B2B SEO Accountability
There are many B2B companies that think Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a foreign practice. Understanding SEO is made even more difficult when there are SEO agencies over promising and practicing “Black Hat” SEO. So, how do you know if you have a good B2B SEO agency? There are 3 steps you can take to hold your B2B SEO agency accountable:
1. Make Keyword Choices Appropriate for your Business
2. Follow More Than Rankings
3. Define Your ROI
The Right Keyword Selections
A good B2B SEO program starts with a base of good research. Most of that research will be utilized to select keywords you’ll use to help have increased visibility among various search engines.Did your SEO agency give you the criteria they used when selecting your targeted keyword phrases?
When selecting your keywords you want to make sure they align the terms with the intent of your audience.When a user searches using keywords or phrases you are optimizing for, they ought to be looking for your company’s service.
Do the chosen keywords have good search volume figures (the average number of monthly searches for that keyword or phrase)? Your B2B Search agency should suggest appropriate keywords based on level of competition, search volume and applicability to your service. Keyword research tools such as the Google Keyword Tool are free and can be used to determine search volume data and PPC competitive data. On top of this data your SEO agency should analyze your online competition and really understand your services.With all of the research combined they should be able to determine the best keywords and phrases for your SEO program. It’s important that you’re involved in this portion of your SEO program, don’t get left behind! Don’t hesitate to ask questions and get all of the information you need, on why certain keywords are being chosen.
I Want More Than Rankings…Give Me Traffic!
Your search agency should include tracking results of their efforts as part of your B2B SEO program.This means more than just rankings should be reviewed. Rankings are the first step in SEO success however the data is not 100% accurate because of local and personalized search.Search results will change from location to location, when you search from your office and your home the results will be completely different, you can imagine what happens when customers move.
A better measure for SEO success is an increase in organic traffic. Analytics (if set up) can be tracked through any analytics service provider. If your B2B SEO agency has done everything correct and has recommended the right keywords and implemented your program than analytics should show increases in traffic via search engines. This stat should be increasing and you should also see traffic coming from the selected keywords and phrases.
Can You Track ROI?
Perhaps one of the largest challenges in finding success in your B2B SEO program is finding your Return on Investment (ROI).Analytics give you many insights, tracking organic traffic to the final conversion can be rather difficult for B2B companies because of their long complex sales cycles. So, how can you hold your Search Marketing Agency accountable to your ROI when most end conversions take place off-line as opposed to on your website?
Conversion goals!Most B2B companies find the value of a lead then measure the success of off-line marketing like print, television advertising. Your analytics should be programmed to monitor your users actions such as downloading a whitepaper, filling out a contact form, signing up for a newsletter, or reading a case study.
These actions don’t actually convert users into clients, they do participate more with your company and can be considered a prospect.You can start to measure if your B2B search agency has given you ROI on your SEO investment by giving each different prospect a value.
Use this guide to hold your agency accountable for traffic quality as well. You can also find the targeted keywords and phrases that are driving high quality traffic through goal conversions.
Good Expectations to Hold Your B2B Search Agency Accountable
You don’t have to know the entire SEO process in order to hold your B2B SEO agency accountable for delivering results. You can detect a great search marketing agency if they start every project with proper expectations. Program goals should be considered along with those expectations.Can your company benefit?What’s the best way to track your success? It’s important to insist that your agency gives you the data and thinking for selecting your keywords.You need to make sure that when it comes to getting results you see more than just search rankings as an indication of success. To ensure you’re getting ROI track your site activity and assign a value to prospects. Put yourself in the action and you won’t have any problem holding your agency accountable.