26 Oct B2B SEO Series Part 2: How to Turn B2B SEO Traffic into a Real Sales Conversion
Especially when considering more expansive B2B SEO campaigns, it can be frustrating to see SERP results and traffic numbers without the accompanying sales and revenue you were expecting. If that’s you, don’t worry – in almost every case, it’s entirely fixable. Assuming, you’re already generating the “leads” (traffic); all you need to do is tweak your approach to keep them on your side and ultimately close them.
This page will cover what happens past the SERP click in the online B2B search buying process, and how you as a business can sell to other businesses in the most effective way when generating relevant search engine traffic.
If you’re struggling with the SEO part of B2B, MezzoLogic explains the core differences between B2C and B2B SEO here.
Understanding the B2B Searcher’s State of Mind
It’s very important to know that B2B transactions aren’t as cut and dry as B2C transactions are. In almost every case, there are hoops to jump through and multiple approvals needed before any decision can be made. On the actual product and service side of things, B2B transactions are usually for more money and for more complex products and services than what a regular consumer would be purchasing, too.
As such, the B2B searcher’s state of mind is in more of a “browsing mode” over a “buying mode”. When the search journey begins, the searcher might not know what he or she needs to buy or who any of the providers of the product or service are. The company as a whole may be performing hundreds or thousands of searches related to a product or service before choosing someone to work with.
We can call these hundreds or thousands of searches research – because that’s really what it is. The buyer won’t necessarily be looking to hire a company right away, even if the keywords are related to brands and products/services specifically.
How to Leverage the B2B Mindset for Success
Instead of taking a once-off approach to selling the customer, businesses looking to leverage search engine traffic for eventual sales should focus on pulling the customer in with value. The best approach is keeping yourself in the loop to stay ahead and beat out other businesses that might be taking a more simplistic, direct, non-effective approach.
While you help the customer in the information gathering and actual buying processes, you will have opportunities to plug your company, products, and services. And you should. But make sure you don’t get too promotional – the goal is to gently guide the search engine prospect towards your business, not try and force your business down his or her throat.
Ways to Attract and Create Value for the B2B Prospects
Provide guides, videos, and anything else customers need to know
Posting free value on your blog is the first step to the B2B SEO conversion. You rank these assets for their relevant search terms (or hire a superstar SEO agency like MezzoLogic to take care of it for you), link to other pieces of your free content, and try to get the reader from reading into converting into your funnel with the strategies below.
A strong weekly newsletter can establish your business as a relevant, powerhouse business in the industry – this will impress prospective clients from search engines. To get more than just credibility, be very clear on what the newsletter provides (it should be whatever your potential customers need to know or would be interested in) and use effective placement to ensure you get the visibility and signups you need.
Requests for more info
Receiving something in the mail will always be more exciting than downloading something. Offering a physical copy with info on your products and services is a great way to provide value and get a fantastic lead that has expressed interest in receiving something from you. On the potential customer’s side, these materials may be shared in meetings and passed around, furthering your goals towards becoming the final purchase decision.
Registration-required premium material
People are busy. They want to know everything right away. You have a chance to be a knight in shining armor if you can take an aspect of their research and compile it into a professional, easy-to-understand, and speedy video, presentation, or anything of that nature.
Of course, if this is premium material, put it behind a registration or opt-in form of some kind to get the reader into your funnel. Make sure to clearly explain what it is on the conversion page – if you do and it really is quality content that potential customers need or want to know, filling out a form is no big deal – they will be happy to if you can save them time and solve a problem.
Specs, offerings, and potentially full demos of your products and services
Are you giving potential customers the bare minimum on your web assets and forcing them to call in order to learn more? Often times, searchers will discount a company if information about the products and services aren’t readily available on the website, especially in more competitive industries when you don’t have a word-of-mouth recommendation.
But you don’t have to give everything away for free. You can potentially add your catalog of product/service offerings with basic information on each and require the customer to create an account to see everything.
If you have compelling copy on your website, a potential customer might think everything sounds good – but B2B purchases aren’t usually trivial. The prospect will likely need more convincing than you just saying you can do the job or provide the products needed.
Add in case studies of your business and your past clients to show you both talk the talk and walk the walk. The goal is to convince the reader of how great you are with your original copy and other promotional material, then seal the deal with your case studies.
How to Measure Success and Optimize Your B2B Backend
Check your analytics. Which pages are resulting in conversions, and ultimately, sales? Check in your analytical program to see, look at any differences between your performers and your non-performers, and make changes based on what’s working. As long as you have the traffic from SEO, there’s no point in letting it go to waste.
Drill down further. Most analytical programs will even allow you to see the individual stats of each visitor, too… which will sometimes include a company name in the publicly identifying information. You’ll even be able to see which exact page(s) the company visited. Use this information carefully – a more subtle approach is always best, as search engine users often think they are completely anonymous.
Try using a heatmap. To go one step further, install a heatmap like Clicktale. A heatmap is the ultimate optimization tool as it shows you everything – where the visitors paused on the page, where the mouse hovered, what was clicked, and everything else that occurred when the visitor was on the website.
Conversions in B2B SEO: Summary
- The mindset of a B2B searcher is different. Because finding a B2B product or service can take quite a long time, you can assume the visitor is in “browsing mode” rather than “buying mode”.
- Use the “browsing mode” mindset to your advantage. While your competitors are simply existing as an option, you can be a real asset to your potential customer in his or her research and increase your chances of landing the sale.
- Get going on creating for your audience. Use our suggestions above to create something of value for your potential customers. Whenever possible, get them into your funnel so you can keep in contact and market your products and services.
- Always optimize and improve. If you’ve been slacking on your conversion optimization, some of your pages might not perform as well as others at the start. See what’s working and improve to increase traffic, leads, and ultimately, sales.