B2B Marketing News: B2B Content Targeting Strategy, Growing Search & Social Ad Spend, YouTube’s Auto-Chapters, & Dark Mode Marketing Insights

2021 October 29 MarketingCharts Chart

2021 October 29 MarketingCharts Chart

Dow Jones Data Identifies B2B Content-Targeting Strategy
73 percent of B2B marketers said they find it reassuring to learn more about a brand even when they’re already in the buying journey, while 68 percent view content about a brand that comes from business news and trade media as more trustworthy than information from the brand’s website — two of several statistics of interest contained in newly-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. MediaPost

LinkedIn Engagement Continues to Grow, Ad Revenue Rising Amid Economic Recovery
Record engagement levels, up some 19 percent from the last quarter, were among the quarterly highlights for Microsoft’s LinkedIn platform (client), accompanied by revenue that grew by 42 percent and advertising demand up some 61 percent, Microsoft recently announced. Social Media Today

With Younger Audiences Going Ad-Free, Brand Integration Is More Important Than Ever
Brand integration is becoming more of a key marketing tactic as more audiences, particularly younger demographics, eschew advertising, leading to new strategic placement options, according to recently-released Nielsen study data. MediaPost

TikTok Shares New Insights into Why People Use the App, and How it Celebrates Authenticity
As more B2B brands test the waters with social platform TikTok, some 53 percent of global TikTok users have said that they trust others to be their authentic selves on the platform, with some 31 percent viewing its content as uplifting, and 53 percent noting a sense of community among its users, according to newly-released TikTok report data . Social Media Today

Facebook tests a new option for cross-posting your Facebook feed posts to Instagram
Marketers utilizing both Facebook and its Instagram platform have been giving new options making it easier to share content among the two services, including the ability to cross-post Reels and Stories elements from Facebook to Instagram, Facebook recently announced. TechCrunch

YouTube Adds Auto-Chapters as a Search Element, the Next Stage of its Chapters Push
Last year YouTube rolled out a smart indexing feature for splitting videos into parts to make finding certain information within a video easier, and recently the Google-owned video platform has given marketers new options for optimizing their video chapter names, along with adding auto-chapter information to provide additional search data insights, YouTube announced recently. Social Media Today

2021 October 29 Statistics Image

Talent Gap Hinders Marketers’ Use of AI
Some 51 percent of marketing leaders have said that hiring talent with sufficient artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data science skill-sets are among their leading challenges, while tech partnerships, internal cross-training, and selecting the right AI technology were seen as additional top challenges, according to recently-released AI survey data. MarketingCharts

Snapchat Adds 13M More Daily Users in Q3, Now up to 500M Monthly Actives
Snapchat saw 306 million daily active users during the last quarter, with more than 500 million active monthly users, accompanied by the platform’s first ever quarter topping $1 billion in revenue, Snapchat recently announced. Social Media Today

Dark Mode for Email Survey: What Do Marketers Think?
72 percent of marketers said that they have dark mode email creation on their radar, with some 39 percent of B2B brands noting that they incorporate dark mode emails, a practice that nearly half of B2C brands utilize, according to newly-released email advertising report data of interest to online marketers. Mailjet by Pathwire

Which Media Are Recovering to Pre-COVID Ad Spend – or Exceeding It?
Search, social, and other forms of digital advertising are among the media types expected to see the greatest gains during 2021, according to recently-released advertising revenue forecast data. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 October 29 Marketoonist Comic Image

A lighthearted look at the “productivity and interruptions” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Global IT spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, says Gartner — The Register

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Nick Nelson — 10 Tips for Finding Your Way as a New Entrepreneur — Small Business Trends
  • Lee Odden — 5 SEO Content Writing Tips — InspireFirst
  • TopRank Marketing — B2B Influencer Marketing: Your 2021 Guide To Success [+ 3 Examples] — Pop Pays

Have you come across your own leading B2B marketing news from the past week of industry news? Please drop us a line in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us for the week’s TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and we hope you’ll return next Friday for more of the week’s most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us on our LinkedIn page, or at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post B2B Marketing News: B2B Content Targeting Strategy, Growing Search & Social Ad Spend, YouTube’s Auto-Chapters, & Dark Mode Marketing Insights appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

How to Do Quarterly SEO Planning for 3x the Results

How to do quarterly SEO planning for 3x the results

Let me guess.

You’re not seeing results from your SEO strategy, and you’re about one ranking away from throwing your laptop out the window.

After all, you’re doing everything right. You’re publishing new content consistently. You spend hours researching keywords. You have a thorough content promotion strategy.

Yet, crickets.

What gives? You have a leak in your SEO strategy.

