A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to host a webinar about B2B SEO lead generation with Moz.
During this webinar, I reviewed what makes SEO for B2B different, how to set up realistic B2B SEO goals, how to conduct keyword research for B2B businesses and create B2B-specific content, and finally, how to identify A/B testing opportunities. The webinar recording is available at the bottom of this article.
There were many great questions and I was only able to address a few of them, so I wanted to make sure to respond to the remaining ones.
Q: Are there any specific keyword research tools you would recommend for B2B companies?
A: Yes, the Moz keyword research tool is great and Google Search Console is a must! If you don’t have Google Search Console installed and verified I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s very easy to verify Search Console if you have Google Tag Manager, no need to involve developers anymore.
Q: With blogs being at the top of the funnel, do you recommend most of the CTAs on those posts link to mid-level funnel vs bottom-funnel?
A: Yes mid-funnel goals on blog posts often work best.
Q: When you suggest that the blog be on the main domain rather than the subdomain, does that you mean that you should always have your blog on the landing page?
A: Yes I would recommend for the blog to always be on your main domain’s landing page, ideally on www.domain.com/blog, and all have blog posts follow the www.domain.com/blog/blog-article URL structure.
Q: Can you run an analysis on the competitor’s website?
A: Most definitely! You can’t use Google Analytics and Google Search Console on competitors’ websites but you can analyze their keywords with Moz’s keyword research tool, audit their technical issues to understand how you compare to them, evaluate their pages and their off-site profile and of course spend some time reading their sites to identify any content gaps.
Q: If consumers and businesses are searching under very similar terms, what’s your process for avoiding consumer business-driven traffic while not excluding business-driven content.
A: There’s no way to entirely avoid consumer business-driven traffic, especially for top-of-the-funnel keywords. My advice is to make sure that top-of-the-funnel terms and pages (for example: “what is a data lake”) are linked to mid to bottom-of-the-funnel pages so business driven traffic will remain interested and visit the rest of your website and come back for more information.
Q: How do you present your KW strategy/SEO strategy to your clients? I’m never sure what is info overload and what needs to be shared and how.
A: That’s a great question and I have definitely run into info overload before. I have found that the best strategy for me is the following:
- Show clients the list of categories instead of the full list of keywords
- Use pivot tables to create graphs that show relevant information at the category level such as total search volume per category, average keyword difficulty per category, average ranking per category
- Show only the list of keywords you have selected as target keywords (<50) instead of the full list of keywords
Q: How do you have new users see one page vs existing clients seeing another?
A: Set up a Personalization test in Google Optimize. Click on “Audience targeting” and select “Behavior”. There you can specify if you want to target users who are visiting for the first time or haven’t visited the website in X number of days.
Q: Do I have to work on SEO constantly?
A: SEO is a long-term game and I would recommend for you to work on optimizing pages, fixing technical errors, and identifying new keyword opportunities on a weekly basis.
Q: When we are planning a website, how do we plan the site structure with keeping KW in mind?
A: Once you have identified your target keywords (<50 so you’re not overwhelmed and avoid cannibalization), think about the intent and audience for each keyword. Group them by intent and ideal target pages: which ones will be used for solution pages, product pages, the homepage, use case pages? The majority of your short-tail, top-of-the-funnel keywords should be mapped to these pages, which should be accessible via the top navigation, as a drop-down menu. The longer-tail, bottom-of-the-funnel keywords should be used for blog posts/resources, so they don’t need to be visible in the top or bottom nav. Make sure you include a link to the blog and to the resource center in the top navigation though!
Q: How do you recommend we start to learn about “proper” keyword research. What are the best ways to conduct keyword besides Pinterest & Google?
A: Moz has a great keyword research learning center, I would recommend reading through these resources and practice as much as possible. Read through your competitors’ website and identify content gaps and from there do smaller keyword research on one specific topic. The more you practice the more refined your process will be and you will find ways to efficiently sort and present keywords.
Q: If a part of my audience uses “mashed potatoes” and the second one uses puree, how do I reflect it in my SEO?
A: In this specific case, because mashed potatoes and puree are different enough, I would optimize or create separate pages for each. If you were to target “puree” and “vegetable puree” I would advise to keep them on the same page and include content such as “what is the difference between puree and vegetable puree” or “puree vs vegetable puree” or “benefits of puree vs vegetable puree”. In any case, make sure you look at the SERP before creating content so you can align your new content with competitors!
Q: What is the best way to deal with keywords with a high number of impressions with low clicks, is it to rank it or create content from it?
A: If you have existing content that matches those keywords, start by updating the metadata. Give it a few weeks to see if there is any positive movements. If not, optimize the on-page content with keyword addition, alt tags, internal links, and content addition if necessary. If you don’t have existing content for these keywords, consider creating new content. Make sure you review the SERP to see what type of content is currently ranking for these keywords.
Q: Is link building more or less important in B2B SEO vs B2C?
