10 Ways Search Marketing for B2B is Different...and How to Maximize Results


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B2B marketers have unique challenges, ranging from a long sales cycle with multiple "touches" to being in a complex space with rapidly evolving language and keywords. Stacy Williams' presentation to B2BCamp Atlanta shows how B2B marketers can best leverage search engine marketing (both SEO and paid search).

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10 Ways Search Marketing for B2B is Different...and How to Maximize Results

  1. 1. 10 Ways Search Marketing for B2B is Different …and How to Maximize Results B2B Camp Atlanta January 19, 2013www.prominentplacement.com blog: www.searchadvisory.net @ProminentPlcmnt
  2. 2. Prominent Placement, Inc: Who We Are A full-service search engine marketing agency  Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  Paid Search Advertising (Pay-Per-Click)  Usability  AnalyticsAbout PPI About Stacy Williams• 12 years old • CEO & Founder of PPI• Atlanta-based; handle clients • Doing SEO since 1998 nationwide • Recently named “Search Engine• Primarily B2B clients Marketer of the Year ” by the• Focus on lead generation Technology Association of Georgia• Superior account service • Currently President of SEMPO• Winner of AMY Awards & “Best Atlanta (Search Engine Marketing Places to Work” Professional Organization)
  3. 3. #1: Leads Not Sales Long sales cycle; many steps in funnel  Focus on lead generation & data capture  Set long cookies in analytics  Do math on value of a conversion Value of a conversion = % of conversions that become customers X average lifetime value of a customer  Note that conversions may not equal leads – look at quality of conversions  Use “invisible fields” to track leads to sales
  4. 4. Example of “Invisible Fields” This data can be automatically imported into your CRM, allowing you to tie search marketing efforts directly to customers and revenue.
  5. 5. #2: Phone Call Conversions Complex sales mean phone calls, not just form fills  Phone call tracking dynamically changes the phone number on the website depending on how the visitor got there Type in URL directly & see this: Click on a Google organic listing & see this: Click on a Google paid listing & see this:
  6. 6. Why Including Calls Is Critical Case study: B2B client in niche construction market • After SEM efforts: handful of online forms • Call tracking showed this: 29% Online forms Phone calls 71% • Increased paid search CPCs ~25% • Doubled leads
  7. 7. #3: Multiple “Touches” Many website visits before conversion  Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics (under “Conversions”)
  8. 8. #4: Partners & Resellers SEO: • If you’re the mothership, you’ll likely outrank partners. Be glad they’re taking up room in the SERPs too (rather than competitors) • If you’re the reseller, optimize the heck out of your website; focus on your niche & added value Paid Search: avoid competition & bidding wars • If you’re the mothership, lay down rules • If you’re the reseller, focus on your niche & added value
  9. 9. #4: Partners & Resellers Paid Search: • Test messaging & share learnings with channel partners
  10. 10. #5: Limited Universe of Prospects No mass market here!  Hard to find them? Then make sure they can find you online  Easy to find them? Then use SEM in conjunction with direct outreach  Remarketing can keep your message in front of prospects
  11. 11. Example of Remarketing4.4% conversion rate
  12. 12. #6: Keywords Too Broad or Niche How are prospects searching? • Exact description may have low search volume: • open source digital asset management • open source collaboration software • open source enterprise content management • Descriptions with higher search volume may be too broad: • document sharing • document management • record storage • project collaboration
  13. 13. #6: Keywords Too Broad or Niche Paid Search Solutions: • Consider including both (& try to find the “in-betweeners”) • Watch low search volume keywords & pause them if quality scores slip • Use “modified broad match” on more general keywords with lots of negative keywords. Watch what converts • Also use descriptive ad copy & landing pages to turn away consumers • Consider including pricing in ads (fewer clicks, but more qualified) • Watch seasonality (“disaster recovery” during hurricane season) • Test on paid search before doing SEO
  14. 14. #6: Keywords Too Broad or Niche SEO Solutions: • Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) • Use similar words in close proximity to support key themes and cast a wider net • Condense complicated explanations into easily digested ones • Focus less on keywords and more on relevance – put yourself in your target audience’s shoes • If few people are searching for your solution, target keywords related to the problem too: • PCI compliance solutions • credit card machine hacked
  15. 15. #7: Keywords EvolveMany B2B spaces change rapidly• Keyword research is never done• Add emerging keywords to paid search campaigns to test• Creating a new category or new terminology? • No one will be searching for it at first • Use PR & other marketing to establish new terms • Don’t give up on old terms – paid search, optimize less important pages • Own the new terms once they gain traction: • ipad document management • mobile ecm
  16. 16. #8: Few Offers or PromotionsEncourage conversions• Traditional B2B “offers”: White papers, webinars, demos, free trials, newsletter signups, ebooks, case studies, request for quote• Be creative, be brief, test • Tools, “How To” Guides, One- Sheets specific to industry, Videos, Gartner Magic Quadrant• Easy, enticing, short forms
  17. 17. #9: Social Media is Low Priority Works hand-in-hand with search • SEO: • Optimize profiles & posts – take up more room in SERPs • Build in links pointing back to main site • Encourage votes, shares, likes, +1s • Paid Search: • Highly targeted to interests, industries, job titles
  18. 18. #10: Many Stakeholders Focused onQuarterly Results Provide the data that each stakeholder needs • Detailed reports with M-O-M & Y-O-Y for the number-crunchers • High level overview with analysis for the executive team Correlate sales with appropriate quarter • Know the length of the sales cycle • Account for the lag
  19. 19. Questions? More info about us:  prominentplacement.com  Blog & newsletters: searchadvisory.net  facebook.com/prominentplacement  linkedin.com/company/prominent-placement-inc.  youtube.com/user/ProminentPlacement  @ProminentPlcmnt Keep in touch with me: • linkedin.com/in/stacyswilliams • @StacyWms