Date posted: February 26, 2015
In a recent post, we noted how search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) was taking center stage in the strategies of those B2B manufacturers selling industrial products. A recent article by Adam Heitzman on Inc.com speaks to how SEO is evolving— and how companies need to change their SEO practice in light of that change.
- The SEO mindset
in the past, the goal was to focus on keywords and get rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). That focus has shifted, notes Heitzman: “Marketers should focus more on a brand’s reputation, how people engage with that brand, and the quality of the product/service. In the end putting a focus on this should improve your rankings by increasing shares and natural linking across the web, but ultimately the focus needs to be on how your brand is viewed as opposed to its ranking position.”
- Keyword mentality
In the past, the practice was to focus on one major keyword— research to find a keyword where the company wanted to rank, and then focus on that term almost exclusively. Now it is all about what the searcher is typing into the engine. The focus is on keyword intent and long tail searches, bringing semantic SEO into play, as well as being creative with search queries.
- Content approach
Algorithms have changed the way content is being written. In the past, focus was on writing content to rank well on SERPs, using the right and right number of keywords. Not so today. The Panda algorithm has changed the game. “Thanks to the Panda algorithm, marketers learned quickly that content needs to be written for readers first, as it always should have been,” says Heitzman. “Content now focuses on relevance and engaging the audience.”
- Link building best practices
Today links must be earned. It’s more important to build relationships and build links from relevant and authoritative sources, rather than place keyword rich links wherever possible. The key here— being more selective with links than was the case in the past.
- Social media stance
As Heitzman notes, “In the past social media wasn’t leveraged for brands much because social signals were not a ranking factor for Google and other search engines. Because the SEO mindset was all about rankings in the past, social media didn’t have much of a place for brands.” No longer. Although social media is technically still not a ranking factor for Google, the opportunities to connect with your audience and increase visibility via social media have grown immensely— and become increasingly important. One example: Facebook’s meteoric rise as a purchasing influence.
The bottom line for B2B marketers according to Heitzman: “It’s important to make sure you’re evolving along with search engines and constantly thinking about these changes as you create your strategy.” SEO methods should be fluid, not static.