How to Raise Your SEO from the Dead

If SEO isn’t constantly a part of your ongoing marketing strategy, it’s easy to fall behind. It’s a little like grades or credit scores. It takes some time to build up to where you’d like to be, but it sure is easy to lose ground quickly when you aren’t focused.

If you find yourself coming back to your SEO and realizing that it has died a swift death while the rest of the internet moved on, don’t worry. There are ways to bring it back to life without starting over completely. Here are our tips on how to do an SEO refresh.

SEO Refresh

Resuscitate Your Old Pages & Articles

Chances are, if you’ve had a blog for a few years, you’ve written about some similar topics quite a few times. When a recycled topic starts trending again, take a look back through your blog to find relevant articles.

[Wondering why SEO is important in the first place? Here’s the answer.]

Instead of dedicating the time to writing a fresh, new article, go back through a couple of the older ones and bring them up to date.

  • Add some current keywords
  • Update your headlines
  • Replace any broken links
  • Make sure your spelling and grammar are perfect
  • Update any statistics
  • Republish as new

Google likes fresh content, and people are more likely to click on articles with recent publication dates.

If you want to get more specific with this strategy, you can find the blogs that were high converting but haven’t seen much traffic lately. Aim to refresh those from an SEO standpoint first. Also, take a look at which of your blogs are receiving the most traffic, but have low conversion rates, and build them up with fresh, new conversion opportunities.

This strategy can also work for your older website pages, especially landing pages. Keep in mind that SEO is about the long game, too.

Revive Your Backlinks

Backlinks are one of the top factors that Google considers in ranking. If it’s been a while since anyone has considered your site an authority on a topic, there are ways to remind them. [Don’t have a backlink strategy? Try these easy to tackles tips.

seo refresh

Do some guest blogging

Guest blogging may take a little time as you’ll need to create your outreach targets, pitch to those people, and the write the accompanying articles should you get a bite on your pitch. In addition to the SEO-boosting backlinks, you’ll get with guest posting, you’ll also be creating relationships and building brand recognition.

If you’re not sure where to start, a quick Google search with your keyword plus “guest posts” or “submit an article” should give you a few options. You can also look at some of the most popular blogs in your niche, see the thought leaders that are contributing there, and locate their profiles to see all of the sites to which they’ve contributed.

Create a timely infographic

Part of your job as a marketer is to understand what issues or topics are trending within your industry. A great way to get noticed quickly is to create an eye-catching infographic about a popular topic.

You’ll need to make sure it is relevant and valuable, including accurate and up-to-date statistics. It will also need to be visually attractive so make sure you have a good designer put it all together with an appealing color scheme and graphics.

Next, you’ll need to get it out into the world. Of course, get it up on your website and share it on all of your social media channels. Also, submit it to infographic directories and do some outreach to sites that have shared similar infographics before or sites that are considered authorities in your niche (they’ll definitely want to share content that is relevant to currently trending topics). Follow these tips on identifying your keywords and topics.

Repurpose Your Existing Content

Get creative about how many different ways you can utilize a single piece of content. For example, a great blog article or white paper can also be turned into a podcast simply by reading the article. You could make the podcast even more interesting by pulling out snippets of the article and interviewing an expert on the topic.

An article could also be turned into a slideshow presentation and uploaded onto LinkedIn or Slideshare. You could turn an infographic into an article or vice versa. Another idea is to grab some of your best-trafficked articles or content, do some keyword research, and create easily-shareable social media graphics with high-performing keywords, informative snippets, and eye-catching creative.

With blog series or long-form articles on a specific topic, consider compiling the information together to create a webinar series. Generate buzz, present live, and record it. Then, turn that recording into a downloadable lead magnet to generate even more contacts.

How to Pick the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Company

Repurposing options are pretty limitless and can be fun and allow your team to test their creativity and innovation. If you already have great content, repurposing it can save you a ton of time while also allowing you to quickly build up your pool of updated, fresh content.

 

Tips for Identifying B2B SEO Keywords

If ‘Content is king’, SEO is most definitely queen.

The SEO landscape is ever changing; however, the need for traffic and for your company to rank on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is not.

According to MOZ, SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. And do you know what goes hand-in-hand with SEO? Keywords. Keywords are at the very core of SEO. They are defined as words and phrases that people type into search engines in order to find the answers to their questions.

