Category: B2B Seo

INTEGRATED MARKETING: Content marketing – choosing the right format

Content marketing can take many forms. Are there any rules as to which format works best at the different stages of an often lengthy and complex B2B buying cycle? Lucy Fisher investigates

Content marketing is the latest way of describing something that’s actually been around for a long time. Some years ago, however, the ‘content’ this term referred to tended to take the form of whitepapers, seminars and presentations. These days, however, B2B marketers have a plethora of formats at their disposal – from podcasts and webinars through to blogs, video and flash animation.

“It doesn’t have to be all about whitepapers now and a lot of the time it shouldn’t be,” affirms Earnest’s managing director, Chris Wilson.

Alongside the emergence of new formats, what has changed is the context in which all this information exists: the purchase behaviour of prospects and customers; and the ability to use analytics to assess what is working. Generally speaking, individuals now research online, often using Google as a starting point, before they want to engage with a sales person.

“Due to the prominence of the Internet nowadays,” says Chris Bagnall, managing director, EMEA at DWA Media, “It’s about providing searchable, relevant information at the right point in the buying chain: right format, right time, right audience.”

And with all that noise within the fragmenting media landscape, content has to be better than it has ever been before. The web continues to expand, meaning there is fierce competition for your prospects’ limited time and attention. “It has to be less about you and more about the problems that buyers have,” says Velocity Partners’ MD, Stan Woods. “The quality bar is higher than ever.”

Choosing the right content

Experts say that there are some generalisations that apply to which content formats work best at various stages in the B2B purchase decision-making process, but to be wary of a blanket ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Rather than assuming certain content formats will be more effective at certain stages than others, do your research and take the time to really know who your audience is, the length of the buying cycle, and which job roles are involved. According to Wilson, “It’d be an easy world if you could say whitepapers go here, Twitter goes here, video goes here. It’s a more subtle interplay around delivery channel, format, and message. The content itself is more important than the format. It’s very contextual.”

Stephanie Tilton runs US-based content marketing specialist agency Ten Ton Marketing. Tilton suggests that, generally speaking, educational content, such as whitepapers or e-books, is more relevant at the early stages of the purchase decision, whereas specifics on products or services in the form of, say, brochures, case studies or data sheets, become more relevant later on in the process. But she warns that it can get complex in a B2B purchase context, where many individuals tend to be involved and sales cycles frequently take place over months, if not the course of a year or more. “There is a …

Adwords & Keyword Research Tool

Adwords Keyword Tool

Keyword research is fundamental to success in Digital Marketing. We can use it to help us in a range of activities from writing great content to buying exact match domain names. However many digital marketers can’t afford to pay for a keyword tool. The Google Adwords Keyword tool is a keyword research tool that is both free and easy to use.

The Adwords is what Google calls it’s Pay Per Click marketing platform. The “sponsored” you see at the top and side of search engine results pages are generated by Adwords as are many of the contextual ads you see on web pages.

Luckily for us to keyword research at the Adword tool generates is also valid from an SEO point of view. The tool provides a list of keywords related to your first search and provides information such as search volume and competition. This provides a good first step into doing preliminary keyword research.

It’s all about data

One of the main advantages that the Adwords keyword tool has over other keyword research tools is the access it has two actual searches within Google. Whereas many of the other tools used for keyword research rely on predictions based on much smaller search engines Google is the search engine of choice in many countries and as such has a huge amount of data about how we search for things. The question is of course, how much of this data will Google provide and for data does provide how much is obfuscated.

Features of the Adwords keyword tool

The Adwords keyword research tool has a mountain of functionality allowing you to cater your keyword research to your requirements.

Keyword match types

Ability to search on different keyword match types including broad match, exact match, and phrase match. Keyword match types are typically used within PPC campaigns to control which terms your ads will be shown for. For the purposes of SEO keyword research always set your match type to exact because we are looking for exactly what people have searched.

Include and exclude terms

This feature allows you to exclude terms from the phrases that are returned to you. For example, you are doing keyword research on “accounting software” but you want to remove the word “free”. All you need to do is add the word free to your excluded terms list.

If you want to be highly targeted in your keyword research and only include phrases with particular terms then there is also an “include terms” tool. This will only return times where the target keyword is included within the phrase. In our accounts example, we only want to return terms that include the phrase “online”. So all we need to do is add the word online city include terms box.

Search volumes

The Google Adwords keyword research tool provides information on search volumes NOT actual traffic. Your site will not receive all the traffic on a search and at best you are looking at a 40% …

Why is an inbound approach to SEO so important?

