There’s no doubt that inbound marketing is effective – it’s been found to generate 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing methods. Because both content and SEO inbound marketing is based on providing high-value content for your potential customers, its knock-on effects include better brand awareness and establishing your company as a thought leader in your industry – powerful tools in the long run.
But even the world’s most engaging and informative content can’t help boost your sales effort if no one can find it. That’s where SEO comes in. In this article, we’re looking at 5 tips for B2B SaaS companies to perfect their SEO inbound marketing strategies.
Guide to SEO Marketing for B2B Tech Companies
What is SEO Inbound Marketing?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and refers to a set of techniques used to ensure your content ranks highly in search engine result pages (aka SERPs).
The inbound methodology hinges on drawing customers to you by providing insights and answers to the questions that matter to them. It’s highly effective in the B2B space, in part because your potential customers want specific, niche solutions and in part, because trust is highly valued. Since there’s no direct outreach – your buyers need to be able to find your content.
In B2C business, consumers are particularly partial to the free trial, ‘cancel anytime’ mentality. For B2B companies, however, it’s far more productive to do your research and find a partner you can trust to supply your business going forward. Research reflects this – 77% of B2B buyers said they would not even speak with a sales rep before doing their own research.
So, with SEO inbound marketing, you’re creating content that speaks to your buyer’s persona to connect with their needs, and ranks high enough to catch their attention on a web search. Great content is a must, but let’s also look at some other keys to SEO success.
#1 - Start With An Audit
Regular auditing of your website will ensure that you catch anything subtle that could be damaging your SEO, such as orphaned pages, slow loading speed, poor security, and links to sites that are no longer up. Even if customers don’t notice the minor errors, they aren’t the only ones you need to impress.
In SEO, Google uses bots to crawl across websites, scanning pages and clicking links to determine the site’s credibility. To a degree – these bots need to ‘understand’ your website in order to catalog it correctly in search results.
While your content may be flawless when first implemented, over time it can degrade, hence the need for regular audits. You can perform an audit with a tool like SEMrush’s Site Audit, or take advantage of our free website auditing service here.
#2 - Improve Your On-Page SEO
On-page or technical SEO refers to components that make your site more crawlable. As discussed above, these can help your website rank higher, and also, crucially, provide a better user experience to your potential buyers. Components to optimize include:
A slow loading speed means customers will rapidly lose interest, and may never make it to your site at all (the metric for this is referred to as your website’s ‘bounce rate’ and yes – it is also a ranking factor). Google’s algorithm understands that users prefer sites to load quickly, so is far less likely to suggest a slow loading site – no matter how valuable your content.
Breaking up your text with headers makes it more crawlable (as well as easier on the eyes!). H1 tags can be optimized with keywords, to make the process simpler for the algorithm.
Alt Text on Images
As with H1 tags, images are looked upon favorably when it comes to readability. Just make sure to set relevant alternate text on images (typically, this could be the keyword you’re targeting). If the alt-text on your images is still linked to a stock photo site or another irrelevant source, this will reflect badly on your SEO.
A Mix of External and Internal Links
While it’s clearly essential to link any cited statistics, the use of external links extends beyond just this. External links – leading to relevant, legitimate sources – demonstrate your credibility and knowledge to both search engine bots and readers alike. Meanwhile, internal links help keep your potential buyer on your site longer and make your overall site easier to index.
#3 - Target Featured Snippets
When you search a query, you’ll often be greeted with an ‘answer box’ above the organic search results. The answer here will be an excerpt from a high-ranking article that matches your search.
These are called ‘featured snippets’ and securing one for your target keyword or subject area is great for your SEO, and traffic generation. There are several techniques to try for targeting the featured snippets, but the most straightforward is to make sure you’re both asking and providing a succinct, clear answer to the featured question within your content. Ideally, this should be within the first portion of your content.
#4 - Clean Up Your Metadata
The opposite of on-page SEO, metadata refers to how your website shows up in the SERPs. Writing a concise but compelling meta description, a punchy page title, and making sure your blogs have short, catchy URLs can all draw more traffic to your site.
Think about it: this may be your potential buyers’ first impression of your business, so it’s important to make it count. Keep the description under 160 characters, be sure to use a keyword, and communicate what your page is about.
In SEO inbound marketing, a great URL will be short, readable (not just a string of letters and numbers), and use keywords. This will help search engine technology understand your page.
#5 - Develop Your Backlinking Strategy
External links leading to your websites are highly prized ranking factors. Commonly known as ‘Backlinks’, gathering links from other reputable websites and their content not only drives traffic to your site, it as increases your site’s domain authority. Domain authority is crucial for SEO inbound marketing.
There are plenty of innovative techniques for getting more backlinks. We’d also recommend using SEMrush’s Backlink Gap Tool to determine your competitor’s backlink profiles and analyze any potential prospects to target.
For inbound marketing to succeed, you need to reach your target audience – and for that, you need SEO. This is why SEO inbound marketing is such a powerful combination for growing your leads and brand awareness.
That said, both SEO and inbound marketing are time-intensive strategies. Poorly written, uninformative content, or SEO that goes against best practices, can harm your business. Furthermore, maintaining your SEO and infusing your site with fresh and updated content is key for SEO inbound marketing success. For some companies, the solution to such a changeable space is to partner with an SEO marketing agency. An agency can provide businesses with the focus and expertise to ensure their hard work and high-value content don’t go unnoticed.
At Nituno, we couldn’t find an SEO agency that specialized in helping B2B companies – so we became one. Experience has taught us that B2B marketing requires its own strategies. We use a combination of SEO inbound marketing, outbound marketing, paid ads, and video marketing to turbocharge our client’s marketing reach. Need inbound marketing with great SEO? We can help.