Keywords are a critical component for SEO strategy because they play a significant role in helping your website rank on SERPs. Higher rankings equal more traffic to your website and ultimately, more conversions. Here are tips for identifying B2B SEO keywords.

Identifying B2B SEO Keywords

The Long and Short of It

There are several variations of keywords combinations, and not all keywords are created equal. The type of keyword you select depends solely on your goals, the buyer you want to attract, and the results you want to achieve.

[Wondering why B2B SEO is important in the first place? Click here.]

There are two main types of keywords:

Short/Header Keywords: Short keywords are just that, short words that typically describe a category. For example, SEO. Short keywords can be flashy and shiny from a volume perspective, but they tend to be lofty goals and often requires deep pockets to make any headway against the competition.

Long Tail Keywords: Long tail keywords are longer searches and can often contain more intent. Long tail keywords typically have lower volume than some of the short keywords, but they can pack a powerful punch when it comes to competition. Space is less crowded.

Short Keyword: SEO

Long Tail Keyword: How do I identify keywords for B2B SEO?

Think About Your Buyer Personas

Before we get too in the weeds on types of keywords, volume, and difficulty, we need to take a step back and think, “Who are my buyers and how are they searching?. Buyer personas are at the heart of inbound and should be a driving force in your B2B SEO strategy. Buyer personas, according to HubSpot, are a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.

[For a refresher on Inbound marketing, here are the basics]

Part of defining your buyer personas are thinking about their pain points, how they are searching, what they are searching for, and when. The buyer’s journey, is the process buyers go through to become aware of their problem or pain, consider and evaluate solutions, and decide to purchase a new product or service.

Meeting your buyers where they are at in the buyer’s journey with keywords that align to how they search is the ultimate goal. In order to do that, break it down by stage.

Awareness

In the awareness stage, the buyer knows they have a problem, but they may not be able to put a name to their pain yet so search terms in the awareness stage are often questions.

Keyword Example: How do I get my company to rank on Google? How do I get more visitors to my website?

B2B SEO Keywords

Consideration

In the consideration stage, the buyer is aware they have a problem and has begun to consider solutions to the problem.

Keyword Example: SEO Solutions, Options for improving SEO, How to build a B2B SEO strategy

Decision

In the decision stage, the buyer is looking for a solution and likely ready to buy. Here they are comparing solutions, reading reviews, and making the decision of who to buy from.

Keyword Example: B2B SEO agencies near me, Best B2B SEO agency

Put yourself in your buyers’ shoes, familiarize yourself with your persona stories. From there, let the research begin. For more information on aligning keywords with your buyer’s journey, check out this article.

[SEO results won’t happen overnight. Here’s why.]

Keyword Tools

Third-party keyword research tools are essential when it comes to selecting keywords. The tools can help us learn about keyword volume, keyword difficulty, and help us to discover new keyword opportunities.

There are several keyword research tools in the marketplace, but here are a few favorites.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a tool widely known for backlinks and SEO analysis. Their Keywords Explorer provides relevant keyword ideas and traffic estimations and in particular. The tool also provides estimates on how many backlinks you need to obtain in order to rank for a given term.

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is one of Ryan’s favorites. It’s a free browser add-on that shows search volume, cost-per-click, and competition data when you visit a SERP. Plus, unlike Ahrefs, it’s free! Can’t beat that.

Moz

It’s hard to talk about SEO and not mention MOZ. MOZ is a widely popular SEO tool that allows you to do in-depth keyword research and SERP analysis through researching volume, quality, and competitive analysis. In addition to the tool, they offer training and great tips for leveraging local search.

[Check out some more of our favorite tools!]

Keyword Inspiration

Okay, so you’re in tune with your buyers, you are thinking about tools, but what’s next? You need to generate a B2B SEO keyword list before you can start honing in on your targets. Here are a few of our recommendations for keyword inspiration outside of running searches in the tools mentioned above.

Current Rankings

Especially if you are embarking on a new B2B SEO effort, do a temperature check and see where you are at with your current rankings. What terms are you ranking for? Are they relevant? Are there terms that you would like to rank higher for? If so, add them to your list and do a deep dive on the stats to understand what it will take to move the needle.

Competitors

Check out what the competition is doing. What are they writing about? What phrases are they using? As we mentioned above, keyword research can help you do some digging to see what’s happening behind the scenes but don’t discount paying your competitors site a visit and seeing what you can gleam yourself. There’s something to be said for a little digital sleuthing.

