Search Engine Optimization (SEO), whether for B2B or B2C strategies, is a key element of online presence, both for brand image and for the sale of a product or service. Appearing among the first results of a search carried out on Google, Bing or Ecosia can be done via a free strategy (also known as organic positioning) or a paid strategy (non-organic positioning). Organic positioning is associated with SEO tools and non-organic positioning with search engine marketing tools (“Search Engine Marketing” or SEM).
Appearing in organic search engine results can help a business gain visibility and credibility. This is how you can convert potential customers who visit your website, one of the most common challenges faced by SMEs. Discover in this article three SEO tactics for SMEs. These are focused on B2B companies, but can be adapted to any type of organization.
The challenges and objectives of SEO for SMEs
To obtain a good conversion rate, you must attract quality users, that is, individuals who are looking for your goods or services. It relies on SEO tools and tactics. I
Improving the digital presence for companies being a subject that we have already mentioned in a previous article, this time we will discuss SEO strategies for SMEs.
What does the acronym SEO stand for?
According to Gartner , search engine optimization or SEO refers to the use of techniques to improve qualified traffic to web pages. Search Engine Optimization analyzes the nature and intent of searches to deliver relevant results and a better user experience
One of the goals of SEO is to make a product’s or service’s website appear at the top of a search engine’s results.
A Gartner study (full article available in English for Gartner clients) reveals that 67.6% of organic traffic clicks come from the first five organic results on the first page of search engine results (“Search Engine Result Page” or SERP in English). This means that if your product or service is in the top positions, users are more likely to view your page.
Quality organic positioning is a challenge that involves a combination of several factors that can seem complex, for example:
- Technical expertise in SEO tools.
- Shopper profiles and customer journey analysis to understand consumer behavior.
- Marketing designed to produce quality industry-centric content.
- Internal linking to generate quality traffic from other sites.
But before all that, one must first understand the basics. You need to understand how SEO fits into the customer journey, set relevant SEO goals, and incorporate changes and developments in search behavior and channels into your strategy.
Understand how SEO fits into the customer journey
According to a study conducted by Gartner , a B2B buyer spends 27% of their time browsing the Internet independently, and uses at least one search engine.
At the start of their journey, the B2B buyer studies a business need and uses generic keywords without specifying a specific brand or product. For example, he can type in his search engine “design software”.
But as he progresses in his journey, the buyer can notice interesting options and thus refine his search. The keywords he will use during this step relate to a specific product or brand (full article available in English for Gartner customers). For example, the buyer will switch from “design software” to “Mac compatible image editing software”.
We advise you to design the customer journey in correlation with keyword research. This will help you identify which ones buyers use at different stages of the buyer journey.
Marketers can then align SEO strategy with the purchase journey. Thus, keywords and marketing content complement the buyer’s intentions and needs during online research.
Set relevant SEO goals
Search engine optimization is not just about landing a given position in the results pages. Some SEO campaigns aim to reach position 0 , or to be among the top five results for the chosen keywords. However, these objectives should only be seen as milestones and not an end in themselves.
In reality, companies should set SEO goals that revolve around performance and business results. For example :
- Achieve 5,000 additional conversions from organic search by the end of the year.
- Increase leads from organic search by 20% next quarter.
Aligning SEO objectives with business performance and results requires analyzing the marketing chain and understanding how SEO contributes to it. Then, based on buyer behavior, specific actions can be quantified to achieve those goals.
Adjust SEO strategy to changes in search behavior
Online research is an ever-evolving field. Search engine algorithms can change dozens of times in a year, which means the rules by which a keyword or website ranks in the results also change. One day your website may appear in the top 5, but a later algorithm update will rank in the 20th position .
It also happens that it is the behavior of Internet users that changes. For example, for searches performed by voice command, the keywords are longer according to a Gartner report (full article available in English for Gartner customers).
It is for this reason that SEO strategists must constantly monitor these changes to rethink current strategies and align them with new algorithms and user behaviors.
Evaluate the quality of your organic traffic before optimizing your site
If you already have an SEO strategy in place, ask yourself the following questions to identify weaknesses. Make sure any changes you implement don’t detract from the most successful aspects of your strategy.
If your company does not yet have an SEO strategy, we recommend that you still answer the following questions to find out where you stand in terms of digital positioning.
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your SEO strategy:
- What percentage of your current website traffic is organic?
- What percentage of your website’s organic traffic converts into customers?
- Does your business rank better or worse than its competitors in the results pages for keywords in your industry?
- What are the most searched keywords that your business relies on?
- How often are new keywords introduced into your SEO strategy?
Once you have carried out this analysis of your website, you can rethink your SEO strategy or design a new one. While applying these tips can help, consider that it’s also crucial to know how to assess the success of your strategy based on the current situation of your business and its industry.