Ep. 136 – How To Create a B2B Website for Revenue, Not Vanity w/ Sam Dunning

How B2B Marketers Can Build Relationships with Industry Analysts

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Many B2B websites fall flat because they’re often designed for someone’s ego and internal opinions. When you’re able to shift that mindset, you can turn your website into an incredible revenue-generating machine. Design it for your ideal customer and ensure that the content addresses their problems, motivations, goals, frustrations, and how you plan to help them.

That’s why we’re talking to B2B website and SEO expert Sam Dunning (FounderBreaking B2B) about how companies should create websites for revenue, not vanity. During our conversation, Sam highlights the “deadly sins” of B2B websites, how to fix them, and which SEO pitfalls to avoid. He also leaves us with some actionable tips on how to build SEO from scratch for your website.

Play Video about B2B Marketers on a Mission EP 136 Sam Dunning Youtube thumbnail

Topics discussed in episode

  • Sam talks about why most B2B website fall flat [1:50]
    • Crafting the website for ego and internal opinions
    • Lack of research on the ideal customer
    • Unclear function(s) of the website (Lead-generation, trust-building, inbound, conversion, etc.)
    • Not able to craft messages that resonate with the target audience
  • The one question you should ask your ideal customer to help you craft a better website [10:49]
  • Sam shares his learning from interviewing 300+ B2B executives on their expectations for B2B websites [12:09]
  • Why B2B companies should share their pricing on their websites and the best practices [14:42]
  • Sam talks about the biggest SEO mistakes he has seen [19:27]
    • Not building for bottom of the funnel SEO
  • Sam explains when B2B companies should use SEO [22:46]
  • How to build website SEO from scratch [25:31] 
  • Actionable tips: [31:23]
    • Interview target clients
    • Include the ‘must-have’ pages
    • SEO quick wins

Companies and links mentioned

Transcript

SPEAKERS

Christian Klepp, Sam Dunning

Christian Klepp  00:03

Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for changemakers where we question the conventional, debunk marketing myths, provide actionable tips, think differently, disrupt the industries, and take your marketing to a new level, from improving your campaigns to making you a better marketer. These are the inspirational stories that will help us change the way we think and approach B2B marketing, one conversation at a time. This podcast is brought to you by EINBLICK Consulting, helping you to stand out in the market and drive revenue to your B2B business. And now your host, Christian Klepp.

Christian Klepp  00:45

All right, welcome, everyone to this episode of B2B Marketers on a Mission. This is the show where we help you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry and take your marketing to new heights. This is your host Christian Klepp. And today I am joined by someone on a mission to help B2B companies up their game with SEO and web design for revenue, not vanity. So coming to us from Yeovil England, Mr. Sam Dunning, welcome to the show.

Sam Dunning  01:10

Hey, Christian, thanks for having me on, man. Looking forward to it.

Christian Klepp  01:13

Really looking forward to this conversation as well, Sam, and shout out to Linda Malone, thank you so much for the introduction. So let’s just dive in here, because I’m gonna say that Sam, you’ve got, I’m gonna call it a superpower for B2B, right? So it’s in the realm of building websites and SEO. But for this conversation, let’s narrow down to a topic that has become part of your professional mission. And that’s how to create a B2B website for revenue and not vanity. Let’s try to kick off this conversation with this question. Where do you think most B2B websites fall flat? And why?

Sam Dunning  01:50

Yeah, yeah. So there is so many angles that they do, typically Christian from my experience, and folks in B2B Tech, Software as a Service, technology in general, specifically guilty of this, but probably one of the main reasons I see websites fall flat in the B2B realm is because they design, they build them out, they craft sites for ego, for themselves, their own opinion, or maybe their execs opinion, or even the C suites opinion, dare I say it. And the reason that that means that the website falls short, is because when you build out your site, no matter what your offer is, whether it’s a service, whether it’s a piece of software, piece of tech, you are not the one that’s buying your offer, you’ve probably got a warehouse full of your stuff, you’ve probably got a fair old supply of it, you don’t want to buy it, you need to build it out, to resonate with, to attract, build trust with and convert your ideal client profile. So the folks, your dream clients, the folks you actually want to connect with, you want to build trust with and you want to close business with. So that is the that’s the biggest issue I see. And that comes across in so many different parts of the website, whether it’s the messaging, whether it’s initial research, the design, even comes through into the content and the marketing, but happy to dive into that deeper as you wish.