Rules of SEO

The rules of SEO have changed so much over the last 12 months. Thanks mostly to the big Google Penguin and Panda updates last year, what was once tried and tested SEO methods are now no longer working. In fact, a quick Google search of “Is SEO dead?” comes up with pages of articles on the subject. But, is this really true?

There’s been a very interesting video currently doing the rounds, in which Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, outlines the most frequent SEO mistakes that businesses are currently making (Click here to see the video). While the points themselves are useful and definitely worth noting, what is more, interesting is the focus Cutts makes on producing compelling content and tailoring the words on your website to what people are searching. SEO, it seems, all comes down to focusing on people and not trying to please the search engines

But, surely, focusing on people makes sense. Why isn’t everyone already doing this?

You would think that. But, businesses want a quick answer when they are trailing in the search engine rankings. Promises of getting to page one on Google are appealing when you are languishing out of the top 100. And, while I’m certainly not saying there are a lot of technical aspects to SEO, it is increasingly about the content you produce and how this content gets shared.

Make your website search inquiry friendly

Instead of writing in a way to please Google crawlers, make your content Google user-friendly.

Think about it, when you go to Google, looking for the length of the Nile, do you search “length Nile”? Or are you, in fact, more likely to search “How long is the Nile?”. People often use questions when using search engines, so your website content should reflect this. If your content directly answers the search inquiry, then you are more likely to rank well because it is useful and relevant.

Use content not link building to encourage people to visit your website

Building links and having lots of other website point directly at you seems to make sense as an SEO tactic. But, when you delve deeper, it actually is very limiting. First of all, it’s putting search engines above people, which is never a good move if you want to engage with prospects and convert them into paying customers. Second, it’s becoming less effective, with many blogs and website making external links “no-follow” for SEO purposes. Encouraging people to visit your website by producing compelling content is a more useful way for you to increase your traffic. When these people arrive at your site, they will find content that answers their problems, questions, and frustrations. Link building is a short-sighted, tunnel-vision approach that ignores people for the sake of search engines. Whereas focusing on great content will establish your website as the go-to place in your industry and ensure your businesses is seen as a knowledgeable resource.

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SEO – Legal Marketing

SEO

According to the AmericanBar.org, there are more than 1.2 million licensed lawyers in the United States (as of 2010), and more than 47,000 law firms (as of 2000). Of these individuals, many have websites however industry research indicates the majority of these sites are not optimized for their firms’ specific keyword focus. For example, law firms specializing in contract law need to focus on relevant keyword search queries for such services. Given the multiple facets of law and legal practice, it is essential that firms target their appropriate audience with well-targeted content.

Legal Marketing provides a multitude of search engine optimization services for our law and legal clients whether they are focused on a local, regional or national scale. Below are the multiple facets of our SEO offerings:

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

Leveraging our client’s visibility on a national level with specific keyword focus on their core services is the center of our SEO services. One of the most common problems we encounter is that law practices are ranking and building content toward too broad of services and not pinpointing or focusing on their firm’s specialization. Our SEO services target these rich keywords and direct traffic to our client’s site.

LOCAL SEARCH

Some of our clients prefer to practice at the local and/or regional level. For these clients, local search and SEO is a major benefit to them. With local SEO, Legal Marketing builds strategic campaigns that aim to promote the visibility of our clients to a geographically defined target audience. This is more competitive however also provides extremely effective results. Local SEO services are also optimized to appear in mobile search and on map interfaces including Apple and Google maps, respectively.

INTEGRATED PUBLIC RELATIONS

Clients want to work with and be represented by lawyers that are respected experts in their appropriate area of emphasis. With our Integrated Public Relations (IPR) services, Legal Marketing’s internal PR division designs targeted PR campaigns that secure media engagements and media visibility at the local, regional and/or national levels. Legal Marketing has built and solidified strong relationships with some of the most well-known and respected media outlets in the world. With these relationships, we are able to promote our clients and represent them in the media for maximum visibility and awareness on the largest stages.

