How to Master SEO Marketing for Maximum Reach
Even though SEO is nothing new, it remains somewhat of a mystery for most distributors and business owners in general. Some try to figure it out on their own, others hire an expert, but the vast majority just ignore it.
Why SEO Is Important For Promo Distributors
In today’s connected world, we have been trained to find any information we want at any given moment, instantaneously, by searching on a mobile browser. There are thousands of promo-related terms searched on Google every day, but studies show we only consider the results listed on page one, and hardly ever check page two. Three-quarters of people never scroll past the first page of search engines.
This means that if you want to be in the game, you must appear on page one for the right search terms. If you don’t, you are invisible to your ideal clients.
The fact is, business-to-business buyers who are searching online are ready to buy.
When B2B buyers contact a provider, they have an immediate need. They have already done their due diligence, and they’re ready to take the next step. Eighty-nine percent of B2B researchers gather information about potential purchases via the internet. Before interacting with a website, the average B2B buyer conducts 12 different online searches. B2B buyers typically consume between three and seven pieces of content before speaking with a salesperson.
There are more than 400 ranking factors that fall into one of four distinct types. An effective SEO work plan must address all.
1. On-Page SEO
These relate to the content on your website. It encompasses both the content on your pages and the titles and descriptions you provide for the search engines. Optimizing each individual page on a website helps search engines understand the topic of your site and determine if it’s a good match for a particular search term.
On-page SEO includes keyword research — finding the best keywords to target on a page of content; content creation — publishing high-quality content focused on target keywords; and keyword optimization — using the target keyword in all the right places.
There are a variety of tools to help with keyword research and content creation. Some are free, such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner, which helps find search volume, competition, and other keyword references; and Google Search Console, which shows you the keywords your site ranks for, traffic, and Google indexing of your pages.
2. Off-Site SEO
This relates to your website’s reputation and authority online, which helps search engines see you are a reliable, trusted source. One of the most important elements is the number of backlinks, or other relevant, authoritative websites linking to your site, which shows search engines that your site is valuable and established.
When creating a link-building plan, you must avoid black hat tactics, such as buying backlinks and link exchanges.
Another important off-site SEO factor is online reviews. The more positive reviews a website has, the more trustworthy it will be for search engines.
3. Technical SEO
This relates to the structure and functionality of your website to make it easy for search engines to crawl and understand your site and to provide a good user experience to your visitors. It’s not only important for visitors to stay on your site and convert, but it also sends signals to Google as far as the quality of the site based on traffic and engagement.
Technical SEO elements include site speed, mobile-responsiveness, indexing, crawlability, site architecture, structured data, and security.
An easy way to check on the state of your technical SEO is by using Google Search Console. This should be done on a regular basis.
4. Local SEO
This has to do with maximizing your opportunities to appear on searches based on your location, such as “promotional products in my city” or “promotional products near me.” These are based on optimizing your Google Business Profile.
While there are advantages to having your own business profile on Google Business Profile, it’s important to note that it does provide more advantages to local B2C businesses where proximity is a factor because it’s tied to the maps and it picks up the results based on the map location. For B2B, Google doesn’t factor in the location and distance in the same way, as buyers will want to visit the website and not travel to the business’ physical place.
That said, there are worthwhile advantages for distributors to have a Google Business Profile, even if they serve national markets. The most notable one is to collect reviews. Google reviews have an influence on SEO, plus people tend to trust them because they are posted by a real person.
The Role of Content in SEO
Content marketing has become somewhat of a buzzword. In an effort to jump on board, many distributors are publishing content, but not seeing the results they were hoping for.
The No. 1 reason is poor-quality content. Many use services that provide mass-produced content that other distributors also use, which is not indexed by Google and, therefore, is “ignored” because it’s found on many sites. Some publish content without rhyme or reason, which also isn’t indexed by Google.
What Constitutes Good Content?
In essence, good content speaks to your target audience about things they want to know as it relates to the products and services you provide. It communicates your knowledge and expertise and has educational value.
Google recently released its Helpful Content Guidelines that emphasize content quality, commonly known as Google EEAT — experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
The goal of creating content is to satisfy your prospect’s need for information. You want your website to be the one that provides that information, and Google values that.
Your content needs to be structured in a way that demonstrates your hands-on experience and expertise on the topic and positions the author as an “authority” on the subject matter.
Some examples of types of content include blog posts, web pages, e-newsletters, video, infographics and slide shows, e-books, checklists, research reports, case studies, and project showcases.
Tracking Progress and Results
Monitoring results allows you to see how your SEO efforts are working and the adjustments needed. Make sure you have Google Analytics 4 installed on your site, which provides granular and detailed information about your website traffic and what visitors do on your site.
The following are the most important metrics to track:
- Number of monthly visitors
- Number of form submissions, calls, and chats
- Bounce rate (number of people leaving your site without visiting other pages)
- Where people came from (traffic sources)
- Number of pages visited
- Pages per session
- Source/medium and channels
- Pageviews, unique pageviews, engagement
- Average time on page
- Landing pages
- Exit pages
Furthermore, for the most accurate information, you’ll
also want to include the following internal metrics in your report:
- Number of inquiries per month
- Number of unqualified vs. qualified leads
- Number of sales
SEO is a critical aspect of expanding your reach to new potential clients and generating organic leads. Many people turn to a search engine when they need information. If people can’t find you, it’s as if you don’t exist.
The right SEO efforts will have a compounding effect on building your online presence that will expand continuously over time. What you do today, if done correctly, will bring you success for a long time.
Gloria Lafont is a mother, grandmother and business owner. Throughout her business career she has started, bought and sold a dozen businesses in the branding and marketing field, including a distributor company. She’s currently president of Action Marketing Co., founded in 2007. Her company focuses on helping distributors increase visibility, generate awareness and drive traffic so they can connect with more of their ideal clients and generate more leads and sales.
Gloria is a big fan and supporter of education and the cultural arts, volunteering her time and donating marketing support over the years to help various organizations grow in membership and revenue. She also enjoys the South Florida lifestyle mix of business, beaches and arts.