How To Reach Your B2B Audience With Keyword Research

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How To Reach Your B2B Audience With Keyword Research

Harry Bartlett

Start the business-to-business content creation process with keyword research and increase your chances of connecting with your target audience and generate leads. Without keyword research, you might spend your time more productively watching paint dry.

There are 3 important factors to discover from keyword research: average search volume, opportunity to rank for that keyword, and the searcher's intent.

Average Search Volume

You may think you have the perfect keyword list but often few people are searching for these terms or they are too competitive to realistically rank for. We use software like Wordtracker and Moz to evaluate and build keyword lists.

keyword data for B2B

Maybe you think “B2B marketing plan” is a great keyword phrase for your business. Your rationale may be that a lot of organizations who want to develop a marketing plan will search for this keyword and you would show up in the top search results! However, a quick run through Wordtracker shows that “B2B Marketing Plan” only receives 18 searches per month. “B2B marketing strategy” on the other hand gets 233 average monthly searches and most likely has the same user intent. A few minutes of research makes a big difference!

Ranking Opportunity

Now that you have done your homework and have a list of highly searched for keywords, this is where reality closes in. So before we continue, take a moment to queue up Adele, pour a glass of wine, and grab that box of tissues.

Even though you may have a lot of highly searched for terms in your list it is nearly impossible to rank high on search results for most of them. Many other companies are also vying for these high volume keywords and allocate resources from Adwords ads to generating back links specifically so they can rank for them. So unless you have a multi-million dollar digital marketing budget to compete, you have to use a more creative approach.

Ranking opportunity data for b2b keywords

From my example earlier, “B2B marketing” may have sounded like a great keyword at first, but research shows us that the opportunity (Keyword Effectiveness Index - KEI) is very low where “B2B marketing best practices” has a high opportunity. Therefore, it makes complete sense to switch your focus.

Searchers Intent

Google already knows, for the most part, what a user’s intent is when they search for specific terms and phrases. Use this information to your advantage by researching what already ranks for those keywords to understand what type of content users want. Moz’s Keyword Explorer tool is effective for discovering what terms are already on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Let us use the last example once again. “B2B marketing best practices” has a decent amount of monthly searches and the opportunity to rank is high as well.

SERP results for b2b keyword

We now see on average there are 4 AdWords ads at the top meaning the first organic listing is barely seen above the fold. Of those, the top 3 results all come from websites with high domain authorities (above 80). In end, it looks like “B2B marketing best practices” is not the best term to use for ranking purposes.

We have proven this works with many of our clients. Our case study with Blue Stream Labs focused on an in-depth keyword analysis before starting down the path of content creation. The results speak for themselves:

  • 100% increase in leads and in lead quality
  • 70% increase in website traffic
  • 10% decrease in bounce rate from organic searches

This example proves that just looking for keywords that have a high opportunity to rank is not the solution. Combining the 3 factors of keyword research is the opposite of yo-yo dieting, stick to one process that has proven success and you will reach your goals. You can turn off Adele and cork that wine now and get to back to work making your keywords count.

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About the author

Harry started BI in 1998 and focuses on integrating best practices in branding, user experience design, Internet marketing, and technology to increase the value of an online presence.
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