Are you a B2B marketer trying to make your mark in the digital world? Well, you’re not alone. But here’s the deal: search engines can be your best friends if you know how to talk to them. I’m here to walk you through some real-world, down-to-earth SEO strategies that can help you stand out and get noticed.

spoke communications navigating SEO strategies

Let’s dive in:

1. Understanding SEM vs. SEO

Alright, let’s clear the fog around this first. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are not twins; they’re more like distant cousins.

  • SEO is all about building strategies around your digital content so your website shows up organically in search results. Research around what businesses are searching for (e.g. – “CNC machined lock pin,” or “medical grade custom manufactured parts”) gives you the insight to build strategic content that raises your organic relevance on the search page and not only showing up higher in search returns, but also more often.
  • SEM, on the other hand, is where you “Pay to play.” You bid on keywords to get your site up there in sponsored listings. With the proper keyword research and strategies for campaigns, SEM is a good way to gain exposure quickly.

The trick here is knowing where to invest your time and resources. If you don’t keep them straight, it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

2. Shine for your Neighbors with Local SEO

Especially if you’re doing business in a specific region, city or rural area, local SEO is your ace card. Here’s what you do:

  • Claim your Google My Business profile and get listed in trustworthy local directories.
  • Pick domain URL extensions that match your target market. While .com is still king, URL extensions like .org for the non-profits or .shop if you’re selling products online can help further define your brand to search engines.
  • Keep your social media game strong; active profiles matter to search engines.

The real pitfall to avoid here is looking like an outsider. If you’re targeting Midwest customers, make sure everything is relevant to a Midwestern market – case studies, sales promotions, etc. Keep it focused and keep it local.

3. Navigating the SEO Maze

Google uses a ton of secret sauce to decide who ranks where. But here’s the scoop: content and backlinks are your buddies.

  • Use your web site to provide the MOST valuable content, especially on your homepage.
  • Aim for a solid 2,000 words there, talking about your services (Keywords), where you offer them, and who your customers are.

This isn’t rocket science; it’s about giving Google the right signals. Remember, 95% of clicks go to the first page of search results, so aim high.

4. Writing for Both Humans and Robots

Your content should be a delightful read for humans and a cakewalk for search engine crawlers. Here’s how:

  • Use snappy title tags and neat meta descriptions.
  • Sprinkle in those keywords your audience is searching for.
  • Get good back-links from respected websites.

Make it easy for both people and machines to understand your message.

5. Use Your Website as the Knowledge Hub

Think of your website as an investment. SEO is the steady climb, while SEM is the fast lane. Blend both into your strategy. Connect your content, showing that you’re an expert in your industry. Smart internal linking tells search engines that you know your stuff.

6. Stay Nimble and Data-Driven

SEO is like a living organism; it evolves. Stay agile and data-savvy. Dive into your data (GA4, Analytics, UTM and Click Tracking, etc.) and focus on growth that’s built to last. Be ready to adjust when algorithms change.

7. Speak Your Customer’s Language

Last but not least, ditch the jargon. Speak in a language your customers understand. Put yourself in their shoes. Use tools like Answer the Public or Google’s “FAQs” returns on searches to find out what questions they’re really asking.

Your website isn’t your business card; it’s your way of saying, “Hey, I get you.” and “I can help you solve ‘X’.” In a world where everyone’s trying to get noticed, mastering SEO is your secret weapon. These practical strategies will not only teach search engines what you’re all about but also help you build a killer online presence that speaks directly to your audience.

Spoke Communications specializes in helping B-2-B marketers amplify their marketing messages and connect with their customers. If you have a content marketing or SEO challenge and are looking to build an engaging brand that connects to your audience, please reach out to me directly for a consult. With more than two decades of marketing strategy experience, SPOKE can help make valuable connections with your customers as well as those pesky search engines. 😉

Until Next Time
Keep Cooking!

Andrew B. Clark
SPOKE Communications, LLC

  1. This is terrific information, AC, for businesses who are just figuring out what SEO is and also those with experience who are trying to take their online presence to the next level.

    Well done!

    • Thank you, Barb!

      There are SO many resources for “Explosive SEO Solutions” and easy DIY tips and tricks, but they often overlook the groundwork necessary to build a strong online presence.

      These are sections of a seminar I’m working up with the Iowa SBA to be presented in October. I hope it adds the value necessary to help the participants.

      Thanks for the comment!