[Webinar Recap] SEO Roadmap for the B2B Marketer
B2B marketers need to take a strategic approach to their SEO efforts to achieve optimal and sustainable results. On Wednesday, June 13, 2012 Optify partnered with Digital Marketing Depot to host a webinar that will give professional B2B marketers a roadmap to follow to ensure that their SEO program is well thought out and executed effectively.
During the hour-long webinar, Gord Hotchkiss, Senior VP of Mediative, and Marko Wollschlaeger, Director of Digital Marketing at Optify, covered the necessary steps for building a successful SEO program. Following the presentation, the speakers answered questions submitted by the audience during the live session. Answers to all the submitted questions can be found below.
This webcast covered how to: br>
- define business goals and search personas br>
- conduct keyword research in a strategic manner br>
- develop content that aligns with goals and personas br>
- follow SEO best practices for content optimization br>
- boost rank and traffic through safe link building and promotional strategies br>
- measure results and translate findings into actions that improve campaign performance
Q & A
- How to check competition of a keyword? br>
(Marko) The simplest way is to add the competitor in question to Optify, which will show their rank right next to yours. A full, competitive analysis goes beyond “just” the rank, and actually analyzes the competitors website for their full approach to the keyword query. Similar to the strategic approach we’ve shown in the webinar (persona, solution to visitor’s pain point, motivation to convert, etc.), you’d want to analyze your competitor.
- How important are image filenames (not alt tags, but filenames) for SEO? br>
(Marko) Naming your images logically can help your SEO efforts, especially for image search. Think of it this way, if you tell Google even in the file name what the image is about, you make it much easier to be discovered and sorted out correctly. The impact of file names on your page ranking will be very limited, to say the least, but as a best practice I certainly recommend doing it. It doesn’t cost extra time, and makes is much more user (and bot) friendly.
- What’s the best way to measure your site’s ranking, without the influence of personalized results? br>
(Marko) Personalized search is based on various factors like the location of the user, the search history and other factors. However, if you use a “user” that always queries from the same location, and doesn’t allow cookies (has no history), you maximize the standardization of your results. This way, you still get a good view into how your overall efforts are effecting your ranking. You can do this manually, using the same computer, not accepting cookies, never logging into Google, etc, but much more efficient is the use of a software for that job. Optify does this, and in addition we even maintain proxy servers in over 30 countries, so you can get good results from, let’s say India, even when you sit in the US.
- Regarding organizational alignment, how do you recommend convincing colleagues who are not open to learning or understanding the importance of maintaining our online presence? br>
(Gord) Ultimately, you need your leadership to endorse it and push the message down. People won’t consider it important until their jobs depend on it. Now..that leaves the next question: How do you get executives on board? We’ve had good success with two approaches. First, quantify the opportunity. Put a number on a well optimized online presence that aligns to the executive’s bottom lines. A ROI analysis of SEO almost always brings back numbers that executives simply can’t ignore. The second approach is to benchmark you against your competition. Executives are competitive by nature and they don’t sleep well at night if they think they’re being crushed by the competitors. Ideally, this competitive benchmarking can also show what the future might look like if the company continues to ignore online as a priority. You may need the help of an agency partner or other outside source to pull this together, but it’s an exercise that general pays back big benefits in mobilizing a company.
- Do you have any suggestions for developing keyword lists for News media, which has ever-changing content? br>
(Gord) Online publishers present a unique challenge to SEO. As you mention, the content is ever changing, especially when it’s a daily newspaper that’s creating the content. We’ve worked with publishers that have adopted two approaches, both based on a real-time approach to optimization. br>
- So some basic SEO training with your editorial staff. Give them access to some easy to use keyword discovery tools so they can do a quick “on the fly” keyword analysis. Then the content can be quickly optimized prior to posting online. Most CMS systems use the title of the piece to generate URLs, Title Tags and internal linking structure, so even the inclusion of a popular keyword in the title can get some good visibility for a newly published piece.
- Convince the owners to invest in a full time SEO department. This is the costlier but more dependable approach. Many top online publishers have a team dedicated to optimizing new content. This team also continually monitors organic search traffic and trends, identifying hot keyword topics and doing the required optimization. In recent years, this team’s role often expands to include social monitoring and optimization as well.
(Marko) Good question. Needless to say, this is a challenging situation for any SEO. Because you can’t optimize post-publish date (by the time the bot would get it, the content is gone or out-dated), you have to find a pro-active approach. With our publishers clients we develop an extensive training program for the editorial teams, that goes all the way down to the day-to-day work of each editor. It included sessions, but also a primer and a daily checklist (read more about our work with the St. Petersburg Times). In addition, most publishers show huge opportunities on the technical side of SEO.
- What could be some of the free tools/software for those who wnat to get started and use them before moving onto the enterprise level seo tools? br>
(Marko) Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Bing Webmaster Tools. They don’t do a great job for rank or closed-loop ROI, but are a great start and keep working with them daily.
- Should blogposts include the same tagging as pages? br>
(Marko) When you say tagging, I assume you mean using the same targeted keywords? If so, I’d say no. Some overlap is natural, but my approach is to keep the target of any page very tight. Pages that try to answer too many things at the same time will not be as relevant, ergo valuable to the user. On the other side, creating too many pages with nearly the same content is bad practice and often perceived as poor quality by your visitor and the search bot alike. So create new pages only if the content is truly deserving of a new page, and asign a unique phrase to that page that truly represents its content.
- Does Google+ provide higher Ranking Signal than Facebook or Twitter shares? br>
(Marko) Neither Google+, nor Facebook or Twitter actually are factors for ranking in the algorithms. However, They are very important because recently they have become factors in how search engine results pages (SERP) are displayed. This is hugely important for click-through from SERPs.
- Can you point out the more important actions to improve your page speed? br>
(Marko) As recommended during the webinar, take a look at Google’s developer tool for Page Speed: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights. Google does a great job of recommending, and even prioritizing the different tasks to help your page speed. In my experience the most common candidates for poor load times are:
- Missing, or incorrectly configured server settings for caching and compression of content
- Poor coding in general (just bad, heavy code, too many scripts, inline CSS and JS, and more)
- There are plenty more issues to learn about. Take a look at al the load rules Google uses for a complete list: https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/rules
- When pages are scored for particular keyword, what are the factors? It is not just about % of exact match usage is it? br>
(Marko) There are 20 different factors that get analyzed. Some are keyword specific, others are general. The score is a simple result of how many issues show as “Passed” or “Failed”. You can learn more on Optify’s page issues here: http://help.optify.net/forums/66677/entries/61708
- What are the most common mistakes you see marketers making when it comes to SEO? br>
- Ignoring SEO completely
- Treating SEO as a one-shot initiative rather than an ongoing process
- Doing SEO ad-hoc and not integrating across the organization. This typically leads to black hat tricks out of frustration
- Not basing their SEO strategy on what’s best for the user and worrying too much about “beating the algorithm”
- Not defining their SEO success metrics on business objectives
- Not integrating content development into their core marketing practices
- How many keywords should I optimize on per page of my site? br>
(Marko) I like to use 1, or a max of 3 keywords per page. Natural variations of the target keyword are expected and good writing. But for tracking purposes I pick the most important variant.
Mediative is a digital marketing company providing performance services
and access to media platforms. We help enhance digital presence, influence
buyers and generate revenue. Our people are data-fueled, with precise and
unmatched knowledge of “how shoppers and clients buy” in the dynamic
digital world. Learn more about Mediative.