Christian Klepp  03:18

Absolutely. And you’ll forgive me for like, having the sinister grin on my face as you were talking because it just brings back all these like, funny memories of website projects I was involved in the past, and everything you said just resonates with me. I mean, take your pick, you know, call it whatever you want, decision by committee, analysis paralysis, dare I say opinionitis. So everybody internally saying, well, that’s not how we should be communicating our key selling point to the world, etc., etc. And there was just so much of this internal, these internal discussions going on. And then you finally released it into the wild and it falls flat.

Sam Dunning  03:57

Yeah, yeah, that’s it. It’s the old story that gets told time and again. And it’s usually one of those ones until companies make that mistake, and realize that their website isn’t working as hard for their business as they’d like, then they have to go through the painful route of kind of realizing it for themselves usually.

Christian Klepp  04:14

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. That is a great segue into the next question. And I’m not trying to get all religious or Catholic on you, but talk to us about the Deadly Sins of B2B websites, and how to resolve them.

Sam Dunning  04:30

Yeah, yeah. So that’s plenty. There’s so many ways that websites can go wrong. But likewise, there’s so many ways that they can go right. So kind of continuing on that first point. So designing for whether it’s an ego of your own yourself, maybe your marketing team, maybe it’s you CEO founder. So basically, the main thing is B2B websites, great B2B websites that drive a steady flow of qualified leads or demo requests or build revenue for business, they’re not built on guesswork. So the only time that you should be throwing up a website kind of relatively quickly, and it’s going to be quite lightweight on content, and it’s gonna be quite basic, is if you’re a startup and perhaps you’ve Bootstrap, perhaps you’ve got limited cash. In that case, I understand that you might skip the research phase. And you might just throw up a semiprofessional homepage, maybe a pricing page, case study page and a contact page. And that makes sense, right, you need to get something moving fast, you need a professional presence. But if you’re a somewhat established company, or somewhat funded company, and your website is going to be the heart and soul, really of your marketing efforts, that needs to basically be a workhorse, as it’s no better salesperson than a website. It’s live 24/7. And whether you like it or not, it’s either acting as your best sales rep by telling sharing what you do, problems you fix, how you help, building trust, qualifying prospects in and out and converting, or it’s being your worst, and it’s repelling folks and selling them to your competitors. So to dive into the first point, lack of research is one of the biggest killers. So what I mean by that is lack of understanding, I suppose first and foremost, exactly what you want to get out of the website. Is this going to be a tool to generate leads? Or is most of your efforts perhaps going from referrals or networking events? Or maybe outbound they’ve got a team of STRs doing cold calling, etc? So it’s more of a trust building piece? Or does your website need to actually do a lot of that work? Maybe you’re going to be investing a lot into SEO or ads or demand generation campaigns. So it needs to be more of an inbound engine. So really setting it, setting the scene for what this website needs to do. Is it a trust builder? Is it a converter? Is it perhaps a mix of the both? Is it maybe enabling sales answering some of those questions that folks are going to have to speed up sales cycles, which you can dive into? So that’s one of the first things. Then understanding who is this dream client that we want to kind of resonate with on the site? What are those dream clients’ key problems that they want to fix? What are their main motivations that they actually care about? What are their goals? What are their jobs to be done? What are their frustrations? What are we going to help them fix? And other things around pain points around what they care about seeing? So the point I’m getting across is if you’re going to invest a decent amount of cash, or your own team’s time and resource into a website, we want to make sure it resonates with the folks who want to convert on the site. So we probably want to spend time interviewing, I don’t know, 10 or so of our recently won customers, or 10 or so kind of folks that fit our ideal client profile so we can understand kind of what are their juicy problems? What are their key goals? What’re their jobs to get done? What are the main things they care about learning, seeing and quickly taking action on a website in our sector? What are some of the main competitors and then the reason we do this is so we can analyze those discussions, whether they’re over zoom calls or similar. And start noting down the patterns and what folks are saying. So if we say that this is one of the most common frustrations and problems that they’re facing, this is one of their main kind of goals. This is what they typically want to see on a vendor in our sectors website quickly. And then we can leverage that to our advantage when it comes to perhaps website headlines. So when it comes to homepage messaging, I mean, this could be a website, this could be a podcast episode itself, homepage messaging. So many B2B companies just go terribly wrong. So understanding, doing that research piece means you understand what your target clients care about. So you’re basically with something when someone lands on our homepage, there’s something we like to run called the grunt test. And that basically means could a caveman sitting in his cave, pretty quickly fire up his laptop, see your website for the first time ever? And it’s blurring his eyes. He’s thinking what’s going on, he first sees your homepage for the first time, it could be within three seconds of firing up your homepage, see your hero area, your top banner area, and quickly grunt exactly what you do, how it helps them. And then thirdly, how to get in touch with your take the next step, and you’d be surprised how many websites are as clear as mud. So super unclear in terms of what their value proposition is. So you’ll land on that homepage hero and it’ll say something like supercharge your revenues with a cutting edge only 136 degree platform for tech enabled wizardry. And you’ll, you’ll be scrolling through the homepage, you’ll be like, What the hell do these folks do? And then you’re scrolling through, you’re trying to click through more page and you’re still none the wiser. So you bounce off and head to a kind of competitor site that gives you a clearer idea of what they do or the problem they fix, and, and so on. So you’ll see why research is so important because the biggest thing your website can do is resonate with target prospects, their problems, their jobs to be done, their goals, their ambitions, and homepage hero areas are just a critical way that they can either hit home or fail terribly. But I’ll take a pause there.

