07 May 2020

B2B vs SEO

The internet is a land of numbers: hits, conversions, dwell, rankings & more. It is now possible to measure almost every aspect of our web interactions, holding out the prospect of validated ‘performance marketing.’

And, as we all we know, “What gets measured gets managed.” (Peter Drucker never said or wrote this, but thanks to the internet, he did.)

The numbers can be seductive, as I discovered when listening to an SEO agency presenting its lead-gen campaign findings to a client.

First, the figures

Picture this: the client is spending $100,000 a quarter on paid social. The campaign uses carefully selected keywords, dynamically optimised to increase the Google ranking, maximize the number of hits, yada yada yada.

The results are totes amaze! Hundreds of daily hits jump up to tens-of-thousands (more than 10,000% increase – WOWSERS) and the increase itself (10% daily initially) is increasing by 15%, itself a 150% increase.

By end-quarter, there are hundreds of thousands of unique web visits!

HOLY! SMOKES!

What about the results?

Now, the missing piece of the jigsaw is the client – a vendor of enterprise cloud data management software, selling to IT directors and managers.

You can guess the results…. For $100,000 the company achieved a princely 33 email leads.

Of these leads, by the way, all were duds.

As the presentation closed I suggested that the client would get more value from the $100,000 if they gave it away to the homeless with a photographer and journalist standing by.

What lessons do I draw?

  1. If you’re in enterprise B2B software, Google rankings and web hits from random strangers are a waste of time.
  2. You probably already know all of your top prospects, so focus on intelligent engagement with them, such as case studies, use cases, and evidential proof.
  3. If you call out the Emperor for wearing no clothes, don’t poke fun at his nudity if you want to stay friends.

Toby Chapman-Dawe toby.chapman-dawe@strand-uk.com