What Every B2B Marketing Agency Needs to Know About SEO in 2016
To digital marketers, SEO can seem like a moving target. As search engine algorithms evolve and brands scramble to optimize pages to account for user intent, it might seem risky – if not daring – to make predictions about what lies ahead in the uncertain, mercurial world of SEO.
Thankfully, looking ahead is what we like to do around here! And when it comes to B2B SEO, we’ve managed to identify some key trends that every agency should keep in mind as 2015 winds down.
Get creative about content
We get it. You already know SEO isn’t just about keywords anymore. You know that content has to be bold, brilliant, and beneficial if you want people to find it on the Web. The thing is, competing B2B brands know that, too – and they’re already creating great content that appears in search results.
In 2016, the qualify of your content will be more important than ever. That’s why B2B brands have got to get more creative about the kind of content they produce and publish. You’ve got to dig deep, discover buyers’ burning questions, and craft content that helps them solve problems. Here are some highly effective (and highly underutilized) ways to do just that:
- Scour conference agendas: Look at the topics industry thought leaders discuss at conferences. Watch videos of their talks, study the SlideShare presentations, and create content that lends a new, valuable perspective to the issue.
- Support content: What kinds of questions do you already answer in your support documentation? These are the questions your customers ask all the time. People researching your solution will be asking them as well.
- Live chat: If you use a chat feature on your site, start mining the transcripts for frequently asked questions. You can use your findings to inspire content ideas.
Most brands still aren’t using these tactics to generate content topics. By incorporating them into your strategy, you can gain an edge that brings more traffic to your website.
Great UX is great marketing
One of the biggest SEO changes we encountered in 2015 was the growing emphasis on user experience (UX), and we expect this trend to continue into 2016.
When it comes to SEO, B2B marketing agencies should avoid focusing only on what they want buyers to know about their clients. Instead, they should write articles, create videos, and share presentations that help B2B buyers answer questions or solve problems. That’s what provides a positive experience, and it’s the kind of content Google likes to display in the search results.
Consider a technology company that used to rank for a competitive keyword related to education software. Several months ago, they lost the top spot to a brand whose blog post addresses the question most users are trying to answer when they search for that keyword. In other words, Google now displays a result that more effectively addresses user intent.
How will the tech company regain its spot? In 2016, just creating “great content” won’t cut it anymore. The brand needs to create content that is ten times as great as whatever occupies the top spot in the search results. It’s got to do an even better job of answering the same question or else address the question in a unique, insightful way.
Long story short: a positive experience for users will deliver positive marketing results for your brand.
If great UX is great marketing, and designing for mobile is great UX…
Earlier this year, Google announced that websites that weren’t optimized for mobile would be less likely to occupy a top spot in the search results. Unfortunately, many B2B brands still rely on legacy designs that don’t respond to smaller screens – even though over 60% of all Web traffic now comes from mobile devices!
As 2016 approaches, B2B marketing agencies must encourage clients to prioritize mobile optimization. Websites that display seamlessly across all devices offer a better experience for users, which ties into the emphasis on UX affecting search results.
The buzz around mobile-optimized sites isn’t just theoretical. Multiple studies demonstrate how sites that provide a less-than-ideal mobile experience are now extremely unlikely to appear in Page One results for competitive searches. Mobile matters for SEO, and it’s time for B2B brands to take note.
Mobile-responsive websites, optimal user experiences, valuable content – at KEO Marketing, we create search engine optimization strategies that account for all of these critical ranking factors. SEO might be a moving target, but staying on top of the latest developments is essential for keeping B2B brands competitive in 2016 and beyond.
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With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.