Every once in a while, the question pops up: do tech companies need SEO to get new clients? At first glance, the answer is YES, as search engine optimization is one of the pillars of B2B marketing. It’s pretty hard to build a business and a brand when Google isn’t on your side.
However, things aren’t that simple or immediate in B2B tech marketing, and SEO could turn into an expensive and time-consuming strategy that doesn’t pay off. Betting everything on optimization may not be the winning move. Depending on your position on the market and the type of product you sell, there may be other things to do before investing in keyword research and backlinks.
Let’s take a look at the role of SEO in digital marketing and how it should integrate with inbound marketing for technology companies.
Why companies do SEO
SEO gurus list hundreds of reasons why you should invest in SEO. From increased credibility to impressive ROI, companies get multiple benefits from optimizing their content as part of their B2B marketing strategy. Here are some of the most popular reasons to invest in SEO:
- It helps to build your brand by providing exposure online.
- It’s a highly-effective source of organic traffic for your website.
- It helps you build trust with your audience (people tend to give more credit to companies that rank high in Google’s search results).
- It helps you attract the right type of audience, so you’re more likely to push website visitors down the sales funnel.
- It’s a consistent source of business opportunities.
Numbers highlight the role of SEO in digital marketing, as well. 84 percent of search traffic goes to websites that occupy the first four positions in search results. Moreover, 3 in 4 internet users never make it to the second page of search results.
There’s no doubt; search engine optimization techniques can and will benefit your business in more than one way. As long as people look for you and your products online.
To SEO or not to SEO
Spending all your marketing budget on SEO makes sense only as long as there’s a chance your target audience looks for you online. As a tech company that has just launched a brand new product, it simply may not be the case. Awareness campaigns through social media and PPC are far more lucrative than optimizing your website for search engines.
The same is true for products that address a narrow niche, in which providers and clients can all be counted on one hand. What’s the point of investing in keyword research and putting thousands of dollars in technical SEO if you already have a one-to-one approach with all the people who are interested in your product?
In this particular case, your B2B marketing approach should be 100 percent focused on building long-lasting relationships with your clients. So, you don’t need to sacrifice anything for SEO. Your content should be tailor-made to satisfy your clients, and that’s pretty much it.
As a guideline, you could skip the SEO part (at least for a while) if:
- No one knows your product exists, nor how it can make everyone’s life easier.
- You’re the only provider of the technology that you produce and all searches for your product automatically lead to your website.
- You already know all your potential clients by name and email address.
Now, before opening the champagne to celebrate all the money you’ve just saved, take a moment to analyze where the market could go in the next couple of years. Tech companies operate in a highly dynamic industry, in which you shouldn’t take anything for granted. Your status could change, and you may need SEO sooner than you think.
The benefits of SEO and content marketing integration
Technology is a game-changer, and so is the tech market.
People don’t know that you exist right now. However, if your awareness campaigns and investment in PPC pay off, soon everybody will know who you are, what you do. The next step, they start investigating you online. B2B researchers conduct 12 searches before contacting a company’s sales team. That’s a high demand for content that you should be ready to answer.
Moreover, a few years from now, you may not be the only one selling your technology anymore. There are over 1.35 million techs startups out there. It’s just a matter of time before you get competitors and need SEO and content marketing integration in your overall B2B tech marketing strategy.
That being said, why not build your content strategy around SEO right from the start? Inbound marketing for technology companies already uses the number one SEO ingredient–high-quality, super valuable content. So, why not add some basic SEO and, as your business grows, you pass to more aggressive techniques?
This approach allows you to use any opportunity to reach your target audience and increase the efficiency of your sales funnel.
Getting started with SEO
Let’s take a quick look at the major SEO elements that you can implement (and should) right from the start.
- A mobile-responsive website that delights visitors. For tech companies, a site that uploads in seconds and has a user-friendly design is the best storefront possible. If you already invest in a top-notch website, you might as well mind the SEO part. Great SEO includes details that make the site functional and highly-usable, such as an excellent loading speed time, friendly URLs, a Secure Protocol, an up-to-date sitemap, or CCS files that are open to indexing.
- Super valuable content. It’s a fundamental element in B2B tech marketing, as it allows you to educate prospects and clients about your products and services. In your niche, you can rely on eBooks, white papers, blog posts, and FAQ pages or, depending on the type of product, a knowledge base.
- Proactive social media presence. It helps you communicate more effectively with leads and clients, as well as to attract new people to your sales funnel. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Telegram are just some examples of social networks where you can find people interested in technology and engineering. Social media doesn’t influence your SEO strategy directly, but it’s a good source of organic traffic to your website.
- Backlinks. They’re the backbone of an SEO strategy in both B2C and B2B marketing. Links to your website from relevant publications in your niche are extremely valuable for your authority online. The more mentions you get from people in your industry, the more signals Google receives that you know your business and are a trustworthy resource.
As you can see, many of these essential elements of SEO are already part of your B2B tech marketing strategy. So, all you need to do is polish them here and there to ensure your content strategy stays in line with SEO best practices. Not sure how to do that? Check out our “Killer Content Strategy eBook”! It’s an excellent resource for marketers who are willing to make the most out of every piece of content they create.