We can’t overstate the wonders of SEO, especially for B2B tech companies ▞.
We’ve come to use the term “earned search” to describe SEO because similar to earning coverage in the media, companies must earn ranking for keywords which in turn prompts search engines to serve up their content.
By earn, we mean content that lands with the target audience combined with technical techniques that play to the search engine’s algorithm.
But unlike journalists who have biases, agendas and the inevitable bad hair days, algorithms operate with clinical objectivity. Google and the other search engines want the best content to win.
You can deep dive on applying earned search to a corporate blog here.
Our Approach to Earned Search
- Audit: Where do we stand today? What’s working? What’s not working?
- Research: How does the target audience conduct online searches? Which third parties are linking to our content?
- Research and identify keywords: Analyze primary competitors. Where’s the white space?
- Create a keyword taxonomy: Guides developing content.
- Apply technical techniques: Involves on-page SEO like title tags as well as off-page activities like cultivating third-party links
- Measure: Track performance against benchmarked KPIs
Google AdWords Does Not Replace Earned Search
Some companies believe that Google AdWords – also known as pay-per-click – addresses online searches. That’s like saying advertising replaces media coverage.
Paid search has a place in the digital marketing mix. In the B2B sphere, it can increase awareness and generate volume at the top of the funnel. Still, by virtue of being paid, it lacks the credibility and authority that’s so vital in the B2B sales process.
Track Record of Generating Success
Our work on SEO assignments has earned a fair amount of industry recognition.
Work for clients ranging from Sony to Synopsys has won awards for the SEO category (apparently our term “earned search” hasn’t caught on in award competitions). Furthermore, we’ve won PRovoke Media’s prestigious Innovation SABRE award for SEO and content distribution six of the past seven years.
We know how to do this.
While digital shops default to the path of least resistance, paid search, we come at the exercise from a content-first mentality and earning awareness from the target audience.
Here’s an experiment we conducted a few years ago that illustrates the point.
We created content on how the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) would impact the public relations profession making a conscious effort to NOT implement the technical techniques around SEO. Next, we identified other communications consultancies that had created content on the same topic, allowing us to benchmark SERP rankings for our content against these competitors.
Needless to say, our content didn’t generate incremental traffic to our site.
With the benchmark in place, we recast the post, this time with a keyword taxonomy and applying SEO techniques. Roughly one month later, you can see how the exact same content ranked against competitive content.
The data tells the story. In one month, the post went from buried in the wilderness to Page 1. Even today, search on term such as “GDPR PR” and you’ll see our content still ranks highly.
Natural Synergy with PR
Our heritage in content has served us well in establishing an earned search practice.
At its best, SEO generates incremental lead gen.
We’d welcome an opportunity to increase your organic traffic.