Christian Klepp  09:59

Absolutely. similarly, it’s funny that you mentioned that because I’ve been talking to a couple prospects in the past few weeks. And you know, you go on their website, and it’s really going back to your point. I spent about five minutes on their homepage, scrolling up and down, I still couldn’t figure out what they did. Right? And, yeah, that really, that point that you’ve highlighted really hits home. And I also have some follow up questions for you. So on the topic of research, and how important is it to also understand not just who benefits from the product or service you provide, but also what their user experience online is? So for example, you might you might have brought it up a couple of minutes ago, but if they go on a website, what is it that they are looking for? Right?

Sam Dunning  10:49

Yeah, yeah. So it’s… one of the good questions to ask is, “What do you care about quickly, learning, seeing and taking action upon when you land on a website, in our in our sector, in our industry in our space?” Because if you’re talking to your target client profile, probably when you ask that question, they’ll probably go on a rant. So they’ll probably be like, usually, I hate seeing XYZ on a website in that space. So typically, I quickly want to get an idea of exactly what you do, how much it costs, see some proof of results like client testimonials, case studies, recommendations, then, if I check those boxes, I’m gonna book a call or request a demo. So you will unpack quite a lot just for that one question alone. And it can help kind of steer, obviously, you want to make sure you’re going for pattern. So if you’re interviewing 10 or so, folks, you don’t just want to go by one answer. You want to make sure that there’s a consistent kind of response in the majority of those interviews that you run. But yeah, that’s probably quite a good way to, to unpack that one.

Christian Klepp  11:50

Slowly, absolutely. Um, I didn’t coined this phrase, but I read it somewhere that try not to make the visitors to your website, burn too many calories to figure out what it is you do, or find that information they’re looking for. Right? So you don’t want them clicking through seven different layers of your website to find to find stuff, right?

Sam Dunning  12:09

Yeah, yeah, that’s it. Exactly. I mean, in B2B, I kind of touched upon it then. But from my experience, I’m sure you’re the same Christian, like interviewing tons of folks on the show, I think we’ve interviewed maybe 300 plus B2B execs. And from that data that I’ve gathered, typically, if they’re landing on a B2B site, it’s not really that complex, what they want to see, like they usually want to land on your site, it needs to load quite quickly on their mobile or their PC, whatever they choose to view on. Search it doesn’t need to take the world to load, which is sensible. And the design needs to look good, whatever their idea of good is that your research will back that looking at competitors, understanding what they care about seeing, it needs to quick, quickly share what you do, or the problem you solve, or how you help them. And it needs to share some proof of results. So that could be case studies, client review videos, testimonials, walkthrough videos, etc. It needs to show your offer and action. So if you’re a SaaS provider, maybe a live demo trial before you book the demo. Maybe if you’re a service provider, a video walkthrough of your services, some proof of impact. So we talked about that just then. Price, regardless of whether your tech or service-based, your price should be on there. If not a tiered section like in traditional SaaS methodology, it should be some kind of indication ballpark of starting rates. Your website should give answers to common questions. So if there’s FAQs that you’re constantly getting on calls, let’s have those on relevant service pages that we can dive into in a sec. And then on the basis that you check all those boxes, it should be super easy for someone to schedule time on the sales reps calendar with a calendar booking tool be at RevenueHero, Calendly, or, or similar. So that’s what I found from kind of interviewing a ton of B2B execs that they care about seeing. There is nuances in there. And there’s a lot to dive into around the design, around the messaging and how that’s laid out on certain pages. But a lot of the time, B2B sites get a bit too overcomplicated. And when you strip them back, that’s the main thing people actually care about.

