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How to drive B2B conversions from your organic traffic



How to drive B2B conversions from your organic traffic

30-second summary:

  • B2B conversion funnels are long and unpredictable, and your SEO strategy should reflect that
  • Because it takes several touchpoints for a buying decision to be made, a B2B SEO strategy should focus on both informational and commercial phrases
  • Brand-driven search is crucial for your conversions because B2B customers tend to careful consider all options
  • While optimizing for informational queries is important, make sure you have distinct conversion paths on each page
  • Create consistent visual identity across on- and off-site channels to improve brand recognizability at each touchpoint

There’s one key difference between B2B and B2C conversions: B2B shopping is almost never spontaneous. It takes several decision makers (which are collectively referred to as a decision making unit or a DMU) to review several options and make a choice.

A B2B shopping journey can thus take weeks and months.

Obviously, the organic search optimization strategy should address that challenge ensuring that more of those clicks driven by organic positions result in leads and sales.

1. Create SEO-driven landing pages for both TOFU and MOFU parts of the sales funnel

Fundamentally, a B2B marketing funnel consists of three stages: top, middle and bottom. The final stage is where the final sale happens, and may take eight touchpoints (i.e. a potential customer seeing or interacting with the site in some way or another) for a buying decision to finalize.

Traditionally, when it comes to SEO, businesses tend to prioritize landing pages that drive direct sales. In B2B it is hardly possible because customers tend to make lots of searches prior to making a purchase.

This is why informational search queries (those driving top of the funnel) are as important in B2B as commercial queries are.


How-to queries

How-to queries are highly engaging because visitors tend to stay on the page while taking the steps in a tutorial.

These are also likely to be transactional queries that may drive conversions if you manage to solve the customer’s problem.

Filter your keyword lists to how-to queries and start your optimization efforts by providing useful instructions (where your product is included in a non-promotional context as part of the solution).

You can also use Google Search Console to find how-to queries your site is already ranking: Come up with a plan to improve your positions for those:

Keep a close eye on your (and competitors’) branded search queries through search bar suggestions

Google’s People Also Ask and Suggestions

Both People Also Ask and suggestions impact searching journeys because they show up while people search giving them more ideas.

Moreover, both are dynamic, that is, they change depending on what people are typing in the search box or what they choose to click.

Because both of these search features can change the direction in which your customers are heading, you need to keep a close eye on those and optimize for each relevant query and question that shows up there.

Make sure you actually search for each of your target keywords and make notes of People Also Ask results and how to best address them on your site. You can use your current FAQ or Knowledge Base or answer each question in a dedicated article, depending on how in-depth an answer should be.


2. Keep a close eye on your (and competitors’) branded search queries

Because B2B purchases usually require long-term investment and commitment, B2B customers tend to carefully consider and compare all possible options and alternatives before finally making a purchase.

This means your brand name will be searched a lot.

Your brand will also be searched alongside your competitors.

Keep a close eye on your (and competitors’) branded search queries through search bar suggestions

No wonder in B2B these queries are always popular:

  • Brand name 1 vs Brand name 2

Treat your brand name as a keyword and keep optimizing your site for it. It is a never-ending process because your competitors are likely to be doing the same.

Keep in mind that your brand-driven search is the most important part of your customers’ buying journeys.

3. Plan and monitor your search-driven buying journeys

Once those searchers land on your site, what do they do from there? 

While optimizing for informational-intent queries is important, don’t forget to plan distinct conversion paths from those informational pages down into your sales funnel: Invite people to schedule a demo with you, sign up for a webinar or sign up for a free trial.

Make sure to take full advantage of your lead magnets and lead-qualifying surveys: These normally make the best conversion path from an informational page because they match search intent and provide more answers to the covered questions.


Lead magnets work best when they are contextual, for example, cheat sheets, checklists and flowcharts make it easier to implement how-to content. HubSpot is a prime example of contextual CTAs and lead magnets done well:

HubSpot lead magnet example

Additionally, make sure all your assets are visually branded: Your organic-search-driven visitors should be able to remember you so that your tool looks familiar at the next touchpoint. 