B2B SEO Keywords

Google Searches

One of the most obvious, but most likely to be missed suggestion with all of the tools and data at our disposal, is literally a Google search. Try googling a keyword you are interested in and review the suggested search terms at the bottom of the SERP page for ideas.

Also, see who comes up in the SERPs. What topics are they writing about? It can give you an idea of what content is already ranking towards the top in answer to your buyers’ queries.

Keyword Selection

Keyword selection is both an art and a science and involves choosing quality keywords. Keyword quality is often talked about by describing both the search volume and the difficulty of the keyword.

Keyword Search Volume: Search volume is the number of people searching for the keyword for a given set of time. Most platforms aggregate the volume number monthly.

Keyword Difficulty: Keyword difficulty is a numerical score which indicates how hard it would be to rank in the top position on the SERPS for the keyword term or phrase.

As a rule of thumb, you should select higher volume, lower difficulty keywords that still align with your buyer personas and content strategy.

Looking for help with your B2B SEO Strategy? Request a consult.

REQUEST A CONSULTATION

Key Takeaways:

  • Bring it back to the personas – as with all things inbound, they should be at the heart of your strategy.
  • Do your research and leverage third-party tools to help you aggregate data around volume, difficulty, and opportunity.
  • Look outside the keyword research tools for keyword inspiration from your current rankings, competitors and real-time Google searches.

Why B2B SEO is Important

According to Google, “71% of B2B decision makers start the decision-making process with a general web search.” That stat in and of itself should be enough for you to want to amp up your B2B SEO strategy. In case it’s not though, here are a few reasons why B2B SEO is important for your organization.

B2B SEO is Important

Your Customers are Human

It can be easy to dehumanize your B2B customers and think of them as a business entity. However, the truth is, the connection you need to make is a human one. Connect with the people that are influencing and making decisions within your target companies. Whether it be SEO, content marketing, or closing a sale, the aim should always be to reach and make an impact on individuals, not companies.

B2B SEO isn’t set it and forget it, nor is it a quick fix. Read why.

And we humans really like to search for things online. 81% of B2B purchase cycles start with a web search. As more and more tech-raised millennials and Gen Z-ers move into those roles, that number will continue to climb.

Your Industry Is Ready for B2B SEO

If you’re lucky, you may be in an industry that’s still pretty sleepy with their digital presence. Examples of this are industries related to blue-collar work or manufacturing. In general, they are just now beginning to embark on their digital journeys, dusting off websites from the early 2000s and revamping social pages. Because of this though, there’s a tremendous opportunity to start ranking now. Quickly.

If you’re one of only a handful of companies in your space pursuing an SEO strategy, you’re basically being given the gift of a home-field advantage when the competition didn’t show up.

On the flipside of that, your industry might be on top of their B2B SEO game already. In that case, a B2B SEO strategy and strong digital presence are critical to either staying relevant to be found or be left in the dust. This is one time when saying “everybody else is doing it!” really means you should be, too.

Mobile B2B Searches are Increasing

The vast majority of us are running around with miniature computers in our pockets, and we turn to them when we need information. Google has reported that 50% of B2B search queries today are made on smartphones. That figure is expected to grow to 70% by 2020. [HubSpot agrees. Download the 2018 State of Inbound report to learn more.]

B2B SEO Importance

Because of this, Google serves mobile search results differently than they do desktop results. To start, they put a larger emphasis on location and Google Places results than anything else. Furthermore, people tend to use mobile search differently than on a desktop, so Google adapts their algorithm to match. A mobile search is typically abbreviated phrases and/or uses fewer words than a desktop search. For example, a desktop search may be, “How to reduce employee absenteeism in the corporate setting”. A similar mobile search could be pared down to just, “reducing corp absenteeism”.

There are many tools that will show you what people are actually using to find your site on each device. Knowing this information can help you tailor your strategy appropriately and optimize for each vertical successfully. The bottom line is that if you aren’t showing up when people turn to their phones to find you, your competition will be winning those sales.

SEO-Aligned Content Will Convert Leads

Within the inbound scope, content marketing serves two main purposes: 1) To inform, educate, and move users through the buyer’s journey ultimately converting them to a qualified lead, and 2) to drive traffic through keywords and phrases.

