A B2B SEO campaign is usually part of an SEO strategy (Read: The Ultimate B2B SEO Strategy for 2023). While a strategy focuses on overall marketing, campaigns are designed to achieve specific targets. These can be to target a particular audience, rank for SERP features, optimize specific landing pages, generate backlinks for the website, and so on.
B2B SEO campaigns are usually a subset of a broader strategy. For example, the SEO strategy for a B2B SMM software would focus on optimizing the entire website for all types of customers. Whereas, a B2B SEO campaign under that strategy would only focus on a few landing pages to target F&B businesses in the USA.
Let’s understand the step-by-step process of designing a B2B SEO campaign.
First and foremost, you need to define clear and measurable goals for the B2B SEO campaign. The goal statement should include the type of people you are targeting and their search intent. Try to be as specific as you can with the goals. This will help you design a targeted campaign.
Example of General Goal Statement: “B2B SEO campaign to target companies looking for CRM solutions.”
Example of Specific Goal Statement: “B2B SEO campaign to target California-based small tech companies looking for a cloud-based CRM solution.”
Then, you will need to convert the goal statement into measurable KPIs. For instance, if you are designing an awareness campaign. You should measure organic search rankings, page visibility, organic clicks, SERP features, average page views per visit, and so on.
On the other hand, if your campaign targets a bottom-funnel audience, you need to track branded searches, referral traffic, session duration, conversion rate, goal completion, and other sales-related metrics. The more specific you are with your goal statement, the better you can define your KPIs.
As with the goals, you also need to be specific about the audience you want to reach. Your target audience persona document should contain the details mentioned below:
Always keep in mind that the persona document should address details that are relevant to your B2B products/services. These details will guide different aspects of your B2B SEO campaign.
For instance, the “company location” will guide the strategy for local SEO and directory listings. “Pain points” and “purchase barriers” will guide keyword research and content creation.
As a B2B SEO campaign is designed for a particular audience or objective, its keyword research also focuses on a specific set of words and phrases. You can take clues from the goal statement and audience persona document to guide your keyword research.
You will need to use SEO tools to find the relevant keywords. Once you provide inputs, these tools will generate a list of keywords along with their metrics. Then you will need to pick the ones that you wish to target.
Below are two examples of keywords for a B2B SEO campaign for HR management software acquired using Google Keyword Planner.
The first image shows a list of high-volume keywords that describe the product. While these are necessary for a B2B SEO strategy, they are less significant for a campaign.
So you need to find relevant long-tail keywords (shown in the second image) for your campaign. As the best B2B SEO campaigns focus on a specific audience, such keywords are crucial.
Long-tail keywords may have a lower search volume, but their search intent is very specific and they provide information about the users.
For example, the second image contains long-tail keywords that will help target people from hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare, and small businesses. Now all you need to do is pick the ones that match your goal statement and audience persona.
Here are a few tips to help you find relevant keywords for your campaign:
Before you initiate a B2B SEO campaign, you need to conduct a technical audit. You can use tools like Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, Google Webmaster, SEO Browser, etc. for this purpose. This audit will tell you about the health of your website and landing pages.
Below are some of the most important technical SEO concerns that you need to address:
You will need to conduct such audits periodically to ensure that your B2B SEO campaigns run without problems.
Use the goal statement, audience persona, and keyword research to guide your content marketing strategy. Each of these documents can tell you about the types of content you need to create to rank for the targeted keywords.
You can begin with the goal statement to check for any specific content requirement. For example, if your goal is to rank through SERP features, then you must create content in that format. You would also need to redraft the content on several landing pages to match the SERP features’ format.
You can use the clues from audience persona such as “designation”, “industry”, or “company size” to create targeted content. Furthermore, you can also draft content based on the buyer’s requirements, pain points, aspirations, and purchase barriers.
Then you can use insights from keyword research for measuring the utility of your content ideas. If a piece of content can yield satisfactory traffic, then you can include it in the campaign. The keyword research itself will provide you with a variety of relevant topics. You can directly use some of the long-tail keywords as individual topics or as segments in an article.
Once you start publishing your content, you will need to conduct on-page SEO. This practice includes:
On-page optimization ensures that your web pages are optimized for the keywords you are targeting as well as suitable for search engine crawling.
Backlinks are a sign of trust and authority and every B2B SEO campaign needs them to rank for targeted keywords. Firstly, you need to create content that can generate backlinks by itself. If the content is not good enough, it is difficult to get backlinks for it.
Basic link building involves social media sharing and directory registration. Then you can promote your high-quality content by approaching relevant websites for backlinks.
You can also use SEO tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs to identify backlink opportunities. All you need to do is input URLs of similar content. These tools will generate a list of web pages that link back to the input URL.
The same tools can also assist you with link intersect analysis. These are the websites that link back to your competitors but not to you. You can approach such websites to link back to relevant content on your website.
Another great way to generate quality backlinks is through digital PR and guest blogging. Digital PR requires you to approach media publishing sites and ask them to mention your website in relevant articles.
Guest blogging involves writing quality articles for high-authority websites. Then you include a link to your content in the guest posts. You can once again turn to SEO tools to identify guest blogging opportunities.
In all link-building activities, you need to ensure that you are getting backlinks from websites that have significant domain authority and are relevant to the linked content.
Turn back to your goal statement and the KPIs you decided to measure when you initiated the campaign. The best B2B SEO campaigns evolve over time. You will need to periodically measure the relevant KPIs and keep updating your approach based on insights.
For the majority of B2B SEO campaigns, you will be tracking metrics like SERP rank, search visibility, indexed pages, and organic traffic. But these metrics only tell you about the final results. To identify room for improvement you need to track metrics that indicate user experience and your website’s E.E.A.T. (Expertise, Experience, Authority, Trustworthiness).
For this, you need to track metrics like click-through rate, average session duration, conversion rate, referring domains, pages per session, bounce rate, website loading speed, etc. These metrics are directly or indirectly relevant for SERP ranking and consequently organic traffic. By tracking such metrics you can ensure that your B2B SEO campaign is moving closer to its goal.
The key to a B2B SEO campaign’s success is being particular and consistent. It takes time for SEO activities to show results. But, if you are consistent in your efforts, the results will surely come. At the same time, being particular at every stage ensures that your campaign moves in the right direction.
Image source: Screaming Frog