It's no secret that B2B marketing is different from B2C. The sales cycle is longer, multiple stakeholders are involved, and usually more expensive. To market effectively, you need to create content that will help, educate, and educate your customers. The best way to do this is to identify the keywords that matter most to them and create the content accordingly.
To find out how, check out this week's episode of Whiteboard Friday!
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Hello and welcome to another whiteboard Friday. My name is Cody McDaniel and I am the SEO manager at Obility. We're a B2B digital marketing agency, and today I want to talk about how to choose meaningful B2B SEO keyword goals, as well as the process and steps you can take in your own keyword research.
So B2B is a little different than your normal B2C marketing types, isn't it? The sales cycle, or the time it takes to make a buying decision, is usually much longer than if you were just buying something from Amazon, right? Multiple stakeholders are required. Individuals are involved in this process. It will usually be a lot more expensive.
In addition, they want to be informed of their decision. You need to look up content and information on the internet to make this decision and ensure that you are doing the right thing for your own business. To do this, we need to create content that will help, educate and inform these users. The way to do this is by finding key keywords and creating content around them.
1. Collect the seed list
So when we develop keyword research for our own clientele, the first thing we do is create a starting list. Usually we talk to our customer contact and talk to them about what is important to them. But it also helps to involve a few other stakeholders, such as the product marketing team or sales team, people who might want to use this information for their customers, and talk to them about what is important to them and what they want to show up what is important to them.
This will help you shape the conversation you want to have and give you an understanding or idea of where you might want to do this keyword research. It shouldn't take very long. It's a seed list. It should grow eventually, right?
2. Review your content
Once you have done this and have a basic understanding of where you are headed, the next thing you can do is review the content that you have on your own website that can start with your homepage.
How do you describe yourself to the larger masses? What does the flagship site say about your offer? You can take a closer look at some of your other top-level pages and About Us. However, try to generate an understanding of how you are talking to your product, especially in relation to your customers in the industry you are in. You can take advantage of this and go a little further from there.
Check out your blog posts to see how you're talking to the industry and to keep individuals informed and informed. Go to newsletters. Just try to get an idea of what is currently on the site, where your efficiency is and where your shortcomings or lack of content are. This is a great way to generate ideas of where to look for more keywords or changes in the existing keywords.
3. Determine your rankings
Speaking of which, with the keywords you currently have, it is important to know how you stand. At this point I'm trying to see how we rank in the larger scheme of things, and there are many different tools you can use to do this. You can use the search console to see how potential users on the Internet are currently accessing your website. This can help you filter by page or by query.
You can understand what is getting clicks and attracts interest. But you can also use other tools – of course SEMrush, SpyFu, Ahrefs and Moz. They all give you a list of keywords that will help you determine what users are looking for to find your website and where they currently rank on the search engine results page. Usually these lists are quite extensive.
I mean, they can range from a few hundred to a few thousand terms. So it helps to analyze it a little. I like to filter it by things like when it has no search volume, nothing it. If it's a branded term I don't want to include it because you should already appear with your branded term. Maybe if it's outside the top 50 in the ranking, I don't want that information here right now.
4. Competitive Research
I want to understand how we show ourselves, where our competencies lie and how we can use this in our keyword research. So this should help compress the list a bit. But one of the things that you can also look at is not only internal but also external, right? So you can take a look at your competition and see how we at least rank or compare on the internet.
What are they using? What kind of content do they have on their website? What are they promoting? How do you organize this conversation? Do they use blog posts? All of this information will come in handy, perhaps to help you develop your own strategies or to find a niche where, if you have particularly tough competition, you can find areas that they won't discuss.
However, use this competition as a framework to identify areas and potential opportunities, and to see how the general public or industry is talking about some of the content you might want to write about. Once you have this list, it should be a pretty big, good idea of the ecosystem you are working with. It's important to collect metrics.
