Blogs are SEO's best friend. Considered a necessity by Digital marketers, a blog can give a business multiple benefits.
Blogs not only improve organic engagement with the customers but also play a role in customer retention.
In the long run, blogging for B2B firms helps increase brand awareness by building healthy relationships with current and potential customers. Businesses with blogs gain 45% more views than those without a blog. (source: Medium)
But where does blogging fit in as far as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is concerned? In this article, we explore how blogging can increase SEO for B2B firms, and we shed light on how you can write a successful blog post for a B2B firm.
Let's start with the importance of blog posts for B2B firms:
- Blogs target organic search queries and help capture the search intent of customers
A survey revealed that 74% of B2B buyers do more than half of their research online before going to a salesperson (Source: tribalimpact).
This is essential information for a business because informative content brings credibility. And credibility brings trust.
When you post high quality and reliable content, your customers will find you trustworthy.
A blog written with the intent of providing helpful solutions to your prospects and consumers helps your website gets noticed.
By writing a blog that answers customer's common queries about a product or a service, you help them make informed decisions.
In the process, you become a part of their buying journey, bound to help your website make sales immediately or soon.
While paid results are known to bring valuable business prospects, organic search queries still play a significant role in web traffic. A 2020 study found that 51% of website traffic comes from organic search queries (source: BrightEdge).
Blogs are easy to use, inexpensive, and can be updated easily. Therefore, B2B firms must integrate a blog with their websites and expect positive results.
Besides, you can provide a free brand message with the help of a blog. A blog eliminates the need to pay to any third-party media or social media channels like Facebook.
When you write your blog posts in a friendly and conversational tone, the audience will feel like they're talking to humans.
Useful blogs help increase search engine rankings by using fresh and keyword-rich content and with additional indexed pages.
- Quality Traffic is what changes the game
As a Consultant providing meaningful digital marketing consultation to clients in B2B and B2C industries, I meet many B2B clients who have seen the benefit of SEO over paid ads.
One of the recent clients I am working with is a manufacturing company based out of China.
The company started with parallel campaigns around six months back using two different online promotion methods - SEO and PPC.
They spent thousands of dollars on PPC and a minimum budget on SEO (specifically, blogging) to see what gets them more results.
The end result – PPC got them quantity traffic and SEO got them quality traffic at a fraction of the money they spent in PPC.
You must be wondering – how did they drive quality traffic through SEO?
To start with, they did keyword research and created content pages (blogs) using the pain areas of their customers (relevant keywords) and then, they did link building to drive traffic.
Once I saw their past success story, it reinstated my faith in blogging and SEO for B2B companies. In the next six months, we plan to grow their SEO traffic by writing more content relevant to their industry and optimizing it to rank on google.
Now I am not the only one who has seen this trend for businesses across the world.
Consider this - B2B websites that have blogs see more traffic to their site than those that don't. A recent study showed that blogging could increase traffic by 55% (source: tribalimpact).
All you got to do is be consistent and disciplined with your content writing approach to see the impact of blogging on your website.
As per a study, the websites that publish weekly content are 34% likely to get more indexed pages on Google (source: ladybossblogger).
- Quality Traffic comes with leads
In most cases, traffic that views your blog posts soon gets converted to qualified leads.
The goal of SEO is to get website traffic of good quality and quantity. Naturally, a customer that already trusts is relatively easy to convince.
It is proven repeatedly - If the content is attractive and exciting to a site's visitors, they will turn into repeat customers in no time.
Blog visitors have a higher close rate than outbound leads that are generated from direct mail and advertising.
As per a study published on optinmonster, buyers who come via blogs that rank higher in search engines have eight times higher close rate that is 14.6%, than outbound leads. On the other hand, outbound leads generated from direct mail and advertising have only a 1.7% close rate (source: Optinmonster).
Moreover, making a business strategy for blogging can bring you 67% more leads than B2B firms that do not have any blogging content.
A series of simple steps can cover the journey from quality traffic to a lead to a paying customer.
When I work with B2B companies, we always set up a funnel to convert the quality traffic into leads by providing them with a series of articles. It is a strategy that has paid dividends for me over the years and has always helped me convert cold leads into hot leads and then paying customers.
One of the success stories I have from following the blog based SEO strategy for a B2B company is for a medical tourism company located out of India.
In my initial analysis of the project, I realized that the USA's market segment could be customers looking for affordable cosmetic surgery in India as cosmetic surgery is not covered under the USA's regular insurance plans.
We designed a blog/content strategy that involved writing content under topics related to cosmetic surgery like – dental surgery, breast implants, botox treatments and then did a bit of backlinking to get the website to rank on google.
