10 Things I've Learned From Running A B2B SEO Agency

10 Things I've Learned From Running A B2B SEO Agency

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from being in the B2B SEO space is that having a comprehensive organic search strategy is one of the most important building blocks of a successful digital marketing campaign. ‍For a little more context, Alo Media Group is a B2B SEO Agency that provides our clients with the best SEO results without tying them down to 6-12 contracts. I started my agency journey in October of 2020, and in the subsequent months and years, I have learned so much about SEO and how it relates to B2B digital marketing strategies. ‍Up for a friendly wager? : I bet that taught you something about SEO from this article. ‍If I stand correct, let’s talk, my team can probably help. But if I’m wrong - congratulations on being a better SEO guru than me. So here’s a high five, and let’s connect on LinkedIn and bounce SEO ideas off each other! 

A common thing whenever I talk with companies' CEOs, CMO, and Marketing Directors is that SEO = a good website infrastructure. This is like buying a pair of basketball shoes, setting up a hoop in your front yard, and saying, “I can now play in the NBA, and I’m better than LeBron James.” Yes, having a basketball hoop and sneakers are essential parts of being in the NBA; however, that’s only two pieces to an extensive puzzle board. 

1. Page Speed Matters

If you have a B2B website with a high bounce rate, you’re doing something wrong, and Google penalizes you for this. That makes sense, right? 

The entire point of B2B digital marketing is to create solutions for complex problems that can’t be brought with one click. Page Speed is vital to this solution as it impacts your website visitors' experience. A fast website improves your SEO as Google sees that you provide expertise and a good user experience for searchers, which increases your site authority. 

2. Your Sitemap Matters

Whenever we work with new clients, we emphasize that this is the most impactful part of their SEO campaign—the difference between being the first result in Google and not showing up for industry-related keywords. 

In B2B marketing, we want to make it as easy as possible for search engines and searchers to see that you are the expert in your industry. A sitemap lets the bots know that you have a library of content and that you are an authority in your industry. 

It also brings all of your pages one step away from your homepage, giving them an essential boost in the eyes of search engines. 

3. Backlinks Are Not The Most Important Part of SEO

B2C and, more specifically, eCommerce marketers rely on a backlink-reliant strategy because the focus is direct consumers to an immediate purchase. So, endorsements from reliable sources like review sites and relevant thought leaders help boost organic traffic. Still, a key difference is that there are multiple touchpoints in the B2B buyer’s journey, and buyers do more research before completing a purchase. 

As a B2B marketer, relying on backlinks only for SEO is like saying, “I brought cool shorts to match sneakers, so I look more like a pro at the rec center.”

There is a dark side to backlinking. Let me paint a picture for you… This is an “imaginary” company being punished by Google because their SEO approach was to build as many backlinks as humanly possible. Then they decided to update their algorithm to stop companies from gaining traction. 

How can you be considered a reliable authority on complex business issues when unknown, low-authority websites only endorse you? 

Google isn’t an idiot, and neither are B2B executives; they’ll see right through this. 

So back to this “imaginary” company, their CMO woke up one day, and poof! No more inbound leads, no more organic web visitors - radio silence, Even worse, their competitors are now lapping them in the SERPs and are viewed as the new subject matter experts. It will take years to refrain from the traffic and online reputation that the company just lost. 

Moral of the story: check your sources and take extreme caution when building and accepting backlinks. 

4. Content, Content, Content 

This is where you’re in the gym, preparing for your journey to the big leagues. You’re grinding away, day in and day out, to get your combine invite. Content is how you communicate to Google and your target audience that you’re an authority on a subject. 

What surprises people about content is how much content they should publish, what kind of content, and how consistent they need to be when writing new content to dominate their competitors. 

Thought leadership, revenue-focused content, customer stories, and product videos are all important and relative to the different stages your ICP is in their buyer’s journey. 

If you’re not booking enough demos, you might not be attracting the right people to your website, or your landing pages are not fully optimized for conversions. 

Missing website visitors enough through you’re crushing it content-wise? Unfortunately, your content may not be optimized for performance and search engines. There are so many different levers that can be pulled to improve the performance of your content; it all just depends on where you are currently facing bottlenecks. 

We recommend that our clients post five long-form content weekly to dominate their competitors truly. It’s like training to go to the NBA, it takes a great deal of commitment and perseverance, but in the end, you’ll be glad you put in the work. 

