B2B search engine optimization (SEO) is more important than ever today as a way to stand out from the competition. When you can rank higher than the competition, there is a natural sense of greater importance that will be associated with the products or services that are being offered. The B2B world of SEO is a little different than the B2C world, however, so just following SEO best practices is generally not enough.
You need to take a B2B specific approach to your techniques. That’s what the following tips will help you to do and the end results will speak for themselves. Are you ready to take advantage of the largest marketing opportunity that exists today to expand your brand recognition and presence on the internet today?
1. Keywords Are About Your Customers Instead of You.
The biggest mistake a business makes comes from their keyword research. It happens when the business focuses on the keywords they think will have an impact on the market. Seems like a natural way to think about keyword placement, but it’s wrong.
B2B SEO is about the prospects and customers. Your business perspective doesn’t matter at all when it comes to keyword placement.
Let’s use coffee as an example. Let’s say that you have created a new kind of coffee that uses a whole bean dark roast. To create an effective SEO campaign, you would probably find longtail keywords that are associated with “whole bean dark roast” to create your marketing foundation.
Wrong. Your customer isn’t thinking “whole bean dark roast.” Your customer is thinking “dark roasted affordable coffee.” The change is subtle, but important. If you’re focusing on your keywords instead of the keywords your customer base is thinking about, you won’t stand out against the competition. Others will be standing out against you instead.
2. Avoid The Crawling Issues With Design Improvements.
Another common error that B2B SEO marketers make is that they make it virtually impossible for the search crawlers to access and index their pages. This might happen from hard coding within the title component, a lack of canonical support for duplicate content, or even a Flash foundation for the site that crawlers can’t reach. If this is how your product information is displayed on the internet, then there’s a good chance the search engines have never seen it.
There are some easy ways to avoid this problem so that your search engine optimization improves immediately and sometimes dramatically.
- Keep all of your URLs for your domain as simple as possible.
- Do not duplicate your URLs if you are publishing duplicate content and always use the canonical tag.
- Avoid using 302 redirects so that link equity transfers through a 301 redirect instead.
- Use an alternate text link for crawler navigation if you’re using a Flash foundation for your user experience.
3. Keep The Work Rate Up At A High Level.
The need for new content cannot be emphasized enough. You might have great content on your landing pages, but if it is 3 years old, the search engines are going to see it as stale and old. Most of your prospects are going to feel the same way. After all, would you want to purchase a brand new car from the 2012 line at a dealership when the 2015 models are available at the same price?
Taking a fresh look at your content once per quarter is considered a B2B SEO best practice today for one simple reason: it keeps the value ratings high. Having an overall theme to your content is beneficial as well because it weaves a tapestry throughout your site that the crawlers really enjoy. Link up your keywords, create meaningful categories, and keep the user experience in mind in everything you do.
4. The Structure Of Your Site Matters.
In the B2B world, it isn’t uncommon to see a website that offers visitors a number of different downloads as promotional tools. This might be a whitepaper, a PDF file, or even a video download. All of these items can be optimized for keyword value in additional to perceived value to enhance your optimization. Everything you put online should be a digital asset for your B2B SEO efforts.
Structure also matters when it comes to navigation. The modern search engine algorithms will not only evaluate the ease of movement within your site, but they’ll also evaluate the quality of your links, the quality of your anchor text, and even how easy it is to share your content through a preferred online social network.
Here’s the bottom line: if your information is fresh, easy to share, and you’ve listed all of the resources used to create your content through meaningful source links, then you’ll begin building link equity quickly and effectively.
5. Keywords Need To Be Everywhere.
Keyword packing is a definite no-no when it comes to B2B SEO. Just repeating the same thing over and over again has zero overall value. What you’ve got to do with your site is create a pattern of keyword insertion that works with the content that you’re using. The goal should be to add your keywords in such a way that the average reader who doesn’t know optimization techniques won’t recognize the insertion pattern.
Many optimization professionals will focus solely on the content that the reader sees and this is important, but it isn’t 100% of your SEO needs. You’ve got headings, titles, subtitles, anchor text, photograph captions and alt text, and even your URLs that all need to have content. Managing your SEO in this section means making sure that your keyword placement is natural instead of automated and placed everywhere, not just in the body of your main content.
6. Use Your Incoming Links To Your Advantage.
If keywords are so important, then why don’t marketers and SEO professionals utilize the incoming links to your content as a way of boosting a site’s rankings? This step is ignored because it takes time. You’ve got to reach out to websites and ask them to match up their anchor text with the keywords you’re focusing upon.
It’s true that not every website is going to change their content because you’re asking them to do so. Many of them will, however, and all it takes is a simple email contact. You really have nothing to lose here by making the effort.
7. Don’t Ignore The Error Pages.
If someone lands on an error page on your site, whether it’s your fault or theirs, it is important to get that visitor back to the place where they need to be quickly and efficiently. It’s easy to bounce as a visitor if you’re staring at a blank or broken page. Error pages are less about keyword options and more about internal linking structure.
If someone winds up in an unintended spot, get them to a popular place on your domain immediately. From there, make sure your user experience is good enough to make sure they can find the real place on your site where they need to go.
8. Go Beyond The Conversion Point.
The final place to upgrade your current B2B SEO best practices is to monitor more than just the keywords and KPIs that are related to your sales data. Far too often the moneymakers get all of the focus and the support keywords don’t get any love at all. The problem with this is that your support keywords, both branded and non-branded, are the foundation that support your moneymakers.
If your foundational KPIs are not being tracked, then your conversion and sales related metrics are going to be supported by a foundation of sand. Switch them over to a foundation that is built on solid rock by monitoring your sourced traffic from all keywords, entry pages, and especially your crawling errors. Have solid metrics in place so that all results are tracked, even if you only check on those results 2x per month.
Why is this important? B2B search optimization techniques aren’t just about what happens today. They’re also about the future. You can see significant gains with SEO changes right now, but what happens when traffic patterns shift? When keywords are no longer as relevant? Without metrics that measure future potential and crafting content and UX options to meet future needs, a great site today could be a lousy site tomorrow.
B2B SEO can be a delicate balancing act at times, but it is a necessary one to engage. Use these tips to solidify your strategy today so that when the future does come, and it always will, you’ll be prepared for ongoing search optimization success.