Use your logo as a watermark on all images, keep your colors consistent within your site and across your social media channels and make sure all your downloads (ebooks, whitepapers, and other resources) include your visual identity elements and links back to your site.

From there, make sure you know how to monitor those conversion paths. Google Analytics Behavior Flow is a great way to track where people tend to go once they land on a certain page. You can segment this report to users referred to your site from organic search:

Plan and monitor your search-driven buying journeys to drive conversions through your organic traffic

Don’t forget to use Facebook pixel to be able to retarget those organic search visitors on social media to generate more touchpoints. You can also use retargeting when running YouTube ads. Both will remind your past visitors of your brand and take them close to a conversion.


Converting your organic search traffic is always a challenge, especially in B2B niches where customers are not likely to commit to your product from the first visit. Yet, when you understand your goals better, a strategic approach will gradually improve your conversions and boost your lead generation efforts.

Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

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7 Data-Driven Content Strategy Tips For Improving Conversions



7 Data-Driven Content Strategy Tips For Improving Conversions

There’s an old maxim in the marketing world, “content is king.” This has been true as long as search engine optimization has been around, and probably dates back even further in the world of general marketing.

But as simple as that adage is, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation, namely what kind of content?

In those early SEO days, it meant identifying your keywords and jamming them into pages anywhere they would fit.

But modern digital marketers are smarter (not to mention that strategy doesn’t work anymore).

These days, successful content starts with a plan that’s backed up by numbers, a data-driven content strategy, if you will.

But what exactly does that mean?

In simple terms, it means developing content using an approach built on user information. This can include information like demographics, survey answers, consumer preferences, etc.


You probably don’t need to be told why this is important, but just to make sure there’s no doubt, let’s be clear: Using a data-driven content strategy helps you decide where to spend your time, effort, and money.

In other words, you have finite resources. You don’t want to waste them on people who aren’t likely to convert.

A data-driven content strategy allows you to tailor your marketing campaigns to generate the best ROI.

For the purposes of search engine and PPC specialists, it can help you decide which keywords to go after, ensuring you’re targeting the right audience.

Sounds simple enough, right? All you need to do is pop open your content research tool and look for commonalities, right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

But never fear, that’s why you’re here.

In this helpful guide, we’ll give you a step-by-step approach to developing, implementing, and optimizing your very own data-driven content strategy.

Ready to get started?


1. Set Your Content Goals

The very first thing you need to decide is what you’re hoping to accomplish. You can’t be all things to all people, so you need to make some choices.

Do you want to increase traffic? Are you looking to make sales? Do you want more leads?

Determine what your content goals are and identify the channels best suited to meet them. Once you’ve done this, you can establish your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Be sure to keep this in mind while you’re creating content.

Everything you add to your website or campaign should serve a purpose. If you’re not sure what it’s doing, your audience won’t know either.

2. Define Your Target Audience

Now that you know what you’re trying to achieve, it’s time to figure out who to go after to make it happen.

Comb through the demographic data and other information you have access to. Spot commonalities that occur across many or some of your targets.

Many marketers find it helpful to create customer personas. Using your data, imagine a typical person for each of the various roles you’re targeting.


For example, you may have a prospect persona, a lead persona, a buyer persona and a repeat persona.

Put yourself in the shoes of these imaginary people.

What type of language resonates with them? What is their highest level of education? Do they want professionalism or personability? Why are they on your website? What do they hope to accomplish with your help? Be as detailed as you can.

Many marketers even give them a name. For example, if you were creating personas for your plumbing supply company, you may have:

Lead Larry – 45 years old

A mid-career plumber, Lead Larry owns his own one-man business. He makes $75,000 a year. He went to a trade school and his work van is 6 years old. He’s looking for a way to reduce overhead and find cheaper parts than his local supply company. He values hard work, honesty, and professionalism.

Be as creative and detailed as you like, just remember this isn’t a fiction-writing exercise. You’re creating personas based on your typical target, so keep your persona in line with who they actually are.

3. Review Your Competitor’s Content And Do Topical Research

Now it’s time to take a look at what the competition is doing. Maybe they’re just flying by the seat of their pants, but they’re probably putting some effort into their campaigns, too.


