April 24, 2014: Earlier this month MarketingSherpa released a chart from last year’s Email Marketing Benchmark Report, highlighting budget priorities across various B2B marketing programs. SEO, Paid Search, and Google AdWords were fourth on the priority list, with 58% of respondents indicating they will increase budgets for these initiatives in the coming year.
I always find it interesting that “SEO” gets put in an isolated category. From one side, we’re fortunate to work with organizations that dedicate budgets for SEO specifically but it’s critical to realize that the most impactful SEO strategies extend throughout a range of B2B marketing initiatives.
Here are some examples of how to squeeze even more SEO out of your B2B marketing initiatives, based on priorities outlined in MarketingSherpa’s research chart.
SEO can certainly be augmented through and augment email marketing campaigns. How so? Consider the following opportunities:
- Curated content marketing lists – make sure your subscribers are aware of the best content your organization is producing; presented in a manner that makes it easiest for them to link out or share in social media.
- Visibility to social media profiles and pages.
- Make certain landing pages associated with email marketing campaigns are optimized for keyword strategy, social sharing, and cross-linking of key content marketing assets.
- From an email marketing augmentation perspective, make certain to create visibility for email subscriptions across page templates, including supporting navigation, confirmation page messaging, and within the navigational stream of blog post templates.
- And as I wrote in a recent article for Search Engine Watch, set up goal tracking in Google Analytics to ensure email subscriptions a benchmark for SEO performance.
Any opportunity to provide visibility to important content marketing assets as well as develop a consistent communication stream to customers and prospects is a potential win for SEO; from both a standpoint of optimized assets directly communicated and the experience users will reach once they click through in an email message.
By far the website is the most directly applicable channel that SEO can impact (positively or negatively) or be impacted by. Regardless of what tactics are changing on the website, consider the following immediate opportunities to address SEO initiatives:
- Integration of SEO-friendly web addresses.
- Placement of 301 redirects, should web addresses be getting transitioned, modified, or updated.
- Keyword strategy, particularly for new website components or sections being added.
- Tagging for social media such as Open Graph, Twitter Cards, and Schema integrations.
- Image and video optimization.
Social Media Marketing
We strongly believe in the connection between social media and SEO because of the propensity for active social media users to share and distribute links and content of the organization’s they follow and are passionate about. Equally important is in leveraging social media communication to create relationships and connections to third party publishers, industry influencers, and potential business development opportunities.
Casie Gillette has presented at several conferences with regards to this topic. Here are two of her more recent presentations.
Social Media: Integrating Paid, Earned, and Owned Media (via ad:tech San Francisco)
Creative Social Strategies: More Than Just Facebook (via The Dallas Digital Summit)
Live Events & Trade Shows
As link building becomes more complex and more heavily scrutinized by Google, in-person events become that much more critical in establishing the partnerships that make industry-centric link acquisition a possibility. Social media certainly plays a part (an ice breaker if you will) but forging real, in-person connections can be a critical component in an SEO link building strategy as well.
Casie recently wrote about the mechanisms in pre-show, during event, and post-event marketing that tie-in to SEO link building campaigns. And late last year I wrote a column discussing ways B2B SEO initiatives help augment the entire event marketing initiative, from event preparation to post-event performance benchmarking through web traffic reporting.
There are significant SEO implications for B2B marketers adopting mobile websites and web applications for their organizations. While site design and architecture have obvious SEO tie-ins, don’t forget link opportunities and other SEO-centric content marketing initiatives that go along with mobile application development as well.
Here are a few articles we’ve written discussing the impact of SEO with mobile marketing initiatives.
- 5 Key SEO Action Items for B2B Marketers Optimizing For Mobile
- How an SEO Can Assist with Submitting a Mobile App to the App Store
- 6 Key Considerations For Preparing A B2B Mobile Strategy
Don’t forget reviewing both Google and Bing’s guidelines for mobile friendly website development. This information is critical to reference as B2B marketers look towards creating marketing strategies in-line with mobile device adoption.
Television & Radio Ads
At the lower end of the graph were all of the more traditional marketing tactics that B2B marketers are reducing budget allocations for in the coming years. But television and radio ads in particular present an opportunity for SEO integration.
How so? Here are a few ideas to incorporate:
- Mentions of web address, social media profiles, and other online marketing-specific references.
- Use of relevant keywords and phrases. No, I’m not inferring the classic, “SEO walks in a bar” reference. Rather, finding the happy medium between keyword strategy and marketing copy that is meant to infer association between brand and keyword opportunity.
Finally, don’t forget the PR impact of a creative media advertisement, regardless of intended medium. There is certainly an opportunity to catch or pitch third party content opportunities, social media mentions, and other potentially buzz-worthy communications if your commercial campaign was a rousing success (or maybe even a miserable failure).
There are certainly SEO initiatives that remain more isolated to the SEO professional. Examples include an understanding of the technical aspects of search engine best practices and the in-depth search engine results analysis. But effective SEO is also realized through diligent coordination across marketing programs.
In what ways has your SEO program achieved success through the collaboration of B2B marketing initiatives? I would love to read your feedback and perspective via comments below.