A: I would say less important because B2B content is often very technical and not fit for traditional link building tactics such as guest blog posts. If you can only create a few pieces of content I would recommend keeping them on your own website.
Q: What’s your best tactic/idea for B2B eCommerce with a team of only 1-2 people?
A: I would focus on quick wins such as:
- Addressing high priority technical errors: 404s, 302s, missing meta descriptions, missing H1s
- H1 optimization for the homepage, product pages, solutions pages, high traffic blog post and resources pages
- Metadata optimization for the high priority pages mentioned above and any page with high impressions and low clicks
- Writing a new blog post once a month
Q: Can you explain what you do with the categories in KW research?
A: I use the categories in several different ways:
- Identify which keyword theme is the most valuable by looking at the search volume and difficulty for the whole category
- Make it easier for the wider team to review the keyword by showing them the list of keyword categories/themes and asking them to point out any gaps in the categories
- Facilitate reporting: instead of showing progress for each keyword I show the improvements in rankings at the category level
Q: For a goal of increasing organic traffic by 12% by the end of the year or after 6mos for example, what benchmark or baseline do you use? Is it from 2 years back or the current month to be able to compute the 12% goal?
A: I use the average organic traffic for the past 2 years. Let’s say I want to set up a traffic goal for Q3 and Q4, I will look at the average YoY traffic increase for Q3 and Q4 in 2019 and 2020 and from there decide on a stretch, but attainable goal.
Q: I’d love Joyce’s opinion if there’s a ‘best practice’ SEO tactic that applies less to B2B than people think. Is there something we are putting on a pedestal, or over-emphasize, that you haven’t seen to be as effective?
A: I think link building is a strategy that doesn’t work as well for B2B because the B2B content is so technical that it makes guest blog posting difficult. The majority of the time websites that allow guest blog posts have low domain authority, so the links we gain from them are not as valuable. If you can only create a few pieces on content every month I would recommend keeping them on your own website.
Q: What do you think of Share of Voice as a KPI?
A: I think it’s a great way to report on SEO success, Obility uses Share of Voice in their reports and it makes it easier to understand how much progress is possible and how well our clients are doing vs. competitors.
Q: How do you prioritize which keywords to focus on first? What metric/s do you consider first?
A: Here are the metrics I focus on while doing keyword research:
- Search volume: keywords with low search volume (10 – 50 searches/month) are valuable, but I don’t spend too much time on keywords with 0 searches per month
- Keyword difficulty: I usually don’t target keywords with a difficult higher than 80
- Impressions: similarly to search volume, I don’t spend to much time on keywords with low impressions (<100)
If you’re using Search Console you might end up with a list of thousands of keywords so in order to make it more manageable I do the following:
- Filter out branded keywords, including misspellings and product names
- Filter out keywords with 0 impressions
- Filter out keywords with very low position (anything over position 50 gets filtered out)
- Paste the remaining keywords in Moz keyword explorer too and filter out keywords with 0 search volume or difficulty over 75-80
Q: Could you speak more about the best practices to be in the Answer Box?
A: Here are some Answer Box best practices:
- Pick your topic and do keyword research
- Do a SERP analysis to identify keywords that don’t currently return an Answer Box or with competitors in the Answer Box that will be easy to take over
- Ideally, target keywords as questions such as “what is a CRM”
- Create a new page or optimize a page for the keyword you have identified keeping in mind the following:
- Make the H1 the question users would be looking for ‘ “What is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management?”
- Answer the question first thing on the page and limit your answer to 100 words
- Make sure your answer is correct and concise
- Consider numbered list if they make sense for your keywords (for example top tips for local SEO)
- Make sure the rest of the page is optimized and has at least 800 words. Google wants to display the best content first so follow all SEO best practices for internal links, image optimization, headers, keyword density, etc.
Q: Which tool do you recommend for A/B Testing? Thanks!
A: Google Optimize is a great tool, it’s easy to use and it’s free!
Q: How do you do your SERP research.
A: For SERP research I follow this process:
- Create a Google sheet with a section for Featured Answer, list of top 10 results for web, People also ask, Google suggestions and top images
- Look through my different keyword variation and create a copy for the sheet mentioned above for each keyword
- For each keyword, make a note of which websites rank in the Featured Answer, who are the top results and what type of content they use, keywords in the People Also Ask/Google Suggestions I’m missing from my keyword list and which websites rank first in the top images
- Highlight opportunities such as keywords without a Featured Answer, competitors missing from the top 10 in web or images or important keywords I collected from the People Also Ask (tip: Also Asked allows you to download People Also Ask questions for any keyword!)
Q: What tool do you use to create those visual heatmaps? What is a good heat map generator?
A: Crazy Egg, Inspectlet, and HotJar are all great heatmap tools!
You can watch the webinar here and if you have more questions about lead generation for B2B SEO please feel free to contact us!