B2B’s Internet Marketing Challenge – No Time!

I was struck by the subject of a recent article titled How to Optimize B2B Pay Per Click in Just 4 Hours a Week (Part 1) by Jon Miller of Marketo.

What caught my interest wasn’t the information on pay per click advertising but the idea that 4 hours a week was considered a time savings! I speak with small to mid size manufacturers in Connecticut every day and from what I hear, no one has an extra 4 hours a week to manage a pay per click program. More often than not I hear, “We really need to update the site but we just can’t find the time.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that small to mid sized B2B companies are missing out by not focusing more on their online marketing strategy but a MarketingSherpa study showed that the single greatest obstacle for B2B companies achieving better optimization is lack of time and in-house resources.

B2C companies are spending many marketing hours (and $$) blogging, mobile marketing and social marketing to generate high traffic but B2B companies are different. Jon Miller points out these differences in search marketing goals:

B2C Search Marketing Goals:

High Volume, low value

Focus on clicks and transactions

Single decision maker

Search with the intent to buy

Transactional landing pages

Purchases immediately

No hand-off from sales to marketing

B2B Search Marketing Goals:

Low Volume, High Value

Focus on conversions and leads

Multiple decision makers

Search with the intent to research

Lead capture landing pages

Purchase months to weeks later

Closed loop lead management

It is worth repeating…B2B online marketing is not about VOLUME of traffic, it’s about the RIGHT traffic. TARGET, TARGET, TARGET! It is a waste of time and marketing dollars getting emails and phone calls from contacts that have no chance of ever being a customer.

So what is the answer? Given there is limited amount of time and in-house resources you need to get help to at least get the basics done so your website is out there working for you. Your ThomasNet Rep (me) or your web developer, agency, SEO agency, etc. can help.

THE BASICS

1) Your website MUST be search engine friendly.

-Professional Design (quality design is becoming more important than ever)

-Fresh Detailed Content

-Keyword Focused Landing Pages

-Proper Title Tags

2) High Quality Relevant Backlinks – The search engines evaluate the quality of the backlinks and the relevancy of the backlinks, not just the quantity. Vertical sites (such as ThomasNet), industry associations, trade journals are excellent sources. If you want to check the quality of a vertical site look at the the link popularity or how a site ranks for a particular keyword. Use online tools such as http://www.marketleap.com/ or http://www.alexa.com/ Ask the company you want to link with to see their site report. ThomasNet’s site report (download .pdf here) gives you the top 500 most frequent users and the top 200 most searched categories for that month.

3) Get a good tracking tool with an Executive Dashboard so you can quickly monitor your site’s performance. It will take 1 minute to check your activity and the keywords. You want to make sure that companies are finding you under a product or service keyword because they are your “new” customers. People who come to your site after typing in your company name already know you. Webtraxs has a great dashboard (download .pdf to see) ThomasNet built sites all come with a Webtraxs tool and all advertisers with a “content based link package” get the tool for free otherwise it is $300 a year.

Take the time to get the basics down right so your internet marketing program is working for you while you are busy handling the 100 other items on your to do list.

If you would like some recommendations on your internet marketing program just give me a call and I’ll be happy to come in and discuss them with you.

This article was written by Mary Dykas – B2B Business consultant representing ThomasNet in Connecticut mary@mvpb2b.com

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