You might have the best, most informative, converting content ever created. But it won’t convert a single lead unless your audience is able to find it. B2B SEO allows users to discover your content. Furthermore, “SEO-aligned content marketers drive 54% more revenue growth year-over-year.” This is because a B2B SEO aligned content strategy will inherently create relevant content. You’ll naturally be speaking to and answering the keywords and phrases your users are searching if you’re aligned. Let the content work in each phase of the conversion funnel, and be ready for your leads when they’re ready to convert. 

Why B2B SEO is a Long Game

There are a lot of opinions and misinformation around B2B Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are people who will swear they’ve figured out the latest and greatest trick and can get any page to rank #1 in a couple of days. Then there are countless articles that lay out the best ways to bypass the rules and get ahead quickly. The problem with this kind of information is that it simply isn’t true. In order to really win, in a consistent and sustainable way, you have to be willing to commit to B2B SEO for the long haul. Here’s why.

how long does B2B SEO take

B2B SEO Cheating Doesn’t Work (for Long)

Google hires geniuses from all over the world. If you think you can outsmart Google geniuses and algorithms, you are probably wrong. There was a time when companies could pay for links or stuff a bunch of white keywords in white space on a page, and for a second, tricks like that might have given them a boost.

A solid B2B SEO plan is part of the modern marketing philosophy. Learn more in our post.

However, Google stays ahead of the cheats these days. They keep their algorithms top secret and change them almost constantly. It is, of course, possible to understand some of the basic caveats of how to rank on Google, but ultimately, it’s a game where the rules constantly change. 

The best way to rank on Google is to become an authority in your particular niche. Create amazingly valuable content on fast, easy-to-navigate pages. Get the attention of others and build real connections to other highly ranked pages through links.

High Quality, Valuable Content Takes Time to Create

Content is valuable and helpful on its own, but pairing it with B2B SEO efforts can allow it to get out in front of a wider audience and to be discovered by more than just your biggest fans. Because of this, a lot of companies have jumped on the “content is king” bandwagon and decided to cannonball into the content marketing pool. However, many businesses look for a quick fix. They have untrained people whip up (or even plagiarize) a bunch of short articles for cheap and wonder why it doesn’t move the needle.

These tools can help you up your SEO and content game. Check ’em out.

Writing for SEO takes training, talent, and focus plus a little science and math. And while you might have excellent writers ready to churn out blog after blog, they may not have the appropriate skills when it comes to writing for SEO.

Content is one of those areas where you’ll get out what you’re willing to put in. If you want to pay $10 per article, chances are you aren’t going to get great writing, much less content that will be truly valuable.

If you’re willing to invest time and capital in a writer who can learn your business and properly convey your value prop with well-researched, informative content, you might be able to get somewhere.

How Long does B2B SEO Take

The writer is just one example. The same goes for video content, design, podcasts, etc. Don’t expect expert output from novice talent.

B2B SEO Optimization Doesn’t Happen Overnight

B2B SEO optimization in and of itself can take a bit of time. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll have a lot of learning to do. Even if you bring in a professional, there will need to be a full sweep of your site and content. Some things may need to be completely re-written, some will just need to be optimized, new items will need to be created. There are a lot of little details that go into SEO that simply take time to get through.

How to Pick the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Company

Time to “win” really depends.

The one thing that many different authorities on the topic tend to agree on is that it typically takes between 4-6 months to see results fromB2B SEO. The reality is no site is exactly the same (or they shouldn’t be anyways because that is against the rules) so it’s nearly impossible to predict exactly how long it might take to reach your particular SEO goals. The best hope to hold onto is that once you do start to see results, they tend to continue to grow moving forward as long as you keep making fresh content and continuing to optimize.

Lake One’s Favorite Marketing Tools for Making Life Easier

Part of the Lake One Modern Marketing philosophy reloves around utilizing a smartly crafted tech stack to research, execute, and analyze marketing. There are many tools we collectively use, but independently, we have a few front-runners that allow us to work smarter and harder. Here are our favorite marketing tools for making life easier.

marketing tools

Ryan’s Picks

Keywords Everywhere

Keyword research can be laborious. With the Keywords Everywhere extension, it becomes part of all your activity. Some of the best features include seeing keyword data across multiple sites from search to Amazon. Set KW to highlight keywords at a certain volume, price, or competition threshold so you discover them quickly. Then, you can to add to and export lists. Keywords Everywhere is a marketing tool that makes research become part of regular internet browsing.

