As an Inbound Marketer, during this pandemic, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about various types of low cost marketing strategies and tactics that B2B companies can leverage now during the next 30-60-90 days to maintain and grow traffic, conversions and sales opportunities.
And prepare you to take advantage of pent of demand in the coming months.
While the economy as a whole has taken some serious blows and there's much uncertainty about how long the COVID 19 virus will be with us, I think the general sense is one of optimism and hope.
If anything, I'm seeing more empathy, less divide and a greater realization that there is more to life than politics and business as usual.
Back to the tips...
While this list is not exhaustive, it’s meant to provide three quick wins at price points that don’t require substantial budgets and take months (and years) to deploy.
Each of these tactics below can be up and running within 30 days or less.
1. Keyword Optimization (4-20) / Guest Posting
I'm sure you are aware that if you're not within the first few results on Google you might as well be on the last page. In fact, the first 3 Google results take almost 75% of the traffic.
Once you factor in Google Ads, which account for roughly 15% of traffic, that leaves positions 4-10 fighting for the remaining 10% of traffic volume.
Now is a good time to analyze your organic keyword positions and boost your rankings for those critical keywords that are relevant to your product/service.
You may be asking yourself, “OK, so how do I go about doing this?”
If you're not sure how to find your keyword rankings, SEMRush is a great tool for keyword research. It will tell you your keyword positions, monthly traffic estimates, average CPC, your competitors rank and so much more.
Once you have identified your keyword positions where you rank between 4 and 20 (that are relevant), the next step is to identify the URL where your keyword is ranking.
We want to boost the strength of that URL through backlinks.
There are over 200 ranking factors that go into Google's RankBrain algorithm, yet Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) is one of those areas where you can make some big strides in a fairly short amount of time especially for keywords you are already ranking in the top 100.
One technique that helps you grow your DA and PA quickly is backlinks from another high quality domain. You can get backlinks from other domains a couple of different ways but the most common comes in the form of Guest Post and Press Releases. We'll be focusing on Guest Post for now.
You can do this on your own (time consuming) by reaching out to your personal network to see if someone would be open to publishing content you create with a link to your domain.
Or, you can automate this process by partnering with a company that specializes in both the outreach and copywriting aspect of your guest blog, as well as understand the nuance around anchor text.
The next logical question might be: “OK, how many backlinks do I need to add to my website/URL to rank for "xyz" keyword/phrase?”
There are several SEO tools available, one I really like a lot is Ahrefs, since it shows me an estimate of the number of backlinks I will need to rank on the first page for a keyword.
Let's take for example, the keyword “cloud based erp software”. Ahrefs is suggesting I get backlinks from ~26 different websites to rank on the first page for this keyword.
Ahrefs also provides intel on the strength of the domains and pages. These are listed below as "DR" and "UR" for the results currently in the top 10 positions for this keyword.
This provides a starting place for the types (strength) and number (quantity) of backlinks you’ll need to rank on the first page.
The stronger the domain and referring page, the better your chances are for ranking high on the first page.
Backlinks can get expensive for hard to rank for keywords. That's why its important to do some thorough keyword research prior to aimlessly going after links.
2. On-page Optimization
Another tactic that can be deployed quickly and with little expense has to do with the on-page experience of your traffic.
In addition to backlinks, Google’s RankBrain algorithm is analyzing the user experience of your traffic. For example, are they staying on your website after they click?
If so, for how long?
How many pages are they looking at?
You get the idea.
For now, we’ll focus on two primary factors: 1) dwell time and 2) bounce rate.
Dwell time basically means how long the visitor stays on particular pages. A longer dwell time is a positive indicator whereas a short dwell time is a negative indicator for Google rankings.
The theory behind this is that readers who find your content useful and engaging should spend more time on your page(s). Make sense?
One way to increase dwell time is to add additional content to your pages.
A quick way to improve dwell time could be to add a simple video to your blog(s) providing a quick overview of the blog topic in video format.
You already have the topic / subject matter covered, it's just a matter of creating the video, or partnering with a firm that can create this for you.
Bonus Tip: Yes, video will help with dwell time but also video is indexed by Google, therefore you could potential rank #1 via video rich snippets on Google search results.
Your bounce rate has to do with how well you are providing answers and information to your readers questions/queries once they click on your website.
A high bounce rate (negative ranking factor) means that a reader comes to your website and leaves your site after a single page visit.
They do not click on any other pages on your domain. The goal is to have the reader click on another page, which decreases your bounce rate (a positive ranking factor).
One method for improving your bounce rate is creating new or stronger Calls-to-Action (CTAs). A strong offer on your key pages encourages the reader to click, oftentimes to a landing page with some sort of offer in exchange for contact info.
If your offers consist of a single hyperlink text at the bottom of your website, its time to upgrade with buttons or images above the fold, or at a minimum not at the very bottom of your page.
HubSpot offers some entry level tools for quick and easy CTA and form creation to increase your conversion rate as well as help reduce your bounce rates.
If you are not sure where to get data about dwell time and bounce rate you can get this info for free from Google Analytics or if you use marketing software like HubSpot, you can get this data right from your individual pages analytics.
Chat has seen a resurgence in recent years as a quick and easy way to get answers from websites willing to engage in this channel.
The great thing about chat today is that many providers offer built in intelligence that can help automate and streamline chat conversations without having to have a human engage in every chat request.
These are referred to as chat bots. There’s a good chance you’ve engage with chat bots already and couldn't tell the difference whether or not it was a human on the other end of the line.
Chat is a great tool to help with increasing your dwell time and reducing bounce rates. Especially if you can direct the reader to other areas of your website.
Lastly, chat is included (with chat bots) with the HubSpot Starter package mentioned above.
As we approach the next 30, 60, 90 days with uncertainty one key suggestion is to “be human” with your web traffic/subscribers, prospects and customers with your online messaging and interactions.
We are all in this together. Being helpful and responsive wins the day and puts you in a position of trust when buyers are ready to re-engage once the dust settles.
But for this to happen you need to be seen (through increased Google rankings) and you need to make it easy for readers to engage with you on their terms and preferred channel.