Response to Business.com B2B Search Marketing Survey

I just responded to a B2B Search Marketing Survey from Business.com and thought I’d share two of the responses I submitted (just in case they don’t make their way into the white paper that is going to be distributed to Business.com clients, prospects and B2B advertisers starting the last week of October):

Question:
What Advice Would You Give to B2B Pay Per Click Advertisers to Maximize Their ROI?

Answer:
In the end it all comes down to the landing page experience. While keyword selection, adding tail keyword terms, developing ad copy that resonates (and testing that ad copy over and over), and bidding strategies are all important, it is the experience that a user has on the first page a user sees that has the highest impact.

Best practices for landing pages suggest that you want a 1-page experience, with navigation stripped out. That said, that is not always the best strategy for a B2B firm. Each company will have a unique situation.

Take steps with testing landing pages:

1.) Take a current page on the site and add a contact form (limited fields) directly on that page in the right margin

2.) Slim down the copy on the page, reducing much of the text to bullets

3.) Add informative images to the page such as screenshots of software interfaces or equipment in its working environment

4.) Add some kind of rich media to the landing page such as a demo or video (make sure it is not something that just starts to run on its own – make it user-controlled)

5.) Pull out all navigation except for the “About” section of the company

6.) Pull out all navigation

If some of these steps are currently too resource-intensive, then move on to the next step. Also consider using Google’s Website Optimizer tool to create multivariate testing scenarios.

Question:
What Advice Would You Give to B2B Companies to Maximize Their ROI From Search Engine Optimization?

Answer:
Add VALUABLE content to the site, create and manage your own corporate blog, and reach out to relevant social communities.

By “valuable” content, we mean adding tools and advice that people will use frequently or will find so valuable that they may link to them from their websites or blogs.

While adding other types of product content will definitely add weight to your site and provide search engines with additional pages to show to users, spending time developing high-value content is a more valuable use of time.

The high-value content will be more likely to encourage links to your site, which in the current search engine environment is one of the most critical SEO factors. Promote that content through social communities. When reaching out to others on the Web, always be yourself (do not mask your identity or pretend to be someone else).

Creating a corporate/company blog is also a high-return effort because you will:

1.) Quickly provide relevant content to a company’s target audience

2.) Provide a means for publishing that content outside of the voice and structure of traditional web pages (that may be constrained by internal marketing and technical/template guidelines)

3.) Provide a larger content imprint for search engines to index which can:

a) Add weight/importance to the overall site (think Wikipedia vs. a five-page website)

b) Bring in search traffic for search terms beyond the core terms identified and targeted on the rest of the site

4.) Distribute messaging throughout the Web beyond search engines, via data feeds

5.) Provide potential customers with additional information to encourage product purchase and/or leads

6.) Enhance a company’s brand by providing intellectual capital to readers

7.) Give the company a human face

8.) Generate a means for communicating with other bloggers

9.) Give people content that they may choose to link to via their websites and/or blogs, which will enhance search engine rankings for the blog and the entire website (if the blog is well-linked to the rest of the company website)

What are your thoughts on these questions?

  • “What Advice Would You Give to B2B Pay Per Click Advertisers to Maximize Their ROI?”
  • “What Advice Would You Give to B2B Companies to Maximize Their ROI From Search Engine Optimization?

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