Review what they’re doing and look for what appears to be working.

For example, if they’re blogging, they may have a view counter on the page. If so, what type of blogs are getting the best results?

Look for trends in your industry. What’s everyone talking about? Is there a big trade show coming up? Or a new technology about to be released?

Figure out who you’re competing with for clicks, not just to see what’s working for them, but also to gain ideas for content of your own. Start making a list of things you want to cover.

If there are influencers in your niche, this is also a good time to check and see what they’re posting about.

4. Conduct Keyword Research

Once you’ve settled on what your content should be, it’s time to perform that old SEO staple: keyword research.

Using a tool like Google Analytics, Semrush, or something platform-specific like YouTube’s Search Insights, figure out the type of language your content needs to use.

This will help you in more than just the SEO aspect, too.


Using keywords in your content demonstrates to your audience that you speak the same language they do. And that doesn’t mean English, it means using the nomenclature everyone in the niche will understand.

Going back to our plumbing supply example, that means referring to a product as a “three-fourths full port threaded ball valve,” rather than a “metal connection thingy.”

Okay, that’s a ridiculous example, but you get the point.

The good thing is that you probably already have a working, if not expert knowledge of this.

5. Create Content That Aligns With Your Goals

If you remember, the very first step to creating a data-driven content plan was to determine your goals.

Now, equipped with everything you’ve done since then, it’s time to create the content that addresses them.

Don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to be F. Scott Fitzgerald to write the kind of content your audience wants. And you’ve already done a lot of the foundational work – now it’s just time to put everything together.

Your content could take nearly any form, videos, blog posts, infographics, case studies, or white papers.


If you’re not comfortable doing these on your own, it should be reasonably easy to find a writer or videographer in your area or extended network. Just ask your connections for recommendations.

If you’re still not confident in your ability to deliver or you can’t afford to hire someone, don’t worry. We have an excellent piece that will walk you through everything you need to know about content creation.

6. Promote Your Content On The Right Channels

You’ve created your masterpiece of relevant content. Now it’s time to share it with the world. But how do you do that? Do you just post it on your corporate blog and wait for Google to index it?

You could take that kind of passive approach, but this is great stuff you’ve just made. Everyone in your niche will want to consume it. And to make sure you get the eyes you want on it, it’s time to promote it.

But before you go linking to it on Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn, and every other social media platform and aggregator site you can think of, pause for a minute.

When you were developing your user personas, you hopefully received some data about where your targets live online.

Are they regular Twitter users? Do they haunt industry-specific forums? Are you connected to them via Slack or other instant messenger apps?

Find out where they hang out and post away. In most cases, if you’re not sure if your targets use a platform or not, you should just go ahead and post anyway.


There are some sites where you can be dinged for unpopular content (Reddit, for example), but most of the time, there’s no harm.

This is also a time to start thinking about how you can repurpose your new content.

Do you have an opportunity for a guest blog post on another site? Or, would your new infographic fit perfectly in your next investor report?

If your data-driven content is built on the solid principles we’ve discussed, it will get engagements.

7. Use Analytics To Measure Results

After your content goes live, you can begin measuring your ROI to see what you did well, where you missed the mark, and what could be optimized to perform better.

This is where the KPIs discussed back in step one come back into play.

Some of these are easier to track than others.

If increasing sales or conversions was your goal, you should have data that backs up performance. Likewise, if you set out to improve traffic to your website, you should have the analytics to track that.


Things like brand visibility can be a bit trickier.

Regardless of what it is you’re using to determine success, you should find the data you need to track performance in Google Analytics.

For a detailed walkthrough of this process, we’ve provided information on exactly how you can measure content marketing success.

A Data-Driven Content Strategy Is A Winning One

Data is a marketer’s best friend. It tells you exactly what works, what doesn’t, and often, why that’s the case.

And a data-driven content strategy is vital for success in today’s hyper-competitive business and SEO environment.

Use the tools available to you to gather data – that’s why they’re there.

Learn to identify what the numbers are telling you and use them to help you craft the kind of content that not only attracts views but gets shares and achieves your goals.

More Resources:


Featured Image: metamorworks/Shutterstock

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