Keywords play an essential part in online lead generation and this is one of the first hurdles to overcome before you begin your inbound marketing marathon.
The issue is… are your keywords inbound enough? Are they buyer focused? Did you have your buyers problems in mind when you picked them? Or were you thinking about your product instead?
Using the wrong keywords has a direct effect on traffic, lead quality and sales. If you are targeting the wrong keywords, you will be getting the wrong traffic. Similarly, if you aren’t targeting an area (which you should be), you are missing out on a good opportunity to gain traffic and sales.
Here’s what you need to think about to ensure your keyword strategy is driven by your buyers:
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User search behavior has changed
Expectation of search engines have increased with their ever developing sophistication. I can now type in “How long does it take to get from France to England on a boat?” and I expect Google to provide me with the answer. In fact…. I can ACTUALLY type “hw long dees it tae to get from franc to englan d on a boat” and it will correctly guess what I meant to type and STILL provide me with relevant answers.
Users no longer type simple keywords that yield simple results. Users now enter their specific search queries, which clearly define their intent, with the aim of accessing richer, more useful results. This directly affects B2B marketers’ inbound content marketing strategy. More so than ever, marketers need to produce content that specifically addresses the queries of their prospects.
B2B marketers must now brainstorm:
Keywords by Buyer Stage
The longer queries users are entering give away more information about what it is they want. This is every marketer’s dream! For example, if a user enters a product number, it is safe to assume that they are at the end of their purchase cycle. Highly targeted keywords are great for converting, as they are further along the purchase process. This therefore allows you to create blogs, landing pages and other content that is centered on your prospect’s intention.
Keywords by Buyer Problem
Similarly, if the user is searching an issue they are having, such as ‘I can’t find my email!” they clearly aren’t in the market to buy something. However, for an email archiving vendor, this is still a great opportunity to provide educational advice and generate brand awareness.
In brainstorming these types of keywords, don’t forget industry-specific terminology that your buyers may be using. For example, to other marketers, g2m’s offer is well-known as “content marketing” or “inbound marketing”, but to people who aren’t in the know (aka prospects), it will be more generic, like “online marketing”, and “online lead generation”.
Keywords by Buyer Persona
Another essential aspect of developing your keyword strategy is from the development of buyer personas. Buyer personas help you create specific content that addresses all of your different target personas. This should also translate into your keyword strategy.
Although each persona you target may have a very similar or even the same problem, with the same solution, (your product), these issues manifest themselves in different ways for each persona. For example, a salesman who may not be hitting his sales targets will be approaching this issues in a completely different way to a sales manager. This will therefore make their search queries different.
Other SEO strategies to consider
Google is aware of over-optimised web pages, and has developed a response to battle this. Google now looks for other relevant keywords to be able to decipher what the page is about in order to match search results with user intent.
For example, words like ‘near to’ and ‘hours’ on the same page that includes ‘restaurant’ indicates to Google that this page provides details of how to get to a restaurant and when it is open. This is therefore matched with the user intent looking for a restaurant nearby on their mobile.
In a B2B setting, it is even more important as the cycle is longer and requires more research. Words such as ‘top tips’ and ‘how to’ along side keywords such as ‘generate leads’ indicates to Google that this page would be suitable or an informational search.
So how can you respond?
- Informational searches can be satisfied through blogging
- Comparison of services searches can be satisfied through blogging and customer reviews
- Product-based searches can be satisfied using product pages
With B2B marketing there are various ways of segmenting your content, keywords and marketing messaging. Ensuring each aspect incorporates an attempt to put yourselves in the shoes of your buyers is essential if you are looking to maximise your sales and leads.