Once the content started ranking on google, we used lead magnets to build our database and then linked it to our emailing system to send custom emails to the traffic that downloaded the resources provided by us.
The website soon got qualified leads from customers who had come to our website after seeing our content rank high on google.
The bottom line is the traffic you get on your website through content has more chances to convert into leads than the traffic that comes through paid ads.
- Blogs help a website rank get inbound links
A website with a blog will have 97% more inbound links than one without a blog.
And why are inbound links important?
They are essential as they indicate that a site is worth a visit. After all, others are using these links to direct readers to a website outside theirs.
Eventually, inbound links will help you to rank higher on Search Engine Results Pages. As more users click on your site, you will get more customers and leads essential for B2B marketing.
- Useful blogs are time-elastic
Creating an engaging blog doesn't happen overnight. But as you build a rich repository of information, your efforts will be rewarded perpetually.
Posts written from well-researched keywords will continue to reward the site's visitors long after they are posted. We shall look at how to get well-researched keywords in a bit.
In 2015, HubSpot found out that 70% of the traffic generated each month on their blog is from the older blog posts. They also found that 90% of their leads generated each month come from previous months' blog posts. (source: Hubspot)
- Blogs entertain, and we love entertainment
B2B blogs need not be boring monologues narrating answers to only specific questions of the readers. They can be upbeat sources of fun that your readers want to read in their leisure time.
The trick is to create an entertaining blog while still maintaining your brand identity. This is where customer retention comes in.
Customers who occasionally visit your site because it rewards their time will stay connected to your brand too. As more and more prospects will open your blog, your blog will rank higher on search engines.
Now that we've seen how blogs are connected to SEO let's have a closer look at how you can make this relationship work.
How to write an SEO B2B blog:
If you want to increase your site's SEO, it is essential to write content correctly as this helps to build a relevant vis in your business.
The importance of optimizing a blog post lies in the fact that it increases the value of your content multiple times. Therefore, without a good SEO strategy, your content may get easily lost in the crowd.
Here are some of the blog writing tips:
1.Use specific keywords:
Your prospects may search for queries using some particular keywords. Sometimes they can search for broad requests.
So, including the right keywords at the correct times is the key to increase your search engine rankings.
It would help if you did thorough research on target keywords.
To do proper keyword research, determine your audience's phrases and keywords to search for services/products offered by your company.
Here are some of the trending tools for keyword research:
- Google trends
This tool helps you know what is trending in your industry.
The keyword tool provides you with trending data about the keywords that you enter.
For example, if I go into google trends and look for keyword ideas and trends for one of my clients whose website we are trying to rank on keywords in the cosmetic industry space, this is what I get:
As you can notice, google trends shows me the searches on the base keywords and keyword ideas in the related topics and related queries section.
The keyword' liposuction and cosmetic surgery institute' has grown +2650% in the last 1 year and is definitely a keyword I would like to explore for my next article.
The keyword trends tool is a gem in the world of free keyword research tools on the internet.
It provides you with keyword ideas and helps you understand your customer's search behavior on google.
The free keyword research tool helps you get the questions internet users are searching for your topic.
Similar to above, I used the base keyword liposuction and here are the questions:
I usually use the data I get from answer the public to add a FAQ section in my blog. The FAQs are known to get picked up in the google for snippets section.
2. Learn the intent of the user
Google's algorithms can easily understand whether users want to learn or buy. Therefore, you need to create content that provides the right answers to customers beyond keywords.
For example, an article focussed on teaching how liposuction is done is entirely different from an article that provides the best tips to save cost while going for liposuction treatment.
The first article will attract users who want to learn about liposuction and become future potential customers. On the other hand, those reading the article – the best tips to save cost while going for liposuction are looking for affordable treatment and if your website has one, they will be what we refer to as 'hot leads.'
3.Pay attention to content-type.
Creating the right kind of content for your audience is essential to boost SEO rankings.
For example, general practitioners are more likely to get attracted to an infographic, e-book, or video as it explains the basic concepts, while managers or CEOs may like whitepapers.
By now, I have explained how blogging helps to increase SEO for B2B firms.
As someone who has been blogging and also helping B2B firms generate traffic on google using SEO - I recommend that you write and publish high-quality, valuable, and SEO-optimized blog posts.
I understand that B2B companies are lost for ideas or are struggling with budgets to run SEO campaigns but trust me, I write from experience – good content is an investment that will pay you dividends in the longer run.
As I mentioned in the blog, well-written blogs in a conversational and informative tone with the right keyword researched help your website go a long way in boosting SEO and, eventually, leading to quality traffic and leads.