If you stumbled upon this blog, you probably did so one out of two ways. The first, being through our website – in which case I hope you’re enjoying your time here! The second is through a SERP (or Search Engine Results Page). If you got here because of the second option, there’s a reason why that happened – we optimized this blog for your search query. We included targeted words (in this instance, we wanted to rank for the phrase “How to B2B SEO”), the right number of times and in the right places so search engines can select us as one of the most relevant responses to your questions. That’s how SEO works in a nutshell.
When it comes to doing SEO for B2B type companies, formatting the information on your website is paramount. In the internet age, there are lots of so-called experts. There are countless companies and blogs that promote harmful SEO practices. In this blog, we want to empower you to enhance the SEO value of your website without hurting your existing marketing efforts. We’ll outline a few do’s and don’ts so you can enhance the impact of your existing website.
The Don’ts of B2B SEO
B2B SEO companies may promote creating “good” or “relevant” content. Although creating education based content may seem intuitive, the difficult truth is that merely creating content is not enough. The reason being is because search engines like Google and Bing do not read information the way normal people do. For example, let’s say you were asking a friend the question “Where was coffee first discovered?” Your friend may know this information off-hand, and you would hear a succinct answer: “some people think it was peasant shepherds in Ethiopia. Legend has it that the shepherds noticed their sheep eating the berries of the coffee shrub and it perked them up”. Normal people would consider that to be good and relevant content, but a search engine wouldn’t. This is essentially how search engines would hear that answer:
You: “Where was coffee first discovered?”
Friend: “Blah blah blah…Ethiopia… blah blah blah…Shepherds”
Again, this is an overly simplified version of reality, but the main premise still holds true: search engines are looking for direct answers to search queries. Things like social proof (shares, backlinks, social media links, and low bounce rates paired with high engagement) also play a significant part in how search engines determine which web page provides the most relevant answer. An easy way to ensure search engines can index your information properly, and trust you as a source, is to clearly answer the question in your copywriting like so:
You: “Where was coffee first discovered?”
Professor: “Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia…”
This is subtle, yet important, difference is what can turn your seldom viewed content into more prominently placed content. By formatting your content in a way that search engines can easily understand, you increase the effectiveness of your content marketing.
The chief aim of search engines is to give the most concise answers to the searches entered into their system. Engines like Google, Bing and even Yahoo don’t like posting risky content. Placing the correct answer in their desired format increases your likelihood of being ranked favorably.
So, if format is really such a big factor, why shouldn’t you just fill your website to the brim with your targeted keywords? Well, that leads us to the next cardinal sin of B2B SEO: keyword spamming (or keyword stuffing).
In 2007, keyword stuffing was all the rage. SEO technicians would preach filling meta-data fields with a wide variety of competitive keywords in order to increase their rankings on SERPs. A business in India could theoretically try to rank for SERPs in B2B SEO, even if their company had no business dealings in the B2B industry. Rankings could be manipulated by how many times the keyword B2B SEO was incorporated throughout their website. Search engines learned fast and now penalize companies who rely on keyword stuffing as their SEO strategy.
Now that you know a few key errors to avoid, here’s a few tactics you can employ to ensure your SEO campaign is successful.
The Do’s of B2B SEO
SEO may seem overly difficult at first, but when you start to realize that the majority of SEO is format related, a lot of the mystery is gone. For your use, we’ve compiled an easy to use, four-point checklist to use when crafting your SEO friendly content for your B2B website. Check it out:
- Determine the exact keyword or phrase you’re trying to rank for:
- On this page, we worked on ranking for “B2B SEO”.
- Use that exact word or phrase you want to rank for in that page at least once every 100 words:
- The phrase B2B SEO doesn’t really flow well in a normal conversation. But, if you were searching for a B2B SEO company, then clicking on a blog related to that subject makes sense.
- Pay attention to formatting:
- Because search engines are reliant on indexing content via computers and not humans, you need to be intentional about formatting. What does that mean? It means updating H1s (headers), Title Tag (Page titles), and Meta Descriptions (which are human facing). Always include your targeted keyword or phrase in all of these fields. When determining how to best approach this, you can read through this super helpful BEST PRACTICES GUIDE. Our idols at Moz created this a while back and we think it’s pretty great.
- Update your image Alt Text
- Computers don’t have eyes (yet). Until computers can see things the way we can, we need to describe things to them. So be sure to incorporate your desired keyword into a normal picture description as such: “A few members of The Good Marketing Company team helping a customer with their B2B SEO strategy”.
As tedious as this sounds, SEO is really not as difficult as many companies make it out to be. That being said, there are far more than four points that go into ranking your content favorably on SERPs. There are more than 200 factors that play a role in determining your content’s relevance in a search engine’s eyes. Most businesses don’t have that sort of time to dedicate to optimizing their content, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on it. Working on the SEO of your website should be a key focal point of your ongoing digital marketing efforts.
Need help with your business’ SEO strategy? We’ve got you covered. You can read all about it here.
Thanks for tuning in! We hope you enjoyed this blog.
-Your B2B SEO company