Marketing Tools

Ghostery

I’m a martech nerd. I love to know what tools are being used. With the Ghostery plugin, you can dissect a competitor’s marketing stack quickly by seeing what tags are installed. For me, I usually stumble upon a new tool once or twice a week worth exploring.

Want to know what it’s like working with Lake One? Give this blog a read.

Pixel

I was a long time iPhone user, since the first generation. A couple of years ago I converted. First, for battery life. I’m on the road a lot during the day with clients and prospects, so not needing to carrying a charging cord with me every second is huge. Second, with new generations of Pixels, they’ve built in spam tracking and call screening. Unfortunately, with number spoofing, it’s too easy for spammers to take up space in my voicemail. At a glance or with a call screen I can weed them out and not interrupt my day. Third, the camera/video is awesome. The Pixel makes for a great tool to produce quick content on the go.

Rachael’s Picks

Jing

I’ve had Jing installed on my machine for nearly a decade.

Jing makes taking and sharing screenshots a breeze, and in my opinion, is a must for those in client-facing roles. Why? Because of its ease of use and quick sharing capabilities. My favorite feature is the option to take a screenshot, annotate it, save it as a ‘copy’, and then share it simply by using “paste” vs having to save it to your computer and upload. You can paste it wherever you need it to go (in an email, in a slack conversation, google doc, and even in a text message).

Preview (Mac)

If you have a Mac, you’ve likely used Preview for one thing or another like viewing a picture or a PDF. But file viewing isn’t why Preview makes my list… It’s the ability to easily resize images for the web.

As best practice, images should ideally be under 500KB if possible, and Preview makes it happen with a few clicks. Simply click ‘Tools’ and then ‘Adjust Size’.  Voila. 

Marketing Tools

Slack

By definition, “Slack is a collaboration hub for work, no matter what work you do” and that’s pretty spot on.  The possibilities with Slack seem endless, but at Lake One, we use it for ideation, collaboration, and oftentimes, we share client updates. Here are a couple of our favorite features.

Channels: Slack allows you to sort your conversations by channels. On our #LakeOne channel, we often discuss our internal marketing efforts, like this blog, and team wins. 🙂

Integrations: Slack can integrate with several platforms (think HubSpot, HeyTaco, and Google Docs) and provide real-time updates.

Giphys: You can easily incorporate Giphys into your slack conversation and this feature alone has provided so many laughs. I may be biased, but our slack channel is pretty entertaining.

Marketing Tools

In all seriousness though, Slack allows the ability for instant communication which is a must, especially for virtual teams.

Danielle’s Picks

Yoast

Yoast is a blog plugin for WordPress. There are so many reasons why this makes my favorite marketing tools list. First, without Yoast, there’s no way I can edit my meta description or SEO Title. Yoast allows me to do that- they call it the Snippet. In addition, I can enter in a “focus keyword”. By doing so, Yoast scans my post and helps guide my optimization process. I can get a snapshot of how well I’ve included my keywords through the blog, meta, and alt-texts. It gives suggestions to make the post more SEO-friendly by offering improvements and pointing out potential problems.

Marketing Tools

Additionally, Yoast offers a “readability” analysis. This tells me if any sections are too long, how the writing scores on the Fleche Reading Ease test, and if there are too little or too many transition words. It gives me an overall audit of how well the post is written.

Google Hangouts

Because, #ViturtalTeam. We use Google Hangouts for all of our internal meetings. We love it because we already use Google Calendar, so adding Hangouts is a simple extra step. We even have one specific Hangout URL bookmarked that we pull up for impromptu meetings or check-ins with each other. This saves our team a ton of time and allows us to connect via video chat to keep projects moving.

While we love Slack for instant chat, the voice and video calls can be glitchy, not always picking up on the microphone. Hangouts saves the day in reliability there, so it’s always our default for voice and video.

RiteTag

Whenever we start doing social media posting for a client, we conduct a hashtag analysis. We look at the hashtags they tend to use already and then brainstorm what we think would be beneficial for them based on their content strategy. I run those hashtags through RiteTag. RiteTag tells me how popular (or not) a hashtag is in three categories: get seen now, get seen over time, and don’t use. It also gives me related tags I can add to our list and allows me to decide what the better choice between two may be. For example, #DigitalAgency is good for long-term exposure whereas #DigitalAgencies is no bueno. #DigitalMarketing is a great choice to be seen now. RiteTag is a marketing tool every marketer should have bookmarked for easy access.

