More than ever, B2B marketers need to connect SEO and content to implement a successful content strategy. Conductor’s recent virtual C3 conference covered some of the latest best practices for executing SEO. Here are my top takeaways.
The Truth Is in the Search Box
People lie. We lie to other people, to ourselves and even to market researchers. But one place people continue to be truthful is the search box.
One of C3’s speakers who piqued my interest was data scientist and author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, who wrote a book on this subject. In his discussion, he highlighted why people are so truthful in search boxes, how that data can offer a glimpse into the lives people are leading and how that information can be valuable for marketers.
He also highlighted two extremes of what can happen with data when it comes to privacy. If you don’t use data responsibly, it can lead to a serious privacy scandal like the one we saw with Cambridge Analytica.
But if you use it responsibly, you can use real-time search data for things like responding to a public health crisis. Seth highlighted how doctors and epidemiologists are using this real-time data for people searching on COVID-19 symptoms to determine where the next outbreaks may occur so resources can be mobilized.
There’s so much untapped potential for your content creation and strategy lying dormant in your search data. When you know what customers are asking and what they need, you can create content that concisely answers those questions.
Search Is a Crystal Ball
Search engines don’t care who’s good or bad at SEO. They’re designed to find the best piece of content and information for queries. The only algorithm that matters is your customers. If you focus on them and their needs, you’ll win.
Great content is critical for ranking in search. Google ranking is quickly becoming a predictor of what your market position will be in the future. Using search to find product information is how consumers buy now; they’re waiting later and later in their buying journey to reach out to sales. They’re judging companies and making buying decisions by who they find on the top in search results.
Unlock Company Thought Leadership
Don’t underestimate your company’s accrued knowledge and experiences to create valuable content. Your company was founded for a reason, and there are people within it who have years of experience and knowledge to tap. Bring that knowledge to the surface and create valuable content for your customers, which will help you win in search.
Some of my favorite SEO tips and tricks from the conference focus on this idea.
- Build a knowledge graph to understand who knows what within your company. This will help you easily know who to go to when it’s time to create content about certain topics or subjects. Some of these internal experts may even become your best authors.
- Pay attention to your website’s search feature to see what people are searching. Use that data to build new content or update existing content so you can answer those questions.
- Talk to your customer team, and ask to listen to customer calls or recordings to hear what kinds of questions customers have about your products or services. If they’re calling, your web content is probably not answering their questions. Take the opportunity to expand your website to do a better job.
SEO will continue to be an important part of content strategy, particularly as marketing departments look for low-cost, high-impact ways to improve. If you can incorporate these SEO tactics into your own content strategy, you put your company in a better position to win new business.
Not sure where to start? Take these 3 steps to evaluate how SEO currently fits into your content strategy.
As a Content Strategist at Content4Demand, Toni Boger partners with clients to build successful content strategies that empower their digital marketing objectives at all stages, from ideation and creation through execution and promotion. She has a decade of experience in B2B content strategy and development across several industries. Outside of helping clients take their content to the next level, you’ll find Toni learning how to paint, reading a good book, taking aerial arts classes at circus school and watching classic films.