97% of B2B buyers use search to research a problem or technology need, according to research from MarketingSherpa
That's a huge number, and one that certainly underscores the important role that online search plays in your company's demand generation efforts. But this begs the question..are you doing everything you can to ensure that potential clients can find your website? Oftentimes, the answer is no, and I have received many questions from IBM Business Partners asking for help with search engine optimization (SEO). As a result, I've recently posted some guidance on PartnerWorld detailing best practices on how to optimize your website for search.
This guidance will help you understand how to organically optimize your digital presence without pay-per-click tactics. Included is information on how to optimize your website, as well as other rich media assets like pdfs and videos, an explanation of how social media influences your search engine rankings, and tips on how to measure the success of your SEO efforts. I've simplified all of this into five steps that you can follow to help improve your website's search engine rank. Here's a summarized version:
Step 1 - Perform Keyword Research
The first step towards improving your website's search engine rank is understanding how a layman would search for your content. By performing keyword research, you can filter out the corporate terminology that you are using to describe your solutions, and key in on the terms that potential clients are using to search for information.
Step 2 - On Page Optimization
Once you have identified your keywords, you can carefully consider each page that you want to optimize by integrating them in key locations on the page.
Step 3 - Off Page Optimization
One of the ways that Google measures the authority of your digital assets and web pages is through links, so after you have optimized your pages, you should assess the quality, quantity and relevance of inbound and outbound links to those pages.
Step 4 - Social Media Optimization
Make sure that you consider the role of social media in your SEO strategy. Social sites presents an important opportunity for link building, and they can also boost your rank over time by enabling likes, shares and Google +1s.
Step 5 - Measure and Continually Assess Your Results
Search Engine Optimization begins with research and ends with assessing and quantifying results, so you should compare your key performance indicators (KPIs) before and after the optimization process to ensure that you are seeing the desired results. You should also periodically reassess your KPIs over time, as any number of changes outside your own website can affect your rank.