Most people understand the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). To increase rankings on search results pages, you need to optimize pages with the right keywords and generate backlinks.
Keywords and backlinks are still key components but there is much more to SEO for B2B websites.
Gaining higher page rankings requires marketers to understand what people are looking for. This goes beyond basic keyword research.
B2B SEO strategies involve targeting the needs and interests of potential clients. Publishing long-form content, implementing schema markup, and releasing video are just a few examples.
Over 70% of B2B decision-makers start the buying process with a generic Internet search. To reach these potential buyers, you need pages that appear at the top of the search results.
The following five steps should help skyrocket your website rankings and bring more qualified leads to your landing pages.
1. Publish Relevant Content Based on Search Intent
Your website needs content for search engines to index and potential buyers to discover. 47% of B2B researchers consume three to five pieces of content before talking with a sales rep.
To help educate sales leads, B2B websites often contain a variety of content targeted at different stages of the sales cycle. For example, white papers help educate sales leads and case studies provide credibility.
However, blog articles remain the most essential to SEO and organic traffic. Articles are often the first point of contact with potential leads and provide shareable content for building backlinks.
In recent years, B2B marketers have discovered the value of long-form content. The top-ranking blogs in Google search results contain an average of 1890 words.
Focus on User Intent
When creating content, many marketers focus on specific keyword terms. Inserting keywords in titles, headers, and throughout the content is still an important SEO tactic. However, focusing on single keyword terms limits the reach of published B2B content.
Use keywords for metadata and pepper them throughout the content but focus on user intent when selecting topics for content.
Focusing on user intent provides broader reach, more traffic, and potentially more backlinks. It may even lead to higher conversion rates.
Shape content around the intent of your visitors by determining what they are looking for with each keyword. Search engines provide a useful tool for uncovering intent.
Use Google to Find Topics
Enter search terms in Google and examine the top results. Google has updated its algorithm many times over the years to match results based on user intent instead of relying solely on keywords and backlinks.
The pages that appear at the top of the results should match what people are looking for when entering those specific keywords.
Google also provides “related searches” and “people also ask” sections. Use the results and additional suggestions to select topics that answer the most searched questions in your industry.
2. Optimize Schema Markup and Metadata
Every webpage contains metadata that describes the content of the page, helping search engines understand the relevance of the content.
Traditionally, metadata tags provide a source for adding targeted keywords and locations. Search engines are not the only ones reading this information.
In fact, according to MOZ, meta tags do not impact search rankings. However, people see the meta titles and descriptions as they scroll through results pages.
Write Engaging Titles and Descriptions
Compelling titles and descriptions help attract more clicks from search users. Attracting more traffic and getting users to interact with a page increases the relevance of that page for specific search terms.
Use human-readable copy for the metadata. The description tag should be no more than 160 characters. However, Google sometimes shortens snippets to just under 155 characters.
The maximum length for the title tag is 60 characters but keeping it at 55 characters should prevent the last few characters from getting cut off in search results.
Another piece of metadata to include is the ALT tag. Add ALT tags to describe images that appear on the page. These tags were created to assist visually impaired visitors but search engines use them to index the image. Including target keywords in the ALT tags is considered a standard SEO strategy.
Add Schema Markup to Your Pages
While many marketers already utilize ALT tags, the use of schema markup is often overlooked. Schema is an additional type of metadata. It is data that helps describe other data, such as product details or contact information.
Unlike meta tags, schema markup adds context to the data. For example, you may add schema to a header to tell search engines what type of content the page contains.
Google offers two tools to assist with adding schema to a website. The Structured Data Markup Helper allows you to select markup and automatically generates the code. With the Structured Data Testing Tool, you can test the code to ensure it appears properly on the webpage.
3. Release Video Content on YouTube
Releasing high-quality videos on YouTube may significantly boost a B2B website’s SEO score. Google is the most popular website in the world but YouTube is a close second. People watch almost five billion videos on YouTube each day.
Cisco estimates that videos will account for 80% of all Internet traffic by the end of the year. Executives are also starting to watch more video, especially during the B2B decision-making process.
CEOs and CMOs do not have the time to read lengthy blog posts and guides. Condensing the same information into a three- to five-minute video helps you reach these decision-makers.
Google prioritizes pages containing relevant videos. However, Google needs help in understanding the content of the video.
Include Meta Tags and Transcripts
Video content should contain meta tags and transcripts. Metadata for YouTube videos include:
Titles need to be relevant to the content and should directly tie to a landing page on your site. As with blog posts, try to create a title that grabs attention and engages your target audience instead of focusing on target keywords.
The description also needs to contain human-readable copy but can include keywords. The maximum length is 5000 characters but only the first 120 characters appear on the search page.
Tags replace the need for keywords in the title. Select any relevant tags but avoid descriptive terms.
Upload Videos to YouTube
Embed YouTube videos instead of hosting videos directly on your webpage. This allows you to benefit from the organic traffic coming from YouTube while offering an SEO boost to your webpage.
Video views on YouTube also help drive traffic to your pages. Adding URLs in video descriptions directs interested parties to the relevant landing pages.
Uploading videos to YouTube limits demands on your hosting account. Studies show that 73% of online users stop engaging with a website if the content takes too long to load. With a shared hosting plan, adding videos may slow page loading speeds, negatively impacting the user experience (UX) of the site.
4. Update and Repurpose Existing Content
Leveraging existing content is a useful and efficient SEO strategy. Many B2B companies have websites containing dozens of old blog articles and guides. These posts become outdated and contribute less to website rankings.
Techniques for repurposing content include:
- Creating infographics
- Adding the latest stats
- Including more advice
- Responding to feedback
Instead of allowing old posts to take up space, repurpose or update them. Refreshing content with new information requires fewer resources compared to generating new content. Use this SEO strategy to reuse less successful content or target a different buying stage.
5. Use Content to Help Build Backlinks
The previous solutions focus on on-page SEO. Publishing content with targeted keywords and optimized metadata gives search engines something to index. However, these pages need backlinks and traffic to increase website rankings.
Visitor engagement is one of the criteria that Google uses to determine search rankings. As your pages receive more visitors, your SEO score improves, leading to higher rankings and additional visitors.
Along with visitor engagement, Google looks at the number and quality of backlinks. Promoting content provides a way to drive visitor engagement and generate backlinks.
Promote Content Across Platforms
Use a combination of platforms to promote the content on your website:
- Social media posts
- Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
- Guest blogging
- Press releases
Social media platforms are effective for drawing interest to new content on your site. Maintain a consistent posting schedule for increased social media presence. A larger following helps deliver more traffic and backlinks.
Guest blogs and press releases provide backlinks while also sending traffic to your site.
PPC ads provide a way to instantly drive traffic to pages. This may not directly lead to backlinks. However, generating more traffic boosts SEO, which leads to greater exposure and the potential for backlinks.
Conclusion: SEO Offers Sustainable Results
These steps may not provide overnight results. However, SEO offers long-term benefits.
The effects of SEO are cumulative and sustainable. Putting more resources and energy into SEO tends to offer a better ROI compared to other inbound lead generation methods.
Start implementing these SEO strategies today to achieve more organic traffic in the months and years to come.