Christian Klepp  14:13

Yeah, yeah, Indeed, indeed. That, you just give me an idea for another podcast interview, and I might have you on for that better design, or the definition of good design. Because as you said, like good design is subjective, isn’t it? And I have another follow up question for you, Sam, on the topic of pricing, particularly in SaaS, like, what are your thoughts on that? Like, should folks publish that on their website or not?

Sam Dunning  14:42

I think there is no reason not to share your price. So usually for SaaS, when you’re low ticket… it’s usually quite easy, because you’ll typically have maybe three tiers, like a standard edition for one seat, maybe up to 10 seats, so you have like a standard price. One seat 20 bucks a month up to 10 seats are 50 bucks a month, enterprise speak to sales team and discuss custom pricing for 100 seats plus whatever. So low ticket SaaS is quite easy. You can break down the features between each. Enterprise SaaS gets a bit more difficult, because usually it’s more customed to the organizations. That’s when folks tend to get a bit scared about hiding their pricing, because they’ll use the argument which will be, oh, everything’s custom, we need to have a conversation with the prospect first to understand their goals, their problems, what they want to get out of it, what the issues are right now and how many people in their organization, what they’ve tried so far, what did work, what didn’t work, what their budget is. True, but people determined value on their own side. So it’s up to them to determine the value not for you to ram it down their throat. So with that said, give an indication. And this could apply to technology companies, as well as service companies, because service folks in the B2B, B2B space also get the same argument. So let’s say you’re providing I don’t know, in the B2B space, I don’t know maybe you’re doing logistics for huge warehousing companies B2B. And you might say, well, everything’s super bespoke, we need to measure it up, we need to get more information, we need to get all these details to give a bespoke quote, well, you can give a starting from range. And even let’s say you have three tiers. So you say like Tier one is from 10 to 20k. Based on the specifications, tier two is from 20, to 50k. and tier three is maybe enterprise from 75k plus. But the good thing about a pricing page is it has so many advantages. So first and foremost, by sharing that price, you save everyone’s time. So you immediately qualify folks in or out, and it saves a conversation with a tire kicker that wastes 30 to 45 minutes of your salespersons time. Likewise, with the prospects time, it might leave a sour taste in the prospects mouth, they might even land on that pricing page, tried to get a price, they don’t see anything. And they think this company is not transparent, I’m just gonna head to a competitor that is. But you’ll find that if you had a pricing page will be one of the most visited pages on your website along with your homepage, probably your about page, maybe the book demo results page. And the good thing about it is it can work super hard. So as well as sharing to qualify people in or out, you can then share some social proof. So you can then have some relevant customer review videos, testimonial, videos, walkthroughs, etc. But one of my favorite hacks for a pricing page is to have an FAQ section at the bottom, which is basically covering all the objections and questions you get on sales calls. So as an example, on nearly all of my service pages, I literally have FAQs with questions that I get on sales calls, like for example, an SEO. So we provide B2B SEO, I’ll have questions like, isn’t it faster to invest in Google ads? And I’ll say yes, it is. But you’re paying for every click. They’ll also say, Sam, why are you so expensive, compared to freelancers or other agencies? And I’ll say, well, I’ll talk through our setup, and how we build up campaigns. Another question might be why does SEO take so long? And I’ll address that. So literally, if you make a list of all those questions, your sales folk get every week, address them upfront on the page, you’ll save everyone time, people will think this company is transparent. It’s going to save your sales reps time on calls. It’s basically providing enablement, it is going to speed up build velocity. So yeah, there’s a lot of ways that pricing pages can work in your advantage to show transparency, build trust, and actually speed up deal cycles. So I think by hiding pricing, it just does not to me, yes, you’ll get more quote unquote, inquiries, leads or MQLs. But of those, a ton of them won’t be able to afford what you do. And you’ll be wasting everyone’s time.

