The three biggest search engine optimization (SEO) challenges for business-to-business (B2B) tech marketers are technical SEO (38%), link building (21%) and content creation (21%).
Other challenges cited in the report, which was released this week, include keyword strategy (5.3%), SEO strategy (3.6%), consistently testing new ideas (1.8%), providing return on investment (1.8%), and understanding the value and resources (1.8%).
FINITE, a global B2B technology marketing community, released research in partnership with B2B digital marketing agency 93x. The data explores how B2B marketers at tech and software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies invest in search engine optimization (SEO).
Ironically, 91% who claim technical SEO is their biggest challenge said they focus on content creation.
COVID-19 seems to have kicked off a resurgence in SEO, as more people used their computers and mobile phones to search and buy products online.
In FINITE’s 2020 end-of-year trends report, the company saw confirmation of the increasing investment in SEO, with 39% of members saying the channel had become most important to them since the COVID pandemic began.
The report also points to 2015 data from Google that shows 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search. The Chartered Institute of Marketing more recently shared that 74% of 21- to-40-year-olds are involved in making buying decisions.
This research shines a light on how B2B technology and SaaS companies approach SEO, what they invest in, and whether they can measure the impact of SEO.
How do B2B technology marketers view SEO?
Lead generation is the main objective of SEO for two thirds of B2B tech marketers, with brand awareness the main objective for one third.
Content remains very important. Some 82.5% focus primarily on content within their SEO strategy. Some 14% focus on technical aspects for their SEO strategy, and 3.5% focus on link building.
When it comes to in-house versus agencies, 28% of B2B tech marketers rely on third parties to help with their SEO strategies. Despite 72% of companies keeping SEO in-house, less than one third have dedicated in-house SEO expertise.
Some 68% do not have an in-house specialist, which means that most B2B tech marketing teams are relying on their own generalist expertise, according to the report.
This leads to measurement of the impact. When it comes to SEO, 44% struggle to measure the impact of their strategy. That includes the impact on the wider business for the entire company. Some 61% of B2B tech marketers can't connect their SEO strategy with business outcomes.
The study also shows that half of all B2B tech marketers believe their website and content management systems (CMS) do not support their SEO strategy.
The data shows that a website should be more than a shop window. It should work as a fundamental engine that drives inbound leads and generates results.