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6 Key KPIs for Sales and Marketing Alignment

According to HubSpot, 39% of marketers say proving the ROI of their marketing activities is their top marketing challenge.

Statistics aside, even anecdotally, the age-old battle of sales and marketing is centered around proving the value of ROI and activity from the often separate teams. Before you can begin to prove ROI, however, you need to determine collectively, which metrics are worth tracking.

Abnormalities in data, whether spikes or declines, can point to issues, gaps, and ultimately, misalignment. Smarketing is everything but a ‘fix it and forget it’ initiative. Measuring sales and marketing alignment may differ slightly from company to company, but there are several KPIs that hold value across the board. Here are six key KPIs for sales and marketing alignment we recommend keeping an eye on.

KPIs for Sales and Marketing Alignment

Still need to fine tune your Sales and Marketing Alignment plan? Download our Ultimate Guide to learn more.

1. Overall Revenue

Every company’s end game is to make money, therefore, everyone should be working towards the common goal of generating revenue. At Action19, we heard Josh Fedie say sales is everyone’s job. And he’s right. Revenue and sales are everybody’s job and everybody’s business quite literally.

For smarketing purposes, the overall revenue metric can be broken down a little further into marketing-sourced revenue. For example, how many leads that came in from paid social became customers? How much revenue did the customer from paid social generate? You can follow a similar deep dive across traffic sources and evaluate each channel.

2. Sales Cycle Length

Tenfold names the sales cycle length as one of the most important KPIs for sales and marketing alignment to track. Here’s the reason they said it makes their list. “The total length of the sales cycle has important consequences that ripple throughout the entire organization and shortening the buying cycle is usually particularly important to the sales and marketing teams in order to minimize bottlenecks in the process.”

In theory, the shorter the sales cycle, the more qualified the lead. Tenfold goes on to say that the tracking shouldn’t stop at just the length of the cycle overall; you should look at each stage individually to determine lags and gaps in the process.

3. Marketing Qualified Leads

HubSpot defines a marketing qualified lead (MQL) as a lead who has been deemed more likely to become a customer compared to other leads. Why? They have taken a specific set of actions and or they fit the lead criteria, like role or ideal company size. The criteria qualifying MQLs are set by both sales and marketing and are part of the foundation of the SLA. Tracking MQLs as one of your main KPIs can help you determine if your team is moving in the right direction with generating quality leads.

4. Marketing Qualified Leads to Sales Qualified Leads Conversion Rate

This conversion rate speaks to the building blocks of the sales and marketing SLA, the point in which sales evaluates leads that marketing deems qualified.

KPIs for Sales and Marketing Alignment

How leads are actually handed off to sales (typically by using software to automate the process) varies from business to business, but the value in the conversion rate does not. What is the percentage? How many MQLs are considered quality (an SQL) by sales?

This also points to why it’s critical both sales and marketing buy into the plan. If this number is low, there’s definitely a problem. Regrouping and going back to the basics can help troubleshoot and realign. 

5. Content Audit & Usage

Another key KPI to track for sales and marketing alignment is your content. How spot on is it? Does it align with target buyers? Is it attracting the right personas? All of these questions can be answered by digging deep into the data and probing to answer the following key questions about content consumption.

  • Which content offers are being downloaded? Which ones aren’t?
  • Are your target buyers downloading your offers or is your offer attracting a secondary or tertiary role?
  • Out of all of your customers, how many actually downloaded a content offer?

In taking a look at the above you’ll be able to determine if your content is in alignment with sales and marketing and benefiting your overall goals. If it’s not? You might need to consider refreshing your personas or brushing up on some keyword research. Here is a refresher on inbound marketing.

6. End to End Conversion Rate

The end to end conversion rate measures the conversion ratio for the full buyer’s journey from attraction phrase through to closing customers. According to Forbes, “Benchmarked over time this metric highlights leakages and inefficiencies between stages, sales and marketing, and enables more accurate forecasting and target performance setting.”

The more aligned an organization, the more stable the rates and rations. See a spike or dip in the data? Better start digging.

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The Sales & Marketing Alignment Meeting

Now that you have your critical KPIs to measure smarketing performance, share and circulate the data amongst the team. Do this quarterly at a minimum. Share the findings, deep dive, optimize, rinse and repeat.

