As an SEO agency, Common Ground is focused on B2B SEO. This area of SEO is about increasing the online reach and visibility of a business that serves other businesses.
In marketing funnel parlance, we use targeted organic search keywords to attract a wide audience at the top of the funnel, capture some of these visitors as qualified leads, and convert some of these prospects into paying customers. This requires content at every stage in the user journey.
I’ve worked in the B2B space for a while now, and one of the biggest challenges is finding search terms that are specifically relevant for your business audience, but not necessarily the general public. After all, it takes valuable time and money to rank for individual keywords – you want to make sure you’re being cost efficient with your results.
So, how do we do it? In this post, we’re going to reveal how we build and execute a B2B SEO campaign, using one of our client campaigns as a case study.
B2B SEO Introduction
No two SEO campaigns are the same. In this case, we had a B2B client in the survey software market that wanted more qualified leads, and ultimately, an increase in paying business customers. The client had us focus on the US market for this campaign.
How did it go? From their Google Analytics, we can see that total sessions trended upward steadily, nearly doubling over the course of the campaign so far.
Even better, we saw a corresponding increase in free trial signups – and thanks to the company’s strong survey product, there was an impressive trial-to-paid conversion rate, with a good percentage of these leads converting to paying customers.
Lastly, the success of our organic search campaign gave this up-and-coming player a substantial boost in brand awareness within a competitive space. In effect, a strong organic search campaign placed this brand alongside more established ones in the SERPs, with more than double the number of keywords ranking 1 to 3.
So, how did we get these numbers? What does a typical B2B SEO campaign actually look like?
In the rest of this case study, we’re going to cover some of the items that helped us achieve these exciting numbers for our B2B client!
First things first: to support a successful SEO campaign, you need an optimised website with the proper infrastructure. Otherwise, it’s like trying to fill a bucket that has a big hole in the bottom – you can throw all the traffic you want at a site, but it’s a losing battle without the right technical SEO.
For this client, we conducted a thorough technical analysis of the company’s existing web properties and implemented a programme to fix the issues.
Specifically, we handled the following:
Fixed crawl errors
Improved page speed
Resolved issues with the WordPress template
These technical issues could interfere with a website’s ability to rank on Google, and they could also hurt the user experience. Knowing this, we prioritised technical fixes to pave the way for a smooth SEO campaign.
In this case, the brand owned multiple website properties. We decided to combine these different properties into a single website, harnessing the power of each one to increase visibility within the SERPs.
With the technical SEO fixed, we moved onto keyword research.
Any SEO campaign is only as strong as the keywords it’s based on. Even after a quarter century, keywords are still how Google connects you with your potential customers online.
That’s why we always conduct extensive keyword research at the start of a campaign. We want to make sure that a client’s existing keywords are providing value, while brainstorming new opportunity areas as well.
Like I mentioned earlier, we focused our efforts on relevant keywords for the client. One way we discovered quality keywords was by researching a list of the client’s competitors – we could see terms the competitors were ranking for that our client was not.
We also researched other opportunities the client wanted to go into. During the keyword research phase, we typically start out wide, considering any number of possible directions, and then narrow our focus to the highest value opportunities.
With that said, we built a list of terms that the client “literally printed out and spanned the length of her office door” – her words, not ours! Armed with plenty of valuable keywords, we were ready for the next step.
While putting together a list of keywords, our job also included on-page SEO improvements. We took the time to review and improve all of the client’s service pages on their website, adding new content where it was needed.
We also conducted a detailed content audit of the blog that identified quick wins, in terms of existing content that could be improved and better targeted. Sometimes, just a few small enhancements can dramatically boost a page’s ranking in the SERPs.
Another way we improved the site’s content was to combine different pieces where we saw topic overlaps. Google tends to prefer more informative posts, as opposed to several bite-sized pieces of content that each say very little. By consolidating posts, we also provided greater value to site visitors, leading to a higher conversion rate for the people consuming this content.
Taken together, these on-page SEO and content structure improvements dramatically improved the site’s search engine results and domain authority.
With solid technical SEO and keyword research completed, it was time to put together a content strategy.
Based on thousands of keywords that we identified at the start, we created a roadmap for generating consistent content that was deployed across multiple marketing channels.
Let’s take a closer look at a few examples of keywords that performed well:
Customer satisfaction survey
Cool email signatures
Customer satisfaction survey questions
We carefully picked keywords that covered different stages of the user journey, with some posts targeting readers in the information-gathering phase, and others focused on people who were ready to buy.
Hopefully, it’s clear how each step of this B2B SEO campaign helped lead to the client’s success in the content building stage. Our campaign wouldn’t have been nearly as effective if we funneled all of our efforts into content creation without first providing a firm technical foundation, on-page SEO, and crucial keyword research.
Making Them Famous!
Much of an SEO campaign is about optimising websites for inbound marketing. You want to create a great experience for anyone who visits the site, which has the added benefit of making Google happy, as seen in metrics like the bounce rate, returning visitors, average pages per session, and so on.
This process is like building a campfire – once you have a pile of firewood, you have the potential for a roaring fire, but it still needs a little spark to get things going. That’s why we worked closely with the client and a third party PR consultant to attract attention to the website through a public relations campaign.
There’s a cyclical relationship between public relations and organic search: PR brings in a surge of traffic and links, all of which signal to Google that the website is worth including in the SERPs.
Then, because the client has higher visibility in the SERPs, more people are exposed to the brand, which helps future PR campaigns resonate better, and so on. This the kind of positive feedback loop that we love to see.
Plus, it’s always a lot of fun to see your brand become famous!
B2B SEO Results
As long as there are people searching online, SEO campaigns aren’t ever really done. We started working with this client in August of 2017, and we’re still going strong.
However, over the course of a few years, our B2B SEO campaign has already yielded substantial results for them:
Traffic has increased by 151%
Total leads grew by 51%
Dramatic boost to visibility
More importantly, these aren’t just one-time numbers. By publishing content consistently across different channels, we’ve seen a nice upward trend over time.
This is a big deal, because it proves that we’ve created sustainable growth in traffic, leads, and paying customers for our client. The numbers continue to climb, and the client continues to see improvement where it counts: new users and higher revenue.
B2B SEO Wrap-Up
It’s always exciting to see how our efforts are making a real difference in our clients’ success!
At Common Ground, we’re always on the lookout for new companies we can help with SEO. Our agency has experience with a range of business clients, including SaaS companies, solicitors, accountants, and yes, even yacht sellers.
Let us manage your search marketing and discover how fast your business can grow. Give us a call today!