Something, somewhere, has gone awry, and it’s impacting your performance in search results. Whether it’s the latest Google update, poor backlink strategy, or a competitor outwitting and outplaying you on search, this is where a quarterly SEO planning comes into play.

It will help you find those leaks, seal them up, and get you back on track to smashing your SEO goals for the year.

Ready to 3x your results and increase your organic traffic? Here’s how to implement a solid SEO plan.

Why Is Quarterly SEO Planning Important?

SEO planning is important because things change. Fast.

If you’re not monitoring the SEO landscape, you won’t react fast enough to change. Google may release a new algorithm, tanking one of your top-performing posts and a lucrative lead source with it.

Let’s look at the latest Google algorithm update, The Page Experience. Google emphasizes Core Web Vitals as lightweight ranking signals to encourage sites to give the end-user a better surfing experience.

If your site performance is not up to scratch for the new update, you’ll most likely see a knock in your Google search rankings.

Besides mitigating risks from algorithm updates, SEO quarterly planning gives you an in-depth analysis of your strategy. It will tell you what is working and what you need to adjust to stay on track and meet your SEO goals.

How to Do Quarterly SEO Planning

OK, so now that we know why SEO planning is important, let’s dive into the steps you can take each quarter to assess your performance.

1. Review Core Metrics and Goals

The first step with any strategy is to set goals. Without it, you won’t have a clear understanding of where you’re going, what you want to achieve, and measurable ROI.

Reviewing your core metrics and goals each quarter paints a current picture of your journey. It will show if you’re on track or if you need to pivot your strategy to meet your KPIs and goals for the year.

Some of the metrics you’ll want to review include:

  • organic traffic
  • click-through-rate (CTR)
  • bounce rate
  • keyword rankings
  • backlinks
  • page speed
  • conversions

You’ll find most of these in your Google Analytics dashboard, but other SEO tools, like SEMrush and Ubersuggest, offer some of these stats as well. 

2. Review Keyword Research

Keyword research is the backbone of any SEO plan. 

It tells you what your audience is searching for (not what you think they are searching for), what’s bringing in traffic for your competitors, and opportunities for content creation.

It’s because of all this vital information you need to review your keyword research every quarter.

Why?

Search trends are not stagnant.

Every day, week, and month new terms gain or lose popularity. If you want to capitalize on search trends and become the go-to expert in your niche, you need to keep up with changes in the market.

Two of my favorite tools for reviewing keywords and finding opportunities are:

  • Google Trends: This is a free tool to see industry trends and search term popularity for the entire world or a specific region. It can help you identify short and long tail keywords to include in your SEO strategy.
  • Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest is a freemium tool I created to streamline your keyword research and monitoring process. It comes with a built-in keyword analyzer you can use to track popularity, ranking difficulty, and other data like user age range and click-through rate.
How to Do Quarterly SEO Planning - Review Keyword Research

3. Check Your Target Audience

Raise your hand if you have a compilation of buyer personas and customer journey maps.

While these are important elements of a successful SEO strategy, you need to go beyond that if you want to triple your results next quarter.

You need to understand your audience’s search intent. When you can do that, it will make it 10x easier to find relevant keywords and to create content that converts.

When analyzing your SEO plan, ask yourself these questions each quarter to make sure you’re on the same page as your audience:

  1. Who does my audience see as a trustworthy source in my industry when looking for answers?
  2. What sites does my audience use to find answers?
  3. What questions does my audience have about my industry, brand, and products/services?
  4. What are their biggest pain points?

When you take the time to get into people’s heads, you’ll find keywords that matter to your audience and produce the in-depth content your audience wants.

4. Check Your Ranking

What’s keyword ranking?

It’s where your site is ranking on search engines.

Your position plays a vital role in the success of your SEO plan. It affects your organic traffic, lead generation, and conversions.

According to a recent search results study, the first organic result has an average CTR of 28.5 percent. Afterwards, the CTR falls sharply to 15 percent for position 2 and 11 percent for position 3.

At the end of each quarter, check the rankings for your most valuable keywords.

  • Did you lose or gain positions in search?
  • Which pages or blog posts need more backlinks?
  • Do you need to update blog posts to keep the information relevant?
  • Who took your position? What made their content better?

These are all questions you need to ask yourself during your SEO plan review. The answers will help strengthen your position in search, help you outrank your competitors, and avoid massive dips in search engine traffic.

5. What Are Competitors Doing?

The next stop on your SEO audit is competitor research.

Take the time to evaluate your competition to uncover opportunities and weaknesses in your approach.

Before you dive in, keep in mind that your competition isn’t always your direct competitor.

For example, if you sell vegan hiking socks, your competitors in search could be lifestyle blogs within your industry and brands who sell the same product.

