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Tertiary Keyword Rankings: Using Your Search-Engine Presence to Power Your Customers

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Ed. Note: A version of this article originally appeared in Search Engine Land.

In the world of B2B marketing, what would you say your customers want most from you? Some of the obvious things are quality products, great service, reasonable prices, and solutions that increase profits.

But what would they really want if they could have anything from you?

How about more customers?

Many companies do support their resellers in some manner, including funneling prospects to them.


Even if your company has a reseller support program, there are two very important assets that are probably being underused for such a purpose—your website and your search-engine rankings.

It's not hard to imagine how you can enhance your website to deliver leads to your customers. By creating a "vendor locator" application on your website, you could help visitors find services and products related to your business offerings.

Take it one step further, and you can use your status as a trusted source to gather lead information and allocate leads among your key customers appropriately.

If yours is like most companies today, it is likely spending some time and effort optimizing its website for search-engine rankings or spending money on search-engine advertising programs.

Companies that are successful in their search-engine optimization (SEO) efforts have one more tool in their marketing toolbox than they might have realized—leveraging "tertiary" keyword rankings for their customers' benefit.

A great example would be a manufacturer of 3-D printers. Though the company likely does not offer printing services, it is reasonable to expect that the company's website could rank high in search engines for "3-D printing."

Much of the SEO effort that a company engages in will produce rankings for those types of tertiary keywords. The traffic that is generated to the website for printing-related keywords may not generate much in the way of sales, but that traffic can be converted into leads for your customers (and used as a selling tool when presenting to prospects).

A smart manufacturer of specialized printers may already have a tool on its website for users to find printing service providers in their area that use the company's equipment. A really smart company would consider adding a means for users to submit a request for a quote or similar contact request. The printer manufacturer could supply those leads to selected customers who sign up for the program.

That would be an excellent sales tool for sales representatives to use in the field when highlighting everything that their company does to support its customers.

Here are 10 other similar tertiary keywords that would fit this model for manufacturers/wholesalers of:

  1. Air-conditioning/HVAC equipment = air conditioning, central air
  2. Art frames = framing, custom framing
  3. Construction equipment = construction, construction companies, excavating
  4. Data-security technology = data security companies/consultants
  5. Environmental testing products = environmental testing, air testing, mold testing
  6. Industrial gases = neon gas, helium, carbon dioxide (dry ice)
  7. Packaging equipment = packaging, packaging companies
  8. Paints = paint, painting
  9. Prototyping equipment = rapid prototyping
  10. Warehousing equipment = warehousing, warehouses

Use your SEO investment and search presence to increase customer loyalty and acquire new customers. Doing so can also help you increase your Internet marketing budget as you discuss the sales benefits with management.


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Andy Komack is founder and president of KoMarketing Associates LLC (www.komarketingassociates.com), a B2B Internet-marketing agency providing SEO, pay-per-click, and social-media marketing services. Connect with him via Twitter (twitter.com/akomack)

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