It is pretty common to email survey and customer feedback requests to customers after a purchase is made online. While I often just delete these communications, I may consider them if I’ve had either exceptional or horrible experiences.
For one recent purchase, I was disappointed to see that the actual flow between the link to review in email and the actual opportunity to review simply took me to the organization’s home page, requiring login. The downside is that users will often ignore the opportunity to provide a rating because there are too many steps in the process, even if that is only a perceived notion.
Ratings and reviews can be important for SEO and PPC. Why? If structured correctly, e-commerce sites in particular may be able to showcase their reviews in search engine results, ultimately having an opportunity to differentiate their listing from the rest.
This experience got me thinking about where B2B marketers may miss out on SEO opportunities because there isn’t a direct connection to SEO performance.
Here are five potentially overlooked content marketing opportunities B2B marketers should consider incorporating into their ongoing SEO efforts.
While content found in email may not offer direct SEO impact, cross-linking and awareness development of content certainly provide an opportunity to acquire links, social media visibility, and,in the case above, ratings/user feedback development. Consider the following tactics for optimizing email communication in coordination with SEO viability.
- Cross-links to key content marketing assets and social media profiles.
- Easy to scan visual layout and organization.
- Thorough contact information.
- Alignment of user experience between key call-to-actions in email messaging and landing experience.
Don’t forget providing a seamless experience across device types as well, making certain landing pages are mobile friendly. Multiple studies have indicated an increasingly significant percentage of users accessing business-related email specifically through their smartphone.
While lead generation is the critical objective, B2B marketers need to take advantage of every opportunity to gain user interaction and increase engagement. The confirmation page is another asset that often becomes an afterthought when it pertains to SEO efforts.
The confirmation page does not have to be an exit page.
Just because a visitor fills out a form does not necessarily mean they’re finished learning about the company or the company’s experience. The fact that they filled out a form infers that they are already interested. Give them a reason to stay, learn more, and possibly interact.
- For general contact forms: Consider adding cross-links on the confirmation page to case studies, white papers, free research, and product information.
- For download requests (white paper submissions, etc.): Add links to related product marketing collateral, case studies, etc.
- In all cases, we recommend adding cross-links to social media profiles, blog and company-specific RSS feeds, and newsletter subscriptions.
Finally, consider changing the confirmation message on a semi-regular basis, layering in information on upcoming events (webinars, conferences, etc), promotions, and new content marketing assets.
ABOUT PAGES/COMPANY PAGES
Company pages can become a key asset in providing validation of an organization’s message and credentials. As we illustrated in our 2015 Web Usability Report, 52% of respondents wanted to see About / Company Information when they got to a B2B vendor website.
In addition to important company information and general marketing communication, consider adding the following assets to a company overview page:
- References to organizations, memberships, and industry affiliations.
- Links to social media assets and recent updates from those assets.
- Video assets such as executive interviews and product demonstrations.
- Links to publications and associated author information about management.
All of these elements can help build trust between vendor and prospect, ultimately benefiting brand awareness and long-term visibility in organic search engine results.
SOCIAL MEDIA ASSETS
While the direct impact of social media to SEO performance is debatable, most marketers agree that there can at least be indirect opportunities. Relationships help create links and awareness of your content marketing initiatives. Social media marketing can be a great way to build those relationships.
But it never surprises me to find very basic opportunities for optimization missing from many B2B organizations’ social media presence. Common elements we find overlooked include:
- Thorough profile information, leveraging as many of the available form fields offered by each platform.
- Cross-links to the website, key web page information (like contact pages, company blogs, etc.), and other social media profiles.
- Call to action messaging, bring visitors to key promotions, content marketing assets, or even more in-depth organizational information and opportunities for more direct contact.
- Consistent branding (social icons, logo usage, etc.).
Bottom-line: Provide your social media audiences with as much information as possible to help your organization acquire links and references, through direct communication and organic acquisition.
404 ERROR PAGES
Finally, while there may be nothing more annoying that landing on a broken webpage, a little creativity in the error message can go a long way in alleviating frustration and motivating your visitor to remain on the site.
Raven’s 404 error page
We typically recommend a clear error message with links to core navigational elements and social media profiles; humor and creative expression are often welcome too. At the least, maybe you’ll get a link in one of these collections for your efforts.
The key takeaway for B2B marketers is that a range of opportunities can influence SEO. Even though the content marketing initiatives detailed above may not have a direct impact on SEO, they all aid in building brand awareness and increasing the visibility of more directly influential SEO content assets.
Are there areas of your content marketing program that have been overlooked but ended up providing a positive impact towards SEO? I would love to read your perspective via comments below.
Author Note: A variation of this article originally appeared in our company newsletter, which we publish quarterly. Subscribe to our newsletter to get access to more specific information like this, as well as company updates, announcements, etc.