Christian Klepp  18:50

Absolutely, absolutely. I totally agree with that. Like FAQs are definitely a time saver, especially like it’ll save your point on the sales team time answering those questions or objections in the discovery calls, right? Because people can just go and research that themselves. Let’s stay on the topic of pitfalls to avoid for a little bit longer if we can. Sure. Talk to us about the biggest SEO mistakes that you’ve seen out there that B2B companies make and what they should be doing instead. And I know you probably have a thousand that you see, but just come up with… Just tell us about the top level ones.

Sam Dunning  19:27

So you probably… If you’re connected to anyone in SEO or marketing on LinkedIn, you’ve probably only got a scroll your LinkedIn feed and you’ll see one of these crazy graphs like we took this website from 10 visitors a month to 10,000 visitors a month in organic views, and then someone in the comments would be cool. How many qualified leads or demos did they get, how many of those who convert into one revenue and there’ll be crickets, no reply. And the reason being is so many companies have misguided strategy for SEO. What I mean by that is they build out pages that are going to get a ton of traffic. And usually that’s articles that are maybe addressing common questions in their industry like how to articles, maybe their listicles best ways to do something, that kind of stuff. So they’ll have a bit of a random strategy, they’ll maybe watch a Neil Patel video, no hate to Neil. He comes up with some great stuff. But he’s one of the big guys in SEO. He comes up with some really cool stuff. But they might have just seen a fly on the wall video could have been Neil’s, could have been someone else’s. And I think we’ve got to produce all these articles to get tons of traffic because my SEO tool SEMrush, Href said this article keyword gets loads of traffic. So build out these random articles, they’ll start driving traffic to their site, then they’ll be wondering why that none of that’s actually converting into qualified leads or revenue. And the marketing manager will have probably been tasked to do this job. A few months later, the founder or the C suite execs will be like, Well, what’s this produced, and they’ll show them a chart, that’d be great traffic, but nothing would have come of it. And the reason being is they’ve produced all this top of funnel content. And at best, someone’s flicked onto the website to get the answer from the article how to do something or best way to do something, maybe at best, they’ve then signed up to your mailing list, or they’ve then gone to consume your podcast, which is still fine. But they haven’t become a customer, they haven’t requested demo or call. And that’s because you’ve started the wrong way for SEO. You haven’t started at the bottom of the funnel by folks that needing your offer right now. So bottom of the funnel SEO. And that is where most folks go wrong. They go for the traffic, instead of these bottom of the funnel keywords aka, if you’re in the SaaS space, let’s say you provide calendar scheduling tool, it might be best calendar scheduling tool or best calendar scheduling tool for construction or calendar scheduling software, these terms that show intent, where someone’s ready to have a sales conversation. And then you build out these kind of typically those go to relevant solution pages or similar. So it’s just a bit of a backward strategy that a lot of folks take not by their own fault, just by doing a bit of a random kind of play.

Christian Klepp  22:14

Right, right. Exactly. So I’m gonna play the devil’s advocate here a little bit, right. Like to say like, Okay, we get what you’re saying, Sam, you know, bottom of the funnel is important. But what do you say to those that feel that SEO is a complete waste of time? You’ve probably heard these people ramble on about this on platforms like LinkedIn, they’re like, Oh, you don’t need that SEO, you just gotta keep coming up with quality content, and provide value to your target audience. I mean, like, every time I hear that, I just start to cringe. But over to you.