6 LinkedIn Post Ideas To Drive B2B Eyeballs

Creating LinkedIn posts for B2B can be a challenge when competing with all the other noise on social. However, unlike some channels that are heavily influenced by friends and families, research from Marketing Profs found that while individuals have a slight advantage, brands bring a fair degree of influence on LinkedIn, making it a key part of your b2b marketing. 

Additionally, MarketingProfs found that LinkedIn members will engage with content when it’s educational or informative, relevant to their specific interests, and related to industry news and trends. 89% of people said say they are interested in industry news, and 86% said that want tips and best practices.

Here are a few of our recommendations on how to create LinkedIn posts for B2B to drive views and engagement while giving the people want they want.

LinkedIn Posts for B2B

Create Posts That Give How-tos and Tips

As mentioned above, people use LinkedIn to learn more information. They go to the platform to stay relevant in their fields and competitive with what their colleagues are doing. They want to learn from their peers and find interesting, useful tidbits of info that are applicable to their own career.

Looking for more info on LinkedIn Marketing? Download our guide.

B2B posts centered around giving your audience just that- useful information- will go far. Make your audience feel smart with posts that fuel their natural inclination to do their job better.

Create Posts about Your Company Culture

B2B companies have a much larger opportunity to be seen and followed on LinkedIn than any other platform. This is simply because many professionals still want to keep their work and personal social channels separate. That being said, LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your business’ culture.

Create posts that show what your culture is about. Please don’t just spew culture-related buzzwords all over your audience. Post photos of your team, congratulate your employees on their successes, showcase how you’re putting your mission into action by serving the community.

We love this example of how our partner Beehive Strategic Communications used International Women’s Day to showcase their culture through dedication to gender equality.

LinkedIn Posts for B2B

Create Posts Giving Predictions and Unique Points of view

LinkedIn is a great platform for your company to strut its stuff, so to speak. You’re experts in what you do, right? Use LinkedIn to prove it. Make your proclamations and show your audience that you know what you’re talking about. They likely are following you for exactly that reason already. Don’t be afraid to make bold statements about your industry.

Furthermore, since we’re talking B2B here, your prospects are likely looking to work with a company that’s confident in their assertions.

Check out these tips on how to use LinkedIn for lead gen!

Create Posts that Provoke Thought

On that note, the average LinkedIn scroller will be looking to engage and interact. They are eager to offer their opinion and sound smart. This is partly due to the fact that commenting gains them visibility, which you can use to your advantage. By declaring your own point of view or making predictions about the state of [insert topic here], you have the opportunity to open up a dialog. Ask questions, invite feedback, and inspire your followers to give you their opinion, too.

Make it a point to write specific posts geared toward igniting discussion on a weekly basis. The more engagement you get, the more likely you will be to show up at the top of the newsfeed.

Create Posts Using Your Company Influencers & Thought Leaders

Because “B2B” by definition is Business-to-Business, we tend to forget about the humans actually running the businesses. So, even though we’re talking about posting on a company LinkedIn page, you can absolutely let individuals speak through your company. Especially when it comes to video, which we’ll talk about next. Your employees are brilliant authorities on your core topics. Allow them to generate, lead, and influence the conversations you want to have.

Here’s an example from HubSpot. They’ve showcased VP Katie Ng-Mak. She’s breaking through barriers about what it means to be a ‘salesperson’ and opening the door for other like-mind individuals to do the same, sparking a dialog in the comments. This video really hits on all the sections above, too.

Create Video Posts

How far can you get in your own LinkedIn feed before you see a video? Starting at the top of my feed, I got to post #5 and it was a video of a dog hugging a goose. Can’t make this up. Maybe not the most relevant subject matter for LinkedIn…? BUT right below that was a video on personal branding and authenticity. She recorded it on her own personal device- no budget, no frills, no extra equipment. You bet I watched the whole thing, took mental notes on it, and went on my way. Note that this wasn’t a paid spot, either. But here is some info on using LinkedIn Ads if you’re interested! 

When generating LinkedIn Posts for B2b, if you’re an expert in your field, which we already assumed you are, people want to hear from you. And video is one of the easiest, fastest ways to accomplish that task. We can guarantee that almost everybody (save for those people who really want to be actors deep down) are going to be camera shy at first, but the reward of video is worth feeling silly at first.