5. You Need Revenue-Focused Content

Would you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and disregard the bread? Probably not, since you're creating a mess and not building a solid foundation. To achieve long-term success with SEO, you need to invest in both - Thought Leadership and Revenue-Focused content. 

Revenue-Focused content is curated on keyword-rich content throughout various landing pages optimized for conversions. These are called demand pages since the purpose of these pages is to capture demand generated from search engines. Our proven method attracts buyers and converts these demand pages into leads and customers. 

6. Keyword Density is a Must

Ahrefs studied 1 billion landing pages and found that 91% of them had ZERO traffic coming from Google. This is because many pages lack keyword density. 

A healthy keyword density hovers around 2-3%; anything below this means you’re not setting yourself up as the subject matter expert. Too much of the same keyword and Google will flag your website for trying to game the algorithm.

Additionally, it's virtually impossible to get the desired results by repeatedly using the exact keywords; a content marketing strategy should contain your target keyword and all related keywords. This is how the search engines know what your page is talking about. 

7. Different Keyword Types of Different Impacts

If I had a dollar for every time a company has told me that they want to “own their category,” Jeff Bezos wouldn’t have enough money to compete with me. So until then, I’m in Texas, so let’s figure out why trying to “own a category” is a recipe for disaster: 

  1. All of your competitors want to dominate the search engines as well. It will take a lot of hard work and time to get there. 
  2. Ranking for a category term (conversational intelligence) does not always result in leads. MBA students do a lot of research about conversational intelligence; however, they are broke and most likely aren’t your target audience. 

Medium and long tail keywords typically have lower search volumes, while short tail keywords generally have a high search volume. We’ve seen the highest ROI for our clients for long tail keywords. This is because they have a low search volume; you can target a specific audience resulting in higher buyer intent and generating better-qualified leads. This brings me to the next point: 

8. Search Intent Must be Considered

The best example of low intent searches that a lot of the SaaS is when a company ranks high for “________ template” or “______ guide.” I’ve seen Sales SaaS receive MQLs from funeral homes, pharmacies, and doctor offices; they were all searching for a pipeline management guide to fix the literal pipes in their homes. This is irrelevant to the pipeline management software being sold and makes a highly unproductive call. 

The point here is that anyone in the world can be a searcher, but with B2B marketing, you want executives who are in control of the marketing budget to be the ones finding you in the search engines. 

So how do we get the attention of these executives? 

The key is to identify what business execs are googling for when they are in software-shopping-more and meeting them on the first page of Google. 

By searching for this long tail keyword, this searcher is indicating that they are mainly looking to solve the disorganization of their sales pipeline. This searcher qualifies themselves as your ICP by adding “tech sales” to their search. With GeekFlare being the number organic results, the sales software on their list will receive the most qualified leads. 

9. Leverage Keyword Clusters & Topics

Everyone and their mom know that keyword research is the key to every SEO campaign. But did you know that for every keyword you want to rank for, you should utilize 15 additional keywords in your content? 

Google realizes that anybody can keyword “SEO Strategy” 150 times and not be an SEO subject matter expert! Therefore, to stand out as an expert to Google, you also need to write about “B2B SEO Strategies,” “SEO Strategies in Digital Marketing,” and “SEO Content Strategies.” 

Our cluster-building strategy is to take one overarching keyword and find all of the keywords related to form a cluster. Then, to create the most engaging content, we use at least 15 keywords to signal to Google that we understand the topic and how it relates to the other things your ideal buyer is searching for. 

10. Google is All You Need

A common question that we get asked in our discovery calls is, “Why should we only focus on Google?” Our usual response is when’s the last time they used a search engine besides Google to find something, and which search engine do most of their buyers use? 

It’s funny because people think their customers are using Bing to find them and don’t want to “lose” traffic by focusing only on their Google rankings. If you genuinely believe that Google doesn’t control the majority of search traffic, the good news is that all major search engines base their algorithms on Google. So by investing your time and resources into ranking organically on Google, you’re also investing in the alternative search engines, a true win-win. 

So did I win our bet? Did I teach you anything new? If you’ve made it to this point, I hope you took something away from this article. If you’re thinking, “Shit, I need someone to help me craft and execute a winning SEO Strategy.” You’re in the right place! Connect with our team today, or feel free to message me on LinkedIn!

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