Keyword research for B2B SEO is much like any other industry. You need to identify which search terms are relevant to your business, select the ones to focus on, and build targeted content to address the search intent behind those keywords.
The process of conducting keyword research starts by knowing exactly who your target audience is and what they’re searching for. This is done by building user personas, which help you look at buyers as people, not just potential leads. A good buyer persona should cover core information about your prospects, such as their demographics, pain points at work, goals, and how your product or service can help them. Don’t limit yourself to one persona either — make one for each person that’s involved in the decision-making process, such as the CMO, CTO, and CFO.
Once you have these done, it’s time to brainstorm high-level topics that will help guide your keyword research. Keep your list to roughly 5 or so topics, then use these as seed keywords in a keyword suggestion tool. Speaking of SEO tools, you’ll want to have a few under your belt to start with, such as KWFinder, Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, or SEMRush. These are invaluable tools for unearthing search volume and competition for different keywords, as well as finding similar keyword recommendations.
We can’t talk about keyword research without talking long-tail keywords. These are keywords that are longer and more targeted than short-tail keywords, which are typically just a couple of words in length. Although these are low volume keywords, they make up 70% of all searches conducted via Google. More importantly, they’re more focused because the searcher is typically looking for something specific — for example “benefits of secure cloud computing”. If you show up for the right long-tail keywords, you can target buyers at different parts of their decision-making process. And as a bonus, a long-tail search term is less competitive, so it’s easier to improve your Google rankings for these than it is for high-volume keywords.
It doesn’t stop there either. You need to create content in order to appear to people searching for those keywords. Whether it’s a single blog post or a landing page, you need to be creating content and writing content that speaks to users throughout the sales funnel.
Finally, you should constantly be reviewing your own content strategy and rankings, and refining your list of keywords to ensure you’re ranking for the most profitable terms out there. Because if you’re not bringing in qualified traffic, then you’re not getting the most out of your search marketing efforts.
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