As you analyze your competition, answer the following questions:

  • What keywords do they rank on the first page for?
  • What is the search volume for those keywords?
  • What pain points are they focusing on?
  • What are their top-performing blog posts in terms of social media shares?
  • What sites are linking back to their content?
  • What is their content promotion strategy?
  • How does their SEO strategy compare to yours?
  • What content gaps are there?

If you want to streamline your competitor research, use Ubersuggest. We have a feature that will break down:

  • competitor traffic
  • backlinks
  • top pages
  • competing domains
  • keyword gaps
How to Do Quarterly SEO Planning - Check Your Competitors

For social media shares, use BuzzSumo. It’s one of my favorite content research tools, which comes with free and paid options.

Simply enter a domain into the search bar, and you’ll get a list of your competitors most popular blog posts broken down by:

  • date posted
  • countries
  • language
  • social media network shares
How to Do Quarterly SEO Planning - Use BuzzSumo for competitor research

6. Content Review

Before you start writing new content for the next quarter, you should schedule time to audit your existing content.

Why?

Your old content is already ranking and bringing in traffic. A new blog post can take up to six months before you start seeing any traction.

You’ll see quicker results and better ROI by tweaking what’s already indexed on Google. Plus, updating content costs less and uses fewer resources than planning and executing new blog posts.

When auditing your content, you want to do the following:

  1. Refresh: Identity which blog posts have outdated information and update them.
  2. Improve: Use this SEO hack to identify blog posts and improve their rankings.
  3. Redirect: If your content is duplicated or cannibalized, it can lower your rankings. Consider redirecting those posts to a pillar post. 
  4. Intent: What’s your CTR, bounce rate, and time-on-page? If you have a high bounce rate, it could be a sign your blog post isn’t matching search intent. 

7. Technical SEO Review

You could have the best keyword research, content mapped perfectly to your customer journey, a fully SEO-optimized blog post, and still not see results.

The culprit?

You have wonky technical SEO problems.

These backend issues can affect your site’s performance and speed, which are two things Google’s algorithm looks at to rank content.

If your site takes too long to load, your bounce rate will increase, and you lose potential customers.

These are all things we want to avoid, which is why analyzing your technical SEO is a crucial step.

These are the things you need to watch out and check during your audit:

  • mobile optimization
  • page load speed
  • link health
  • duplicate content
  • schemas
  • crawl errors
  • image issues
  • site security
  • URL structure
  • 404 pages
  • 301 redirects
  • canonical tags
  • XML sitemaps
  • site architecture

8. Make a Plan

You’re in the final stages of your quarterly SEO planning.

After auditing your website, reviewing your audience, evaluating your competitors, and analyzing your competitors, you’re ready to put that together into an SEO strategy.

For this part, you need to answer the following questions:

  • What are your goals and metrics for the next quarter and year?
  • How do you plan on achieving these goals?
  • What content do you need to create to accomplish these goals?
  • What content needs a refresh?
  • What is working and what isn’t?
  • How do you plan to fix what isn’t working?
  • What holidays or launches do you need to prepare for?
  • What tasks need to be completed, by who and on what date?

Once this is outlined, share it with your team. It can keep everyone accountable and focused on the goals you want to achieve and why.

Frequently Asked Questions About SEO Planning

How often should I review my SEO plan?

You should review your SEO plan every quarter or three to six months before campaigns or promotions.

What is SEO planning?

SEO planning is the process of analyzing your site, target audience, competitors, and keyword research to create content that ranks and converts.

What SEO tools can I use to improve SEO planning?

You can use a tool like Ubersuggest to identify strengths and weaknesses in your SEO strategy, find better long tail keywords, backlink opportunities, and see which content pieces are working for your competitors.

How does content impact SEO?

Content helps you rank on search engines. Without it, there wouldn’t be enough information to index your pages. It also gives you more opportunities to rank for a wide variety of keywords your audience uses to find your products or services.

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Conclusion: Quarterly SEO Planning

SEO is never a once-and-done thing. It’s something you need to nurture and constantly give attention to if you want to see sustainable, long-term growth.

Whether you’re creating new content, optimizing old blog posts, or checking for technical SEO issues, you need to evaluate your SEO plan continually. 

Doing so will ensure you’re making progress and on track to meet your SEO metrics and goals.

What was your biggest SEO planning takeaway?

5 Monstrous B2B Marketing Moves That Will Come Back To Haunt You

Black and white haunted marketing forest scene image.

Black and white haunted marketing forest scene image.

Are you making any of these five all-too-common yet often monstrous B2B marketing moves that will come back to haunt you?

As we once again greet the season of ghosts and all things haunted, it’s the perfect time to open that creaky cobwebbed door where B2B marketing horrors and nightmares await.