LinkedIn Posts for B2B

 

4 Reasons Why Sales & Marketing SLAs Are a Must

Sales and marketing SLAs are essentially a contract between the two teams on how leads will be managed through the entire sales funnel. According to the HubSpot State of Inbound 2018, 65% of marketers whose companies have a sales & marketing SLA see a higher return on investment from their inbound marketing efforts. However, only 26% of respondents actually operate under an SLA. 

Those that have an SLA are also more likely to have a need to grow their sales team to keep up with demand, and they typically have growing inbound budgets. If you think your company is headed for sales growth, a sales and marketing SLA should be in your future. Here’s why SLAs are a must.

Why Sales & Marketing SLAs Are a Must

SLAs Define Alignment

Sales and marketing teams perspectives tend to be different because they collect and digest information differently. These differences can lead to disagreements, disconnection, or simple misunderstandings. SLAs are a must-have because they alleviate these issues by establishing a baseline for your teams’ language through shared definitions, like the following.

We’re about to talk about Lead Scoring! Download this guide and follow along.

  • Customer personas – Sales may not have even utilized personas before this process. We guarantee, though, they’d be able to explain the details of the customers they prefer to speak with. Have marketing and sales use a combination of data and direct feedback to create a more clear picture than ever of your ideal customers.
  • Funnel & customer journeys – Chances are, both of your teams are using some kind of a funnel.  They are probably focused on very different stages and outcomes, though. Combine everything into a single funnel with lead stages assigned appropriately.
  • Lead/MQL/SQL – What’s the difference between a lead, an MQL, and an SQL? What are the criteria for defining each? Setting up lead scorning criteria together can help collaboratively define the terms.
  • Handoff point – One of the most important pieces of the alignment puzzle is the lead handoff. This is a defined point in the customer journey when marketing has done their part and it is time for sales to take over. Lead scoring can help here by setting the trigger point for the handoff, but no matter how you do it, make sure everyone understands and agrees on when.

SLAs Set Goals

Misaligned sales and marketing teams are typically hard-working and dedicated; they are just working hard toward very different goals. A lack of visibility into the other team’s focus and goals can actually lead to conflicting efforts, i.e. – Marketing is testing a price increase, but Sales is pushing for discounts. Having an SLA in place will calibrate your expectations on goals between teams. 

Establishing shared goals will allow your teams to start working in the same direction. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your goals.

  • Numerical/revenue goals – It’s fine to have a couple of soft goals, but most of your goals should be hard numbers tied to revenue and easily trackable. [Click here for a SMART Goals Template.]
  • Time-driven goals – When would you like to accomplish your goals? Aim for both short and long-term goals. Then, establish a rhythm of when progress will be reviewed, and be open to the idea that goals may need to be adjusted as everything is established.

Sales and marketing SLAs

SLAs Build Transparency and Accountability

One of the biggest reasons you need a sales and marketing SLA is its ability to address misunderstandings on team functions and contributions perpetuated by the absence of transparency. Laying out goals and roles in a shared SLA allows everyone to know who is responsible for what.”Marketing does X, then Sales does Y.” Having an SLA in place eliminates the, “I didn’t know”s and the, “I thought that was his job”s.

Want to know what a functional SLA looks like? Check out ours.

Additionally, an SLA provides structure around how each person and team will contribute directly to the goals.  Built into your sales and marketing SLA will be predetermined ways to measure this success or failure. Support these definitions with clear tracking metrics and reporting systems accessible to everybody involved.

This allows everyone to understand exactly how they contribute to their own personal goals, and how those goals contribute to the overall efforts of the alignment. It also allows them to see how others contribute and compare their own efforts to those of others on their team.

This level of understanding, transparency, and acceptance of responsibility allows you to have buy-in and accountability from every angle.

SLAs Encourage Commitment

People tend to feel more connected to something they help create. The individual contributors on your teams should be included in the process of creating the SLA and everything that goes into it. Including them will establish buy-in from the very beginning. These individuals also have the most accurate information to bring to the table because they are the ones doing the work day-to-day. You can combine all of their experiences and feedback to create the most accurate agreement.

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Furthermore, each individual and team is more likely to adhere to their specific accountabilities and goals because they are publically set and agreed upon by everybody. People are, in general, less likely to stray from their responsibilities when everybody will know if they fail. Essentially, peer pressure will work in your favor when it comes to SLAs.