5. Collect metrics
This will contextualize the information you have, right? You want to make informed decisions about the keywords that you have. Therefore, this collection of metrics is important. There are many different ways you can do this. Here at Obility we can categorize them by different types of topics to make sure we're touching the different levels of keyword use for the different topics we cover in our content.
You can look at things like search volume. There are many different tools that do this, the same ones I mentioned earlier – Moz, SpyFu, SEMrush. We use a great tool called Keyword Keg that has all of these types of aggregates in it. However, this will give you a monthly idea search volume. However, you can also use other key figures, e.g. B. Difficulties, e.g. How difficult it is to rank against some other people on the web, or organic click-through rate, e.g. B. How high the level of competition will be against in terms of ads or videos or carousels or other types of Google snippets.
Moz does this great. Use these metrics. They should help you put the information into context. So if you get very close to two or three keywords, this metric collection can help you determine which is possibly the easiest and which has the greatest potential, and so on and so forth. Once you have that, you should get a good understanding of where each of these keywords live and you should choose your goals.
6. Select Target Keywords
Now I've gone through a ton of clients that previous agencies have sent a list of 300-400 keywords that they want to rank for and I can't stand it. There is no value in having because how can you possibly try to optimize and score hundreds and hundreds of different variations of keywords? It would take too long, right? You could spend years in this rabbit hole.
We're trying to focus on maybe 30 or 40 keywords and really narrow down what kind of content is being created for them and what you need to tweak. Does it exist on your website? If not, what should we do? When you have this list, your marketing strategy is much more broken down, and you can actually look at it and weigh how you are currently serving content internally.
You can look at success metrics and KPIs. It just helps to have something more tangible to bite on. Of course, you can grow from there, right? They're starting to rank well on those 20 or 30 terms, and you can add a few more at the end. But again, I think it's really important to focus on a very selected number and categorize it by the importance you want to go to first and start there as this process takes a long time when creating content .
7. Consider the intention
Once you have these selected, it is also important to consider intent. You can see that I've set out the intent in a little more detail here. What do I mean by that? Well the best way I've seen the intent described online is an equation. So every query consists of two parts, the implicit and the explicit. What do you say and what do you mean when you say it?
As I think about it and try to relate it to keywords it is really important to use this framework to develop the strategy that you have. An example that I have here is "Email Marketing". What is the implicit and explicit nature of it? Well, "email marketing" is a pretty broad term.
Implicitly, they probably want to research the topic and learn a bit more about what it is about. You will see if this is what you look for, it is usually much more educational content that will help the user understand it better. You are not ready to buy yet. They just want to know a little more. But what if I add a modifier? What if I add "software"? Now that you would have the intent, it could mean the same thing as email marketing in a certain context, but software does imply that they are looking for a solution.
We have now gone down the funnel and are starting to identify terms that a user is more interested in buying. So this type of content will be vastly different and more feature and benefit related than just email marketing. Hence, this intent is important in getting your keywords into place, and it's important to make sure you have them on every step of your shopping funnel.
The way I usually see it and you see it everywhere, it's an upside-down triangle. You have your top, middle, and bottom level content. Typically, blogs and other types of informational content that you need to use to educate users about the types of topics and things in the industry that interest you come first.
Something like "email marketing" would probably exist there. But "email marketing software" is likely to sit right here in the middle where someone wants to make an informed decision, associate it with other content on competitor websites, review those features, and see if it is is a useful product for you, right? From there, you can go a little further and move them into different types of content, such as: B. Small Business Email Marketing Software.
This is far more nuanced and specific, and maybe you have a white paper or demo that is specifically tailored for companies looking for small business email marketing. So having content in three separate areas and three different changes can help you identify where your content gaps are and ensure that users can move around your site and throughout the funnel and learn about the decision they want to make .
This should give you an idea of how we develop keyword research here in our own agency, and I hope that you can use some of these strategies in your own keyword research anywhere in the world. Thanks again for listening. Happy New Year. To care.
Video transcription from Speechpad.com