You're probably hearing a lot about B2B search engine optimization (SEO) these days.
You might have heard it's one of the best ways your business to be found online. But SEO can be complex, especially if you don't know where to begin.
So to help you out, we've created a list of B2B SEO best practices for 2017, perfect for beginners.
One of the first things to consider is how search engines like Google determine page rank in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Research tells us Google uses over 200 ranking factors to determine how to rank a webpage. On top of that, Google's algorithm is constantly changing. But there's no need to get overwhelmed.
Good SEO starts with simple things you can do today to help improve your rankings and therefore, web traffic.
So let's get into our 5 tips on B2B seo strategy, and before you know it you'll be well on your way to being found online.
5 B2B SEO Tips for 2017: A Beginner’s Strategy for Success
1. Choose the right keywords
The keywords you put on your website pages tell search engines what each page is about. This is one of the main ranking factors that search engines use to decide where to show your website on the SERP.
Unfortunately, there is no short cut when it comes to researching the best keywords for a given website page. It takes time to do it right, but it is time well spent, and will lay the foundation for your website's success.
The most important part of keyword research is getting into the mind of your buyer personas. What terms do they use when they are searching the internet? Their "language" may be different from your business' own internal terminology. What problem are they trying to solve?
It's crucial to tap into the topics, keywords, and phrases they your key audience will be searching for. And in 2017, it's increasingly important to include localization and dates in your keywords whenever relevant and possible.
Once you've done that, you'll want to enlist the help of some keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Hubspot to help you dig deeper, and find out which keywords you have the best chance of ranking for. Alternatively, getting in touch with an B2B SEO agency can help give you a leg up when it comes to choosing the right keywords.
2. Always be creating fresh content
Once you've chosen your keywords, you'll need to use them somewhere!
It's important to know that search engines prioritize websites with fresh content, meaning content that is updated regularly.
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And for most businesses, the best way to do that is with a blog. Creating a consistent blogging practice gives you an opportunity to rank for a variety of keywords, while providing valuable information for your website visitors.
Be sure to write original content and avoid duplicating articles you have seen elsewhere, as search engines will penalize you if you are just repeating what has already been written.
If you don’t feel like sitting down and writing every week, you may also be able to write many articles at one time and schedule them for publication in the future.
You’ll also want to encourage engagement with the content you create. This is key to how Google determines your site’s value and relevancy. The more views and engagement your content receives, the higher search engines will rank your site.
If you don’t have a strong SEO presence yet, the best way to get views and engagement is through email and social media.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Ensure you have a comments section and social share buttons like the ones below on your blog pages. This encourages people to comment and also share your blogs on their own social media networks.
- Grow your social media networks by being active on them daily. This will help increase your social media following, which leads to more engagement on your social posts, and increased clicks to your website.
- Build up an email list and send targeted content to your subscribers. Email is a powerful and effective way to get visitors to your site. In sending targeted content to specific email list segments, you can send people content they are interested in and excited to read.
Over time, these methods will increase views and engagement on your content, which signals to search engines that people like what you are doing. It will only be a matter of time before the positive effects are reflected in your Google rankings.
3. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
As someone who does B2B marketing, you can reasonably expect your potential customers to visit your website via desktop, probably from their work computer.
So why bother with mobile friendliness?
Image source: vimeo.com
Well, in 2016, Google announced plans to move toward mobile first indexing. This means Google will start determining rankings based on the mobile version of a website first, rather than the desktop version.
There is no set-in-stone date for when this change will actually occur, but we can all be sure it will happen eventually, and probably sooner than later.
So take steps now to ensure your website is responsive, fast loading, and the same across mobile and desktop.
4. Ensure your website is https
In early 2017, Google began marking websites using http as non-secure. That means visitors could see something like this when they land on an http site this year:
Yikes! We bet you don't want any of your website visitors seeing that message. Nothing can make them exit your website sooner than an insecure or untrustworthy connection.
So get in touch with a web team who can get you switched over to https as soon as possible.
5. Links, links, and more links
Let's talk about three types of links: backlinks, internal links, and outbound links.
A major ranking factor is the amount of high quality backlinks, or inbound links, to your website. Simply put, backlinks are links from other websites that link to yours.
The more links you have from other high quality websites, the more popular and relevant your site will look to Google.
Now, backlinking is not always easy, and it can take real time and effort to build up a good amount of them. So if you want to undertake this yourself, here are some ways to do it:
- Be active on social media and share your content on social networks
- Get your site on a relevant, trustworthy business listings site
- Comment meaningfully on blogs that are in your industry
- Participate in relevant and trustworthy forums
The best advice here is to go back to our point number two, and always be creating fresh, high quality content that people will gladly share on social media, and other websites will want to link to.
Image source: pixabay.com
Additionally, you should focus on internal links, which are those that link to other pages on your own website. These help visitors navigate and move deeper into your website, which is what every website owner wants right?
The last type of links are outbound links. Your blog content should always link to other reputable sites to establish credibility and show that your website does not exist in a vacuum.
We are just scratching the surface of SEO here, and keeping up to date requires on-going investment in time and resources. But it's an investment that's well worth it in the end.
So get started with the above five tips today to start improving your website's rankings and increasing your traffic.
Have a burning SEO question? Share it with us in the comments and we'll get back to you with some answers.
Take your search engine optimization knowledge up a notch with our free pdf guide below.