Joining the club means building a presence online. There’s a significant difference between distributors who simply have a website, versus those who have taken the time and money to continually invest in their site’s design, functionality and purpose.

On a very basic level, a website should look modern, be easy-to-use and engaging to visitors. Specific call-to-action buttons should be placed throughout the website, as well as product and contact information. All links should be functional, and pages should be backed up by the capability to load quickly. A well-organized e-catalogue with high definition images, and succinct descriptions should accompany the site’s main pages.

However, even a great website is worthless if it cannot be found. That’s where the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. Internet search engines, such as Google or Bing, deploy “bots,” to comb and crawl the inner scopes of the Web to catalog search terms and topics using a complex algorithm.
The terms are often referred to as “tags” or “keywords,” and depending on how relevant the keywords are to a specific site determines it’s ranking on the search engines.

“The problem with B2B keywords is that keyword phrases don’t often have enough volume to track trends over time,” says Brian Bluff, president and co-founder of Site Seeker Inc., based in New York. “One of the tricks to identifying [keywords] is to sit down with a sales rep and get the first three questions that customers ask them on the phone. People are describing their problems and [distributors] can then describe the solutions,” in their keywords. 

Bluff suggests creating web pages around a single theme to send the signal to Google that a distributor wants to be acknowledged in that space, e.g. “paper products in Arizona,” “floor buffer pads,” “proportioned chemicals,” etc. The more specific the keywords can be, the higher a distributor can be ranked for that term, leading to a better chance of being discovered by potential customers.

There are a lot of ways to determine keywords, but tech experts suggest drilling down on the goals of a website, and building content around those topics. Then compare that information to site traffic using a service such as Google Analytics to measure its success.

“Having Google Analytics and not using it is like bringing the sales team in and them not understanding what their pipeline is,” says Bluff. “The story is different but the characters are the same.”

There are two types of SEO traffic: organic, which like the name, happens naturally; and paid traffic, through Google Adwords, online advertising and promotion.

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