Account Based Marketing (ABM) is one of the hottest trends in B2B marketing today, similar to the previous attention given to SEO, or search engine optimization. In this post I’ll discuss how these two strategies can best be used in an integrated fashion to support an overarching digital marketing program.
ABM & SEO
In the last couple of years I have witnessed a shift and a tendency from B2B organizations to put SEO aside and focus resources and budget into a successful Account Based Marketing strategy.
While Account Based Marketing is a very targeted approach and aligns marketing and sales efforts, there are reasons B2B marketing leaders should not ignore SEO!
In fact if you are serious about Account Based Marketing, this is just one more reason to focus resources on organic search performance and optimization.
Every B2B organization has its own priorities in choosing digital marketing channels, but if you don’t focus resources on SEO you risk losing target accounts to competitors who already rank high in Google.
How SEO Expands Your Account Based Marketing Outreach
ABM is an outbound marketing tactic where you identify specific companies (accounts) your organization would like to target. If you are new to this tactic here is a great account based marketing guide by SiriusDecisions that dives deep into what account based marketing is.
Similarly, SEO is an inbound marketing tactic which involves research of how your target buyers search for products and services.
An effective SEO campaign starts with extensive keyword research to analyze search volume and most importantly user intent. Keywords that are relevant to your products and services, keywords you already rank well for, and keywords which show content gaps.
The insights you obtain from this SEO keyword research can help you form a solid content development strategy; a strategy focused on the content needed to bring ABM accounts to your website.
To better understand user intent, marketers must analyze search results for high priority keywords.
- Which keywords produce search results containing introductory content
- For example: how to guides and tutorials
- This type of content usually captures and builds awareness in the early stages of product research.
- It is important to have this type of content to build brand awareness and establish authority and trust.
- Which keywords produce search results that link to product or service pages?
- These pages likely contain selling points and are typically used to convert prospects who are ready to engage.
- Do not ignore keyword optimization on these pages. While it is important to stick to tonality that suits your brand it is also important to have optimized content that is able to compete in search results.
Measure SEO and ABM Results with Google Analytics
The most important step in any campaign implementation is measurement of success or failure. Google Analytics offers great data to analyze ABM performance and understand how SEO is contributing to ABM success.
Here are some tips on what to look for and how to analyze your data
- Start by determining which channel drives the most visits
- Set up conversion tracking and identify which channel drives the most conversions
- Analyze visitor engagement, bounce rate, pages per session, how long users stay on the site and determine how these metrics compare by channel
- Track what content is most popular
- If you run other digital marketing efforts build personalized landing pages for ads, email, social to track how these landing pages perform
- Analyze your audiences’ location. Do you get a lot of visits from locations where your target accounts are based?
- Analyze content engagement by location. Does your content receive visits from locations where your target accounts are based?
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is certainly proving to be effective in accelerating the B2B sales cycle. Don’t forget that a well-executed SEO strategy will provide your ABM targets with valuable content that will build trust in your brand. Integrate SEO with your ABM strategy. Aspire to create content that answers users’ questions, solves problems and resonates with user intent.