B2B SEO best practices 2022
Although SEO is a lucrative channel for building brand recognition and increasing sales in B2B marketing, many businesses to this day have still not optimised their site for search engines.
In a modern digital B2B marketplace, professionals look to the web first to seek and find information, thus making it even more important for businesses to be in high ranking positions where their audiences can find them within competitive search results.
SEO not only allows your business to rank for terms that your customers are searching for, it also enables you to understand and provide content specifically for your ideal customers' needs and interests.
SEO, however, is not easy and in fact, it’s actually becoming more and more difficult as search engines continuously change their algorithms. Here are some best B2B SEO practices you can incorporate into your business in 2022 to stay ahead of the competition:
1. Setup a Keyword Strategy
To attain success in your overall SEO strategy, it is vital that you conduct a well organised and well-researched keyword strategy. A common misconception is that targeting one keyword on all the pages on your site is enough to get you ranking or “SEO’ing” your website.
However, it’s important for B2B sites, with various service offerings especially, to first recognise the type of terms that best describes each page. Secondly, you should strategise the location of keywords across different areas of your site. For example, there’s no placing the keyword ‘Cloud computing platform’ on a news page, when it would sit best in a solutions/service, or homepage page instead.
Steps to a successful keyword strategy
Step 1. Conduct research to understand your business and audience
Before diving into your keyword research, it’s important to first understand your business and the service that you're offering, so that you know where your business fits and stands out within the market. As part of this, you can create buyer personas to understand who you’re targeting, who is in need of this service and how they go about finding this service.
Step 2. Choose a tool for research and tracking
Now more than ever, B2B marketers are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a tool for SEO research and tracking. Using a tool will allow you to gain an understanding of what competitors are ranking for, different keyword variations and volume data around set keywords. Most importantly, tools allow for you to keep track of where your keywords are positioned within the search engine results pages (SERPs). A few powerful marketing tools you could use include:
Moz - a marketing analytics software with tools for inbound marketing, link building and more.
Ahrefs - a more SEO focused platform that contains tools for link building, keyword research and much more.
SEMRush - a comprehensive digital marketing research platform with a range of reports and mini tools from keyword gap analysis to site audit tools.
Step 3. Identify keyword intent
Search engines understand keywords based on intent. Every keyword has a different search intent. This means when a user searches for a set topic, based on the terms they’ve used, the search engines will deliver results tailored to the intent. For example, a search for “email marketing software” may deliver landing pages for an email marketing software, whereas a search for “top email marketing software” will deliver blog posts.
There are 4 primary sets of search intent. These are split between ‘Informational’, ‘Commercial’, ‘Transactional’ and ‘Navigational’. When creating your keyword strategy, it is important that you understand this basis and segment your keyword findings based on intent, with the more transactional sets of keywords sitting on the main high converting pages.
Step 4. Organise keywords for targeting
Once your set of keywords are in place on your website and their intent value is identified, it’s important to segment these keywords and begin placing different keyword targets specific to each page to create a keyword map.
This can be achieved by grouping all the important pages on your site that convert, allowing you to differentiate the high priority keywords to specific pages. For example, primary keywords can be placed in the page titles and secondary keywords within the headers, and body of the copy.
2. Create content hubs
Content hubs have become a hot topic in SEO over the last decade, but what exactly are content hubs?
A content hub is a repository of organised content around relevant topics and central pages on your website. For instance, there are often different variations of keywords for most terms, so to target primary keywords you could create a pillar piece, such as a guide, followed by cluster pieces around similar topics that all link to the pillar piece.
Here are two reasons to use content hubs:
1. Using content hubs on your site allows you to target different keyword variations and topics through different angles without having to stuff one keyword variation under one page. This essentially maximises the chances you rank higher for different keywords, and broadens your potential traffic reach.
2. Content hubs allow search engines to better understand the context of the content on your site, as well as the topical themes based on the organisational structure of the hubs. This allows for a better crawling of the site.
So, how do you create a hub of content on your site?
Firstly, you must identify some of the key sector topics that are relevant to your product/ service offering, or queries that potential customers tend to search for. With the findings, choose the main theme and begin researching the different searches around the set topic. Segment the findings based on pillar, cluster, and sub-pillar content for best results.
3. Add Multimedia Content
As you might have noticed, recently there have been many changes to the way Google and other search engines present search results. Google especially has begun experimenting with the way results are delivered by presenting rich results in the form of videos, images, and social media feeds - fast consumable content.
Google understands that a lot of the time searchers are looking for information that is delivered first hand without having to browse through other areas of the site to find what they are looking for.
With this in mind, it’s very important for webmasters to optimise their web content with multimedia that contains necessary SEO theming. This allows search engines to better understand the context of the multimedia, such as keyword optimised alt tags for images, and file names for videos. Optimised and structured data should also be applied to the page in order for search bots to understand the form of content being presented.
4. Include a Glossary/FAQ Page
Many B2B companies tend to have niche and complex service offerings that non-technical users might find more challenging to understand. This is why it’s becoming increasingly important for B2B websites to include a section within their site that unravels this complexity.
This could either be an FAQ page that answers general user queries, or a glossary page with all the technical terms and information around these terms. This saves users the hassle of searching elsewhere for answers.
In order to know the type of information needed for the FAQ page, it’s useful to conduct research using SEO tools that allow you to look at questions around your target keyword, such as KeywordMagicTool. This gives you a good indication of what queries are most prevalent and are worth including within your site.
5. Prioritise Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the process of optimising your site to allow search engines such as Google to crawl, find, understand, and index your web pages.
It’s essential for website owners and B2B marketers to prioritise technical SEO on their website. It’s especially essential with the recent precedence of user experience that means Google rewards sites that are fast, responsive and easy to navigate.
A few areas of technical SEO that have been deemed as important over the past recent years include:
Core Web Vital Metrics: A set of three specific metrics (LCP, FID, and CLS) that Google considers important in a website’s overall user experience.
Crawl Errors: Issues encountered by search bots when they try to access your web pages. These errors make it difficult for search bots to read and understand the content on your web pages. These errors can range from CMS failures, URL structure changes and much more.
Link Issues: Web pages sometimes can’t be found or accessed by users based on a number of reasons, but it’s usually down to the fact the page, document or image has been removed.
Optimised Robots.txt: A file that tells search engines not to crawl certain pages or areas within your site to avoid overloading your site with requests.
Schema Markup: An organised piece of information in the form of a code snippet that helps search engines better understand the content on your webpage.
SEO is clearly not a quick approach to generating sales for your business. It requires a long term mindset, a dedicated team and consistency. However, SEO is very rewarding when conducted properly. It is highly worth introducing these areas into your B2B business to remain ahead of the competition in 2022.