The industry (or markets) section is a common navigational component in many B2B websites. While B2B companies use this section to highlight how their solutions will benefit a particular industry, they often miss an opportunity to fully leverage SEO.
In some cases, B2B marketers try to capture too broad of keyword terms, without enough content relevance to truly support such a target. In others, the industry section is almost completely ignored with respect to SEO – whether intentional or not.
This article highlights four SEO recommendations for developing a more effective B2B industry section, and can act as a guide for B2B marketers working with existing and new content in that section of their websites.
Focused Keyword Targets
For most B2B companies, being able to rank well for broad industry-centric terms (like "Financial Services" or "Insurance") is unrealistic, because content marketing initiatives rarely focus on such generic search intent. B2B marketers should consider one of two different keyword strategies when tackling industry landing pages.
1. Industry Specific Keyword Variations
Even though industry specific keyword variations (Example: KEYWORD for "financial services") often fail to yield a high volume of organic search engine traffic, we have found these types of search visitors are more likely to convert into lead opportunities.
- Client Example: While less than 15 percent of all keywords sending traffic were industry related (over the past six months), 30 percent of all organic search engine leads came through via industry related keywords in that same time period.
Most keyword research tools won't deliver measurable search estimates for these types of keywords, so it's important to leverage web reporting tools to track results.
2. Longer-Tail Related Variations of Core Solution-Specific Keywords
Another keyword strategy is to emphasize longer-tail variations of key product or solution-centric keywords that are the most appropriate to the industry being referenced.
- For example, an organization providing incentive programs across a range of industries could seek to optimize industry pages for keywords variations of "incentive programs" that were more directly associated to the solutions industry segment.
The one potential drawback with the latter strategy is that for companies offering a large number of solutions, it can become difficult to emphasize only one or two keyword targets.
Cross-Link Related Content Marketing Assets
Make sure to incorporate cross-links to supporting content marketing assets that identify solutions and information associated to each particular industry's challenges.
Examples of potential important content assets include:
- Industry-specific case studies
- White papers
- Videos, webinars, and multimedia assets
- Market research and survey information
It has been our experience that a larger percentage of leads generated from industry-specific keywords tend to be for more information gathering purposes. Visitors to industry pages want to determine whether the B2B organization has experience, proven success, and an understanding of the challenges unique to their business.
Accenture industry page for financial services
Related Product and Solutions Pages
Cross-link product and solution-based web pages that are specific to the needs of each industry. If multiple solutions are appropriate, try list solutions-specific web pages by order of customer priority.
Ideas for creating more impact with these cross-links:
- Cross-link to demos, product evaluation tools, and technical specifications in addition to primary product pages.
- Incorporate icons or images to catch the readers' eye.
- Consult the sales and business development teams to identify the most important products, solutions, and challenges of each industry.
Define Clear Conversion Actions
Because the B2B marketers' primary goal is lead generation, make sure conversion actions are defined and developed. While these pages will work differently than in traditional landing page optimization, many of the same principles will apply.
- Place conversion actions and/or important cross-links on the right side of the page.
- Test color palettes, and images and graphics to improve conversion rates.
- Consider placing form submissions directly on each industry page in an effort to reduce clicks.
Final Thoughts & Considerations
Industry pages are important for B2B organizations to demonstrate their success and experience in particular markets. However evaluating visitors and decision makers need to find pages first, and search engines are the most likely place they will begin their research.
Determining optimal keyword strategies for gaining visibility and offering both visitors and search engines access to important, relevant web content, should ultimately bring more leads and conversion opportunities to the organization.