Recently, I have read some reports about the state of SEO in digital marketing. The conclusion shocked me when I found that over half of the companies don´t do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) at all. After reading these surveys, the following questions went through my mind:
Why SEO is the Ugly Ducking of digital marketing?
Does SEO still work?
Should you invest in SEO?
Read the article and you will find the answers.
How many companies are doing SEO?
Not too many, according to the 2017 State of Small Business Report, small businesses are particularly weak on this point, only 28% of 1,100 small business surveyed do search engine optimization.
The top marketing tools used by small businesses are the website, emailing and social media.
Another Survey made by Clutch in 2018 confirms that the top digital marketing channels for business are Social Media, Website, and Email, but SEO is left behind.
Businesses are least likely to invest in SEO compared to other channels.
The Survey found that 56% of businesses do not invest in SEO, and only 44% of business incorporate SEO into their digital marketing strategy.
Finally, I checked the State of SEO in Industrial Marketing Survey made by IEEE Global Spec and the situation is quite similar, 57% of the companies surveyed don’t have an employee or team dedicated to SEO.
Why SEO is the Ugly Ducking of digital marketing?
There are several reasons make SEO so unpopular:
1. SEO is a highly diverse and complex process
There are two main categories of SEO.
On one hand, we have On-Page SEO, this type of SEO involves optimizing the actual website in order to increase the level of traffic. You have to identify your keywords and include them in your Meta Descriptions, Headers, Titles, Contents, Alt text for images …
It’s essentially about making the site as search-engine-friendly as possible and requires constant revision of the site in order to maintain its ranking.
On the other hand, we have Off-Page SEO, this type of SEO involves promoting the website via other channels as link building, social bookmarking, social media marketing… It relies on other web pages to get traffic to its site.
These factors produce a complex picture of SEO as a whole and many companies can’t handle this complexity.
2. SEO doesn’t produce immediate results
Businesses are always under pressure to obtain immediate and visible results, but, unfortunately, SEO can’t do it.
SEO requires time, investment, skilled workers and trial and error before you see results.
Many SEO firms consider that it takes 4 to 6 months to start seeing results. That’s generally accurate, but bear in mind this is when you start seeing results, and SEO results grow over time.
3. SEO is difficult to measure
According to Ascend2 survey, respondents say content marketing, social media and SEO are the most difficult approaches to analyze for attributing marketing results to sales revenue.
On the contrary, respondents say email and display advertising are the easiest approaches to analyze for attributing marketing results to sales revenue.
4. SEO is constantly changing
If we consider the most used search engine in the World, Google, we will notice that each year, it changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times.
Some of these changes can affect search results in significant ways, for example, the Google Panda and Google Penguin algorithmic update.
Marketers need to follow up all these updates and implement the new changes into their digital marketing strategy if they want to improve the search engine optimization of their websites or marketing content.
Does SEO really help your business to get more B2B leads?
If we consider the survey made by Conductor in 2014, 64% of website visitors come from organic search.
In 2015, the Smart Marketing for Engineers TM: Content and Online Marketing report surveyed 580 engineering professionals. It revealed insightful findings about engineers’ preferences for online content marketing and channels such as the types of content engineers most value and trust, and where they look for that content online.
The results found that engineers most often did a keyword search in Google (79%) to find work-related content. The next closest method for finding work-related content was through an email subscription they had set up (60%) or searching specific vendor websites they know (55%).
The IEEE GlobalSpec and Trew Marketing 2017 Smart marketing for engineers report also confirmed that the top three content sources engineers find most valuable are all online: search engines (43%), supplier/vendor websites (37%), and trade publication websites (29%).
Finally, in 2018, the Clutch report also found that 87% B2B readers first encounter content via search engines (87%), followed by social media (85%), company websites (75%) and newsletters (71%).
The results are obvious and businesses should reconsider the lack of investment in SEO. Failure to invest in SEO can also affect the success of other digital marketing channels.
Why should you invest in SEO?
Everyone knows that if you are not on the internet you don’t exist. But having a website, a blog, an e-commerce business… on the internet is not enough at all.
There is one thing for sure, nobody will find your product on the internet unless you use the kind of words or phrases your potential clients use to describe it.
How can I use SEO for B2B lead generation?
The bedrock of SEO is the keywords.
Firstly, identifying the right keywords should be your starting point if you want to succeed in the digital market.
Create long-tail keywords, they are so niche and there is much less competition for them.
For example, if your long-tail keyword is “dance fitness class in Taipei” you are not competing for search traffic with dance fitness class in Atlanta.
Long-tail keywords appeal directly to customers who are looking for what you are selling. They will attract customers who are ready to buy. The key is to find a high search volume and low competition keywords.
If you have the right keywords for your product, the ones that your clients will use to find your product, you have already done one of the hardest parts.
The second one is to create content that solves your potential client´s problems.
Karl Popper said that ¨All life is problem-solving¨
Fortunately, we have the Internet to look for the answers. Your potential clients are on the internet right now and they are also looking for information.
How are people discovering you?
What questions would they ask Google that could lead them to you?
Can your product answer these questions?
Can your product solve their problems?
You have to adopt a Problem-Solving approach for your content marketing strategy.
Win traffic by answering those questions on your site, blog articles, social media posts, videos and other online materials.
Google will reward that value, if you build something that helps the end user, your content will climb the ranks on the search engine´s results pages.
SEO is a hard work, but businesses shouldn’t count it out. SEO takes time, money and resources, it is difficult to measure and it takes time before we start to see results.
But SEO is the bedrock of a successful digital marketing strategy.
The main benefits of SEO are:
– Increase your web traffic and provide business opportunities
– Improve the Brand Awareness and Corporate Reputation
– Reduce the marketing and advertising costs
If you want to know more about SEO, long-tail keywords, On-SEO, Off-SEO… I recommend the following links, they will provide helpful information:
P.S. Before you go, you may also be interested in the following articles:
POST WRITTEN BY
A Madrid Polytechnic University International MBA has worked as global marketing director in B2B and B2C international leading companies implementing global marketing and communication strategies to ensure business objectives and to optimize brands reputation and visibility on a global level.
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