to your audience, including the target audience you focus on, should tell you what keywords you should consider. Aside from that, it will also give you ideas on what other keywords to modify, and it could help you point out negative keywords, too.
Have you checked your recent rankings? It’s essential that you determine which keywords you’re currently ranking for and where you stand in SERPs. To check your keyword rankings, there are a lot of tools you can use, such as SEMrush, SpyFu, Ahrefs, and Moz. Plus, you can take advantage of Google Search Console in providing you insights into potential users. Don’t overlook users’ clicks and interests because they are determining factors in choosing the right keywords.
Using these tools, you can generate a long list of keywords. Of course, you don’t have to choose all of them – but you can narrow it down. Based on the list, you may find branded terms but before deciding on selecting those, be sure to check if you’re already ranking for them. If so, there’s no need to consider them. As much as possible, it’s best to focus on keywords that you’re ranking for below 50.
The competition in B2B SEO is getting tougher. It will help you gain better insights if you study how well your competitors are doing in the market. You can check the keywords they’re ranking for, the content on their website, their promotions and how they do it, and what they share on their blogs. From there, you can come up with your own strategies to improve your rankings and might as well include a couple of keywords that they are targeting in your roster.
Of course, you can’t find specific strategies on their site – that’s their trade secret. What you can do instead is learn potential opportunities from them and identify areas that could be improved. To help you with this, you must gather metrics data and analyze it. It would provide you with relevant and useful insights, especially if you know how your competitors are doing, given that you are in the same industry.
Collect Metrics Data
Metrics are important, and it is an element that should not be taken lightly. Keyword selection requires informed decisions, and in order to achieve this, you need to gather metrics information and analyze it to come up with better ideas. As mentioned above, you can use various tools such as SEMrush, SpyFu, Ahrefs, and Moz when checking for metrics.
One of the metrics you should look into is the search volume. See what people in your industry are talking about and looking for. In addition, there are other elements you should check, including the keywords’ difficulty, click-through rate, and competition. Choosing a few keywords can help you identify which one is maybe the easiest but has strong potential. Remember, you’re not the only one trying to rank better for those keywords, and it’s important that you observe these metrics prior to making any decision.
Choose Target Keywords
When we say choose target keywords, it doesn’t have to be targeting hundreds of keywords. Yes, keywords are at the center of SEO, and you need to keep your target keywords within 30-50. According to experts, targeting hundreds of keywords doesn’t add much value to your goals in B2B SEO. Once you’ve narrowed down your target terms, you may want to take into consideration the content that you have on your site. Think about this, why target a variety of keywords that are not even found in your site’s content? It doesn’t make any sense. Eliminating less interesting words is of the essence.
Keeping your list short allows you to focus your strategies and effort on them. Start ranking for at least 20 keywords and once you’ve seen changes or improvements, you can just add up to the list and expand as you move along. Be sure to compartmentalize your target keywords and decide on which you want to work on first.
Once you’ve chosen your target keywords, develop a strategy with intent as the core. When we say intent, we mean the user’s purpose for the search. As Moz described intent, it is made up of two parts: the implicit and the explicit.
When you are building content, keep in mind that you should consider your audience. Educate them about what your product or service is all about. Don’t prioritize getting a sale or marketing your product. Work around informational and compelling content – tell them more of your company’s offers and imply solutions. In addition, you can also work on highlighting the features and benefits of your offers.
The more elaborate you are, the better. Now, long-tail keywords are beneficial in terms of intent. By leveraging keyword intent for intent-driven marketing, advertisers can increase traffic to their sites and attract more qualified prospects.
In a Nutshell
Keyword selection is both an art and a science and involves choosing quality keywords. Meeting your audience where they are at in their journey with keywords that align with how they search is the ultimate goal. Keep in mind that there is no universal strategy in terms of keyword research and B2B SEO. A tailored-fit strategy based on the methods mentioned above can help achieve marketing goals in the long run.