VIDEO SEO

Video has played a major role in the evolution of online search due to its quality of content and the development of such video-on-demand online services. Legal Marketing employs an internal video production team that has a studio in-house and is also able to travel to meet with clients to provide their desired video services. Whether this involves filming and editing a television and media commercial, recording multimedia for the website or YouTube, or even recording client testimonials, our Video SEO services help our clients gain maximum visibility through video optimization. Shooting video is one thing, knowing how to optimize the video is another. The combination of our video production and SEO divisions combine to …

Learn About B2B Marketing

B2B marketing

In this strained economy, all the businesses are struggling with their budget and funds. In their struggle, they often try to cut down their expenses as much as possible. The first area that gets the axe is marketing. They try to reduce their B2B marketing budget or business to business marketing budget. However, it should be the opposite; when the economy is slowing down the buying capacity of both businesses and individual customers comes down drastically. This results in the overall reduction of sales and the number of prospective customers in every niche industry. This, in turn, increases the competition level. If you do not market yourself well, it is very easy to get lost in the competition that is soaring high. Therefore, rather than cutting down your B2B marketing budget, you must look at cost-effective B2B marketing solutions.

B2B Marketing is Different from B2C Marketing

There are a lot of differences between B2B and B2C marketing strategies. You cannot rely on your B2C marketing strategies for your success in B2B marketing. Both of them operate at different levels and therefore, you need strategies that are specific to B2B approach. Whether it is B2B or B2C, it involves the buying and selling of merchandise, but the approach you take to reach out to your target audience will be very different. When you are targeting another business, you are looking at a higher sales volume. On the other hand, when you are trying to market your products to end users directly, you cannot expect such high sales volumes with each sale.

The Changing Face of B2B Marketing

With the latest technologies and the internet tools, B2B marketing is continuously evolving. If you want to effectively market yourself, you need to make sure that you are making use of all the latest tools and strategies in your B2B marketing efforts. You should know where to find your leads. You cannot shy away from the latest sources; many people try to limit their B2B marketing efforts to the traditional channels but if you too are going to take the same avenue, then you will be doing it at your own peril. With Web 2.0 technologies, reaching your target audience and generating leads has moved a long way from business dinners. Every modern entrepreneur is required to acquaint themselves with the latest online lead generation strategies.

Business Networking is Crucial for B2B Marketing

One of the crucial aspects of B2B marketing is business networking. Many important deals transpire through business networking. It can happen over a cup of coffee or in an international seminar or through an air travel acquaintance. What is important is that you should keep your eyes and ears open. You should be ready to take advantage of every little opportunity that you get without any hesitation. You need to be ten times more aggressive when compared to B2C marketing.

Besides the traditional networking approaches today, there are many online networking platforms and community websites. You must make use …

How To Purchase B2B Data

Buying in B2B

For what should be a relatively straightforward part of the marketing process, buying in B2B data can be an absolute minefield. So to help you decide which of the many available sources will best suit your needs, D&B has highlighted the five fundamental areas you need to focus on to ensure the data you purchase makes a measurable difference to the ROI of your campaigns.

With finances under ever-increasing pressure, it’s important to squeeze every last drop out of your resources. So how can you improve your data purchasing, and transform it – from what can sometimes seem like a lottery – into a strategic pillar of your campaign ROI?

There are five key areas you need to focus on when considering potential sources for data purchase. By focusing on these areas, you should get a much better grasp of the strengths and weaknesses of a particular dataset and the kind of results you can expect to achieve from it – rather than waiting for the results of your campaign analysis to discover whether it did or didn’t meet your objectives.

1. Data quality

It probably won’t come as a surprise that data quality rather than quantity should be number one on your checklist, but it can still be easy to forget this – especially if someone’s just phoned you with an ‘unrepeatable offer’ that sounds too good to resist. Data quality is far more important than the quantity of data on offer, as it enables more accurate targeting than blanket marketing, and means that even small, high-quality databases are well worth considering – especially if they enable you to access decision makers that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach.

So how do you judge the quality of a particular dataset? Data quality can be broken down into key attributes including its age, accuracy, cleanliness, and completeness:

• The age of data can have many different aspects to it. So, for example, when a piece of data is updated, it’s important to know how soon afterward it will be made available for you to purchase, and whether this is in real time or periodic.

• Another way of looking at this is the average age of data in a file. As an approximate benchmark, an average age of six months or less is the minimum you should expect from your data.

• Even if you know when data was last updated, this too is open to interpretation.

– Each business in a dataset will typically have a record assigned to it, made up of elements including its address, postcode, telephone number etc. But are updates applied to individual records, the elements that go to make these up, or both?

– If a data provider defines an ‘update’ as calling a business’s telephone number to check this hasn’t changed, when was the call made and what other questions did they ask? If the business has moved while keeping the same telephone number and this isn’t covered during …