Created 25th July 2014
8 ways to improve your B2B SEO
B2B SEO is a specialist form of copywriting that vastly differs from B2C SEO. With B2C, consumers will often know what they want and the brand they wish to buy from. Conversion is likely to take place quickly and online.
B2B SEO was never meant to drive online conversions
On the other hand, B2B SEO has to take into account that conversion is likely to happen offline and that client research may be undertaken by several people over several searches each. Prospects are likely to use several generic terms, search by problem rather than solution, and as part of the final stage, focus on issues, use highly specific search terms or even industry jargon.
“At each stage your B2B SEO must position you firmly on the purchaser’s shortlist, and make the case for purchasing from you.”
Therefore, at each stage your B2B SEO must position you firmly on the purchaser’s shortlist, and make the case for their purchasing from you − even through the research may take place over several months or years and each person