Search engine optimization is one of the least known marketing strategies, yet those who employ it reap incredible, tangible rewards. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is employed by large and small companies alike as a critical, powerful tool in building brand awareness, strengthening brand or corporate positioning and image, generating sales leads, driving purchase decisions, and increasing revenues.
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website to ensure its pages are indexed with and positioned favorably by the search engines when you use sites like Google or Yahoo.
Why does search engine optimization matter for B2B? Search engines are the first place most people go when considering a business purchase—and they do so long before anyone else knows they’re considering a purchase. The organic search engine results (the non-paid or non-sponsored links) are the ones they click first and most often. And if you don’t rank highly in the organic results, you may as well not be there at all.
When evaluating their presence on the web, many CEOs and marketing directors make the mistake of searching for their company name or one of their proprietary branded products. When they see the corporate name or a branded product rank high in the search results, they feel good; they can be found. The problem is, what about all those searchers who don’t know your name or the name of your products? If you’re not well positioned by the search engines for the search terms people actually use, you may never be found.
Moreover, if you’re not well positioned in the search results for the search terms prospects actually use to find products and services like yours, you’re losing sales and sales leads to your competitors who are well positioned, can be found, and appear to actually be an industry leader (regardless of their actual status in the industry.) At the very least, a competitor who is well positioned in the search results is almost automatically considered another viable source from which your prospect can obtain the products or services you sell—and your job of selling just became more difficult; there’s one more competitor to fight for the business (and they appear to be one of the experts.)
Search engine optimization represents a rich source of sales leads and an opportunity to successfully position your company in the minds of prospect. If that matters to you, search matters.