Savvy B2B ecommerce sellers are well aware that good content can be the factor that separates their site from a competitor’s and helps complete a sale. But content is also a key factor in determining how prospective buyers even find a site, due to the process of search engine optimization (SEO).
Prospective buyers are actively searching for products and information, and an ecommerce seller with a content-driven SEO strategy can put itself front and center within search results. In some cases, building an SEO and user experience strategy can grow revenue by as much as 10 times in a relatively short period. That’s the kind of growth a B2B seller can enjoy when their site is easy to find and helps buyers as they move along the funnel.
Successful B2B content strategies aren’t simple set-it-and-forget-it plans. They require a deep dive into search data, the establishment of proven pillars, and continuous refinement to ensure that an enterprise is responding to its customers’ needs.
When building a B2B content strategy, it’s crucial to consider users throughout every stage of the purchase journey. B2B sellers should design their purchase funnel before designing a website or a content strategy.
B2B content strategies also need to be built around goals that are derived from actual data, and not subjective hunches. There are 6 billion searches a day in the United States. For a first step, B2B ecommerce sellers should respond to existing demand, understanding how their business may fit into what prospective customers are already actively searching for.
Thankfully, the data that drives this strategy is readily available. Sellers can get existing keyword performance data from a variety of sources, including Adwords, Google Search Console, their competitors, and keyword tools like Keyword Keg, TermExplorer, Ahrefs or SEMRush.
Using this data, sellers can develop their strategic goals.
These may include:
- Increasing organic traffic for “bottom of funnel” keywords—keywords that represent purchasing intent at the end of the buyer journey; where visitors are most likely to convert into customers;
- Increasing organic traffic for “top” and “mid-funnel” keywords—keywords that represent the initial awareness and consideration phases of the buyer journey;
- Increasing overall brand exposure through content creation, content promotion and high-quality link placements.
The last piece listed above is still incredibly important because SEO is still all about links. Links remain the No. 1 correlated ranking factor on Google.
Creating content to support SEO
Armed with keyword data, B2B sellers can begin to identify opportunities to create content throughout their conversion funnel. It’s important to plan the promotion first, as part of designing the content and campaign requirements, rather than publishing and praying that everything works.
This can be done leveraging third-party competitive intelligence tools that allow you to find pieces of content relevant to specific topics and audiences that have historically performed well, so you can use these as guides for designing the requirements of your own content campaigns.
With that in place, B2B ecommerce merchants can move on to different types of content:
- SEO-driven content resources: Content designed to rank in search engines and acquire traffic naturally by ranking highly for investigative keywords;
- Outreach-driven content resources: Content designed to convey useful information and create trust that acquires links when pitched to relevant, target publications and websites;
- Solution-focused content: This is blog posts and content that answers broader, topical searches; ones that your audience is likely already searching for;
- Trending topics in the news: Articles to support both outreaching to customers and also to be found when journalists are searching for references; this works best when identified early within press cycles as new topics begin to pick up initial steam and traction among major news outlets. Websites like Reddit.com can be gold mines for finding these topics.
Sellers also need to design content assets and campaigns to support link-building efforts. These may include sponsorships, scholarships, and guest posts. For example, companies can launch scholarship promotions where they give money each semester to students who produce the best piece of content tied to the company’s core business, whether that’s a video or an essay.
In the B2B ecommerce space, there are several companies, such as Etilize, GeekSpeak, Unilog and WordAgents, and, that help sellers develop the kind of content that gets noticed. Ecommerce sellers should be creative about how they build out content to help their SEO efforts, but in the end, data needs to guide all of these efforts.
Nick Eubanks is CEO of From The Future, a digital marketing agency. Connect with him on LinkedIn.Favorite