Search Engine Trust Isn’t Enough for B2B Websites
January 24, 2012 by Nick Stamoulis
As an SEO consultant, I talk to a lot of clients about how important search engine trust is. The older and more established your website is (along with a variety of other factors), the more likely your site is to rank well in the SERP. In my opinion, the search engines want B2B website owners to succeed with their SEO because it cleans up the search results for them. Think about it—the better written and optimized your site, the more likely it is to have relevant information for a searcher. Your white hat B2B SEO campaign gives Google and Bing a better final product!
However, search engine trust is not the only thing that B2B website owners need to be worrying about. You also have to work to gain consumer trust. Searchers are smart; they know that just because a website is ranked first that doesn’t automatically mean it’s the best website for them. In fact, recent studies have shown a decreasing click-through-rate for the top positioned websites. Searchers are willing to dig deeper and deeper into the search results to find exactly what they are looking for. Ranking well is no longer enough to win the SEO race!
Also, it’s rather unlikely that a B2B decision maker will instantly convert once they arrive on your website. Most B2B sales cycles are incredibly long (and deal with much more complicated and expensive purchases) so decision makers are going to take their time choosing the right vendor. You need to convince them that your company is the one they should do business with!
How do you build B2B consumer trust?
First and foremost, you need to get your website in order. Is it easy to navigate? Can visitors find the information they are looking for quickly? Does the content explain not only what services/products your company offers but how those services/products make a difference to your clients? Do you have call-to-actions and lead forms prompting visitors to take the next step in the buying cycle? All of these factors and more can make or break your website in the eyes of a potential customer. Remember, no matter what kind of off-site link building your company does, it’s your website that is ultimately going to convince a visitors to convert.
Secondly, you need to build up your overall online presence. The more touch points you can create with your audience the more times you can interact with and engage them, creating more opportunities to build trust. B2B marketers shouldn’t be afraid to engage in social media and content marketing, as these are both great ways to create more and more touch points. Every social profile is one more place to engage in a dialogue with your customers and every blog post, article and whitepaper is one more resource for your audience to keep on hand. Also remember that content marketing goes a long way in building your industry authority and establishing credibility with your target market.
B2B websites should strive to be as transparent as possible when it comes to their SEO. People want to do business with other people, not faceless corporations. If your customers feel like they are dealing with an actual person that truly wants to help them, not just sell them, that will go a long way in building consumer trust.
About the Author
Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing (http://www.brickmarketing.com), a full-service SEO firm in Boston, MA. With nearly 13 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his B2B SEO knowledge by contributing regularly to the Brick Marketing Blog and by publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers.
Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org