SEO for Organic Food Businesses
Lessons learned from work in the industry
The B2B organic foods industry has huge potential for companies to take advantage of SEO. There are tonnes of people searching for this growing market, and much of the competition haven’t yet taken advantage of SEO’s usefulness. That means there’s a gap in the industry that’s waiting to be taken advantage of. Having worked in the organic food industry for a number of clients, we thought it’d be good to share our experiences, tips and lessons learned on how to do SEO when working with an organic food supplier. Our experience has largely been with B2B companies, so this article will focus on these types of clients. The article is by no means a full overview, but is rather designed to give some insights into what we find makes the most impact.
Tips to Maxmimise SEO Impact for Organic Food Companies
Each industry presents its own obstacles for doing SEO, and the organic food business is no exception to this. As we’ve helped companies over the years, we’ve come across a number of challenges that needed a good solution. Through following the below tips as guides, we’ve managed to make the most out of our SEO efforts for organic food companies and see great results across the board.
Focus on Keywords you Know Will Convert to Customers
Ideally when doing SEO, you’d be presented with a large list of keywords, which are all very specific and have relatively good search volume. Having search volume split between keywords, rather than having just a few is better, because it allows you to pick niche targets, rather than going for the more competitive, broader keywords or low volume keywords. As such this:
|Keyword||Monthly Search Volume|
|organic coconut oil manufacturer||1000|
|organic coconut oil company||3000|
|organic coconut oil buy||6000|
|buy organic coconut oil uk||5000|
|buy bulk organic coconut oil uk||5000|
Is better than this:
|Keyword||Monthly Search Volume|
|organic coconut oil||100000|
|bulk organic coconut oil distributor||100|
|wholesale organic coconut oil distributor||100|
In the first example, I’m free to create more specific content to target several keywords, in the second, I either need to focus on the broad competitive version, or the low volume version. The issue for organic food distributors is that quite a lot of their search volume (in our experience) is of the second type.
I recommend 2 avenues to make the most of this situation.
Firstly, we need to take those lower volume, specific keywords and see if they’re valuable to us. Quite often in B2B SEO (as is also discussed here) the value of 1 conversion is extremely high, so even if the search volume is low, if you can get those conversions each month, it brings incredible value to your business. The strategy then should be to decide which keywords have the highest potential to turn into customers, and focus only on those few. You can do this by checking their adwords competition or suggested bid, which gives an idea of how much the keywords are valued by your competition (enough for them to bet highly)? You can then take your list of keywords and check the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) for these. What do the SERPs look like? Are the results ranking there pages with commercial intent? Do they target the customers you’re looking for? If so, these are worthwhile to target, no matter how low the search volume (granted the SEO competition is not extremely high).
Secondly, to make the most out of the broad keywords with large search volume, we need some way to target long tail searches, without the search volume up front. The reason is that because the broad term receives so much search volume hints that there is more than likely going to be some other long tail search terms that branch off from this. There are a number of ways to get long tail keyword volume, and it’s a good idea to use a few of these methods.
Get a Clear Idea of Who Your Audience Is
A mistake that is too often made is assuming what your customer base is like, or what they read, ask about and search for. Having a blog is a great tool for SEOs to use to create a readership and gain potential customers, though it must be targeted to the right people. In the case of the B2B organic food industry, quite often the people who ask questions about organic foods, are not business owners looking to buy large orders. So creating a blog that answers questions about organic foods often only brings a readership looking to buy for personal use.
A good way to remedy this is to conduct research into who your audience is, and what those people like to read. One method to get information on this is to simply ask your client if they have any knowledge on this. Quite often they will, and if not will at least be able to give you some pointers for where to find industry news, forums, etc where you can get valuable information. Once you have an idea of where your customer base goes for information, start to design topics around the questions they ask, or the articles that are popular. It’s important to remember that for a blog, you don’t have to create content that is strictly thematically related to your business. You can create it on anything, so it’s better to create it on something your customers will find valuable.
Leverage Other Channels to Support SEO
Aside from the above tips, I would strongly recommend using tools to support your SEO methods. The most effective for the organic foods industry we have found are Adwords and LinkedIn advertising, partly because of their ability to target businesses, and partly because of their ability to supplement your SEO strategy.
Adwords. Adwords is particularly useful because it allows you to focus on various terms with commercial intent. Focusing on the more commercial avenues allows you to catch searchers who are likely to turn into customers. Another good thing about Adwords is that it can supplement your SEO strategy. By using modified broad keywords, you can discover long tail keywords that you might not have found with your SEO keyword research, and then incorporate these into your SEO strategy.
LinkedIn Advertising. This is equally useful because it’s the most business focused social media platform. Although the costs for advertising here are quite high, the keen targeting allows you to focus in on specific people in your industry with specific roles. The high value of your conversion will pay off the cost here tenfold. Again, LinkedIn advertising can be used to supplement your SEO strategy by promoting the content you’ve created in your blog. This can earn links and shares, which can then lead to better performance in the search results.
There is huge potential in the organic foods industry for gaining new customers through SEO and PPC. In using the above tips, you can make the most of that potential, rather than getting bogged down with techniques that don’t work for the industry.