There’s no need to be afraid, however, as we’ve got the digital garlic you need to ward off even the most ghoulish of B2B baddies and their marketing missteps and mistakes.

Sit back, and let’s take a moment to look at five of the most monstrous and horrifying marketing moves that will only come back to haunt you, and in doing so we’ll go on a digital marketing ghost-busting adventure.

1 — Don’t Frankenstein Your Marketing Efforts

via GIPHY

Frankenstein is a symbol of all of those marketing pieces that don’t fit together, combined willy-nilly into a hodgepodge of fragmented marketing that doesn’t offer the kind of cohesive experience savvy marketers are constantly striving for.

A mad scientist can work in the movies, but when it comes to real-life B2B marketing, it pays to have a thoroughly sane and well-planned strategy, from concept creation and testing to deployment and measurement.

In today’s marketing landscape we’ve got more elements to consider for inclusion in digital efforts than ever before, however knowing which ones work harmoniously together  and which don’t is key in order to keep from creating a marketing Frankenstein.

We’ve taken several looks at how B2B marketers can best keep their efforts harmonious and cohesive, such as in the following articles:

2 — Keep Dracula From Sucking The Life From Your Marketing

via GIPHY

Dracula and Nosferatu are symbols of marketing that sucks the life right out of your well-intended efforts.

Don’t let today’s digital draculas sabotage an otherwise excellent marketing effort, whether it’s in the form of “death by committee,” where the heart-blood of a campaign is weakened over multiple iterations, or by failing to begin with a strong message and then letting any energy it did have become hopelessly watered down.

Instead, infuse your B2B content marketing with healthy doses of the best answers and information your target audiences are seeking, and look to include energizing, memorable, and interactive elements to your marketing output.

We’ve got you covered with examples of B2B brands successfully using fresh and compelling elements to bring brand stories to life, including how influence can multiply those efforts, such as in the following articles we’ve published:

3 — Take The Wraps Off Mummified Marketing

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Don’t let your marketing get buried alive like a big-screen mummy, perhaps never to be unearthed and reach its full intended effect.

Instead, remember that there’s an ideal time and place to unwrap every good marketing effort. Even if a concept must be temporarily scrapped, it could come back to life later on and have great success if rolled out at the perfect time and to the right audience.

Timing is everything, as they say, advice that’s especially true in B2B marketing. It’s key to know your audience, what their paint points are, the questions they’re asking, and where they’re looking for answers. Then providing solutions becomes a task so clear that even a mummy could do it.

Here are several looks at learning more about your audiences, and how to release — or even, in the form of repurposed content, re-release — your best digital output:

[bctt tweet=”“Timing is everything, as they say, advice that’s especially true in B2B marketing. It’s key to know your audience, what their paint points are, the questions they’re asking, and where they’re looking for answers.” — @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

4 — What Would Scooby-Doo? Unmask Your Mediocre Marketing

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Great B2B marketing doesn’t need to wear costume masks, as authentic best-answer content shines brightly on its own merits.

If your best content is hiding, don’t wait for Scooby-Doo and his Mystery Machine cohorts to unmask it for you. Instead, redouble your efforts to get creative in how and where you publish, share, and promote your top content.

There have never been so many digital communication channels as today, and in 2022 the options are bound to increase. More B2B marketers than ever are experimenting with and finding success using new social platforms, whether it’s on Discord, Reddit, TikTok or through new features on existing platforms.

To help find new destinations for publishing your B2B marketing content, take a peek as these article we’ve published on the subject:

5 — Let Casper Show That Not All Marketing Ghosts Are Ghoulish

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Every B2B marketer will eventually have one or more of the advertising ghosts we’ve looked at so far touch their lives and work, however these experiences don’t need to be sources of shame or distress.

Indeed, smart marketers are always learning from past haunted mistakes and sometimes-horrifying missteps, however as Casper the Friendly Ghost exemplified, it’s much better to embrace and own your unique history — warts and all — as it’s only through understanding what didn’t work that we can find what truly works the best.

Turning our marketing fears into successes and making learning a lifelong process is at the heart of the following pieces we’ve made available:

Send Marketing Cold Shoulders Back From Whence They Came

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By keeping Frankenstein’s disjointed efforts from your marketing, avoiding Dracula’s life-sucking bite, unwrapping mummified or mediocre marketing, and embracing our own haunted pasts like Casper, we can craft B2B marketing content that delights, informs, and drives business success.

No matter how you slice it, creating award-winning B2B marketing takes considerable time and effort, which is why many firms choose to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us today to learn how we can help, as we’ve done for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.

The post 5 Monstrous B2B Marketing Moves That Will Come Back To Haunt You appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.