Sam Dunning  22:46

Yeah, I mean, usually, that’s like someone screenshotting like a Twitter quote. And then the LinkedIn posts will be good content. That’s the key to B2B. And it’ll get 1000 likes because they brand it through a pod. And then I’m just putting a sick emoji in that LinkedIn comment. Anyway, with that said, I won’t hate on anyone anywhere else. So with that said, SEO to be blunt, SEO is not for every B2B company. The reason being SEO works best as a demand capture channel. So if folks are actively searching for your offer, your solution, problems you fix, then it’s probably going to work well. But if you’re in a somewhat new category, that’s maybe not that recognized. i.e. you’ve built out something fairly fresh, people aren’t aware of your solution, the problem you fix, maybe you’re in a SaaS solution, that’s kind of a brand new idea, then SEO is not a good idea. You’re far better hanging out on the channels that your target clients are already on, and educating them around the problems you fix, that your solution even exists. And that could be through targeted LinkedIn ads. That could be from YouTube, that could be podcast, I don’t know, wherever your audience hang out, you’re way better doing spending time there, or even doing targeted outbound. But on the flip side of that, if you’re in a somewhat established category, which most B2B companies are, then SEO does make sense, because then you can capture that demand. i.e. You can research what folks actually typing on Google when they have high intent to buy your software, your solution, your service or your niche. But a lot of that is by understanding kind of two levels to SEO really customer research. And kind of identifying with the classic SEO tools, kind of what they search and then building out best in class content to match intent. Like you say good content is relevant. Because a big part of Google’s ranking factor is something called E,E,A,T, which means Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust, so your pages, whether they are a solution page, a service page, an article page needs to send all those signals to Google i.e. that means that someone with relevant expertise and authority in the subject should craft out. But good content is a bit vague. Doesn’t… could mean something could thinking different to you than it does me. Very subjective, but happy to dive into any of those points as you wish.

Christian Klepp  25:08

Yeah, no, absolutely, absolutely. Let’s dissect that a little bit more if we can, like from your perspective, from your professional experience define good content, because like you said, it means different things to different people. Like I hate saying the term adding value, because again, that’s just as generic as Ivory soap, isn’t it?

Sam Dunning  25:31

Yeah. Yeah. So when we say good content, when we’re talking from an S… I’ll give you from an SEO lens. From an SEO point of view. I’ll give you an example. So make it more tangible for people watching or listening. So for example, on my website, breakingB2B.com, I started this website one month ago, so exited my last agency, started breaking B2B dot com about one month ago at the time of recording. A completely fresh domain, no authority. And I knew exactly what I wanted to do from day one, really, I wanted to do what I’ve talked about bottom of funnel SEO. So essentially, attracting folks as quick as humanly possible to our main authors around B2B SEO, web design, podcasting. So what I did was I mapped out what we call the money niches. So I encourage you to make a list if you’re going to do this exercise, make a list of what are the main services you want to sell to high ticket that are valuable, deliver results? What are your money niches? What are the industries that you enjoy working with, that can easily afford your solution and have the expensive problems you fix? Once you’ve identified those, you want to build out a page on your website, which is usually a solution page, sometimes a listicle for each and every one of those offers. So in my case, for breaking B2B, we build out pages for B2B SEO company, B2B SaaS SEO agency, B2B FinTech, SEO Agency, B2B SEO for construction. So all those SEO niches did the same for web design. Again, identify those industries B2B website for SaaS, B2B web funnel company, B2B web design for FinTech, those money niches that we enjoy working with that we can deliver value to, and that have the cash to do business with us. And likewise, that might involve a little bit of keyword research to make sure there’s a little bit of traffic behind those. But one thing I would say when it comes to your research is traffic is not the be all and end all. Even if something’s kind of 50 searches or less a month, that’s good. If it’s a high intense search that someone’s typing when they do offer, I’d much rather that it means I can rank quickly. And it means that they’re actually in market for my offer, rather than searching for a blog post. So with that said, when you identify those terms, there’s money niches and you build up those pages. If you want to build out a page, that’s actually going to have a chance of ranking. One of the easiest ways to do so is to literally Google that term, you type it into Google. So in my case, let’s say one of my one of my terms is B2B web design agency. So or B2B SEO agency. So I searched both those, I looked at the top three organic results, I do something called the skyscraper technique, which loads of people say doesn’t work, but definitely does have rank tons of sites doing it. And you look at the top three organic results, but you make notes. So you basically look how these pages formatted. First and foremost, what type of pages are they are their solution page, article page or something else? How are they built out? I usually these pages will have if it’s a service page, it will be like this is the service. This is how it works. This is some proof of results. Maybe there’s an FAQ section. So when I’m reviewing those top three organic results, one of those target keywords, I will make notes on how I can work one up those page and every single angle. Maybe I can start with more depth on the problem. Maybe I can give a walkthrough, maybe I can embed a YouTube video guide that I’ve got on a dedicated topic to that subject. Maybe I can add extra FAQs I’ve heard on sales calls, I can add common objections, maybe I can add some unique stats or research that I’ve done on the topic. And then once I’ve made notes on all the ways I can improve, I’ll build out that best in class page by doing that attacking EEAT. So I’m showing expertise, experience, authority and trust. I’m signaling to Google this kind of one up from every other page, it’s ranking. And then you want to do your technical SEO. So if you’re going to build on, let’s say, yourdomain.com, you’re gonna have forward slash, in my case, B2B hyphen, SEO hyphen agency, you’re gonna have your h1 as the target keyword within there. And you build out your h2 and h3 content isn’t follows over so a lot of companies spend too much time on technical BS as long as you do the basics, you’re gonna be fine. And that’s, that’s it really from there. Once you build out a page for each and every offer. For the more competitive they get i.e. the more search volume or the more competitors that are trying to rank for them. Eventually, you might need to start looking to acquire links, and I’m happy to share quick wins when it comes to building backlinks if we’ve got time. But one other little hack was around that subject is if you do, for each solution page you build out. If you do a dedicated YouTube video, and you embed it on the page that I found is a little tip to ranking faster to increasing your click through rate in the search engine results page. Because sometimes when you search for topics, they actually shows a little video thumbnail to encourages people to click. There’s not many results have that. And also, what you’ll see is Google for some keywords, when you search them, there has a little video section in the search results. So you can rank on those videos, whilst you’re waiting for your actual page to go top three. An example if you’ve searched like B2B, SEO, or B2B SEO strategy, you’ll see two or three of my videos just in that video section alone. So it’s quite a nice way to steal market share on the search engine result pages I found.

