As a digital marketing agency, we spend a fair bit of time explaining search engine optimization (SEO), including what it actually looks like and best practices for implementation. Unless SEO is your job, it can be a confusing topic. In fact, many B2B marketers don’t always understand exactly how SEO works, what it looks like, or why it’s so valuable.
In this blog, we’d like to discuss the essentials of SEO – and explain it through the use of an analogy – a story.
Don’t Ignore or Undervalue SEO
The real value of SEO is that it makes it possible for potential prospects to find your firm online. There is so much competition with websites online, you need to take the extra steps to make sure your website is popping up for the right audience.
Think of your SEO efforts as writing a story and the internet in terms of a brick and mortar bookstore. Your website is your story (or book). To get people to see your book, leaf through its pages, and purchase it (or convert) – you need them to actually see it. If your book is on the bottom shelf in the wrong section, the right audience will likely never see it.
SEO is essentially the strategy for getting your book to appear in the right section to the person who is interested and looking for it.
SEO & Storytelling
On-page search engine optimization is like telling an interesting, coherent story. It starts with a good topic, has a compelling message, and includes a takeaway.
Keyword Research = Audience Research
For a story to be successful, you need to know your audience. What excites them? Engages them? Where do you need for them to see you?
The first step in search engine optimization is determining what your potential clients are searching for. Back to the bookstore analogy, if no one is looking for Delaware Recruiting Software Companies – it’s no use trying to get your book into that section. However, if your ideal client is searching for Recruiting Software Solutions – that’s where you want your book displayed.
A B2B Website = The Whole Story
Consider your B2B website to be the entire story of your firm in one package: your service offerings and your value proposition. It’s cover to cover, your brand.
So, how do you tell the story of your business and explain all the great things that potential and current clients should care about? You break it up into chapters.
Website Sitemap = Story Outline
Before you start writing the story of your company, you need to create an outline of ideas, which often become chapters. These chapters may cover things like features, benefits, services, company information, success stories, etc. These chapters form an outline of your story.
Keywords = Context and Structure
Once the keyword research has been completed and you understand what your audience is looking for – it’s time to use those keywords to create context and structure for your individual chapters. In the old days of B2B marketing and SEO, keyword stuffing was the best way to get ranked. There is a much different view of keywords these days. These days, keywords are used to give context and structure to your webpage, blog, social media post, etc.
For example, if “Recruiting Software” is your keyword focus for a particular page, it should discuss an aspect of “Recruiting Software.” Similarly, the keyword will determine the structure of the page by discussing the main topic of “Recruiting Software” with the sub-sections discussing more detailed aspects of “Recruiting Software.” Just like when you write a story, you want the page to flow logically with an overview, then the details, then a conclusion.
So that is the “Story” with SEO. SEO enables your firm to tell your story in a coherent, compelling way to the right audience AND enables your story to appear in search results to potential prospects.
Here is a quick recap:
Keyword research helps you reach potential clients.
- Your B2B website is your firm’s story.
- Outline your story with a website sitemap.
- Keywords give context and structure to your story.
- SEO enables you to tell a compelling story to your target audience.
Do you have questions about how SEO impacts your B2B marketing efforts?