Christian Klepp  30:46

I actually did notice that like thanks for bringing that up, like, you know, when you do Google certain keywords or terms, that these YouTube videos pop up. So great advice there. I actually do want to go back to the quick wins, because you know, we were talking about actionable tips in a previous conversation. So you’ve given us so much already, you’ve unpacked a lot, I would say in the last couple of you know, like past half an hour that we’ve been chatting, but if somebody were listening to this episode, and you’d like them to walk away with three to five things that they can act upon immediately, not in six months. Not in two weeks, but like right now, what should they be doing?

Sam Dunning  31:23

Yeah, yeah. So one, build the website to do those things that I just shared. So even if you’ve limited on resources, do… I don’t know, interview maybe three to five target clients and build it up over time. So you can understand kind of what their key problems are, their goals, what they care about seeing quickly on your website, their jobs to be done, and incorporate that, especially into your homepage hero messaging. So it’s super clear on that value proposition. And then make sure you have those pages that I said, So homepage, probably about page, results page, and weave in FAQs on relevant pages. And that book a demo so at the basis, make sure you’re covering those grounds. For the SEO quick wins. Yes. Again, like I said, identify those main offers, identify those money niches, review the search engine results page for each one of those keywords, you want to rank and look two ways you can one up and build out each every each and every page, one of those offers plus the niche. Feel free to take a look at my site breaking B2B dot com and you’ll get an example of what I mean if you go into my service tab. That would be probably the main things from a very, very high level. On our podcast, we kind of dive into those in in more, more depth.

Christian Klepp  32:37

That’s fantastic. All right. Sam, I have a feeling that you’ve been on your soapbox this whole time, but I’m going to ask you to stay up there a while longer for this next question, right? What is the status quo in your area of expertise… So if we’re talking about B2B websites and SEO, what’s the status quo that you passionately disagree with? And why?

Sam Dunning  33:02

Status quo?

Christian Klepp  33:04

Just one. I know you’re I know, you probably have a ton, but just one.

Sam Dunning  33:08

I’m trying to think of a juicy one. Really. I mean, the one I uncovered earlier about the article traffic one is a common one. Like folks just screenshotting their crazy upward trend graphs of articles getting 10s of 1000s of views, and then me questioning how many qualified leads that drove in, they just don’t respond. Because it’s not a bottom of the funnel keyword. Another one was, I don’t know if you saw it, all the AI heists, AI SEO heists posts from LinkedIn or Twitter. And that’s quite timely, because people were saying, like, you can get insane rankings with AI. And now you’ll notice a ton of those sites have crashed because Google just released the march spam update. And sites that are kind of spamming out AI content that’s not ranked deemed as useful or helpful to the end user just getting crushed. So it’s nice to see that kind of, I guess, part handcrafted content by the writers or subject matter experts is getting rewarded again, which is hopefully good for copywriters because I feel like they’ve had a hard time recently.

Christian Klepp  34:10

Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. I did see your post. And I did read about that update. And I kind of just read the bit of a sigh of relief, to be honest with you. There’s so much garbage out there. Not that I’m entirely against AI, but I’m against AI when it comes to what you just mentioned.

Sam Dunning  34:27

And the other thing is like, yes, even if you did find a loophole and AI got a ton of traffic, it’s like if someone lands on that page, are they actually going to find value in it? Like if I’m a B2B prospect and you provide a high ticket service or high ticket piece of software, if I go on that page, and it just talks about like cutting edge skyrocket 360 degree all in one of these kinds of random AI buzzwords that you see. So is that actually going to build trust with me and encourage me to learn more about your offer or kind of recommend it to my peers and eventually book a demo or call? Probably not.

Christian Klepp  35:00

Absolutely, absolutely. All right, Sam, here comes the bonus question. And this is the only one I didn’t tell you ahead of time (laugh). So let’s just say for example, right after this interview, you hear a knock at the door, then you open the door. And it’s Harry Potter. Sorry, I know you’re British. And that sounds super cliche, but I just couldn’t help myself. So Harry Potter says, Hey, Sam, I love what you’re doing. Listen to your podcast, and I’m gonna reward you, I’m gonna give you this magic wand. But you’re only allowed to use it to fix something in SEO. So if you had this magic wand that could fix one thing in SEO, what would it be? And why?

Sam Dunning  35:47

I know exactly what I do. I know exactly what I do, I would remove something called domain authority. So for anyone that hasn’t heard of domain authority, that basically means that website… I’ll give you a tangible example, a site like HubSpot. So they’re basically the creators of inbound marketing to a sense. They’re one of the first folks to say, look, create blog articles, create lead magnets, build an audience in that way. And this is a way to build up your email list and generate leads through content marketing, when people are searching for like how to questions they go to your article, they download lead magnet they get in your ecosystem, they can become customers. But a site like HubSpot has a huge domain authority because that was one of the first players in the game. And that comes from building up reputation on Google, having a ton of backlinks over time. And an unfair advantage about having something called a domain authority is that usually if you publish a new page, or a new article on your website, it can rank super quick compared to a newbie, for example, my breaking B2B dot com site, even though we’ve ranked pages pretty quick, I think, until one month old, I just wouldn’t have a chance against some of those big players. If you remove that. If you remove that authority on Google, by having a website that’s 20 plus years old harbor elder is all these backlinks all that reputation, it might make Google a bit of a wild west, because anyone would start ranking pages against the Giants. So let’s say you search CRM and instead of seeing HubSpot, and Salesforce top as you would for every CRM term, you just start seeing these newbie stuff. So I think that would be I think that’d be super funny. And then if I could get a number two, it’d be a Google drag and drop rankings, which my friend Fareed did once on LinkedIn, which is quite funny. But yeah, I think removing Domain Authority just be a wild west on Google, and I’d be here for it.

Christian Klepp  37:35

So you just chant that incantation, wave the wand and poof, it’s gone. (laugh)

Sam Dunning  37:43

That’d fun.

Christian Klepp  37:44

Sam, listen, we could go on and on and on. But you’ve already unpacked so much. And just in the interest of time, I want to thank you for coming on and sharing your expertise and experience with the listeners. I think I’m walking away from this conversation with a lot of value. And I hope the listeners do too. But for those of us that want to reach out to you and learn more about what you do, how can they do that?

Sam Dunning  38:10

Yeah, appreciate you having me on. Thanks, Christian. So yeah, there’s a couple ways so you can check me out on LinkedIn, Sam Dunning share daily tips on websites, SEO and similar. Check out the podcast, Breaking B2B. We’re interviewing marketing execs in the B2B space and share solo episodes, either on B2B marketing or websites and SEO. Or if you’re perhaps listen to this and thought Sam’s rambled on for long enough and perhaps a bit frustrated that my website isn’t ranking well on Google and competitors above me or maybe my site is failing to drive a healthy flow of qualified leads or demos, then feel free to reach out to us it’s breakingB2B.com.

Christian Klepp  38:47

That’s fantastic. Or if they’re frustrated because AI promised them better SEO rankings, and it did not deliver! (laugh)

Sam Dunning  38:56

True.

Christian Klepp  38:57

Fantastic. Alright, Sam thanks so much for your time. Take care, stay safe and talk to you soon.

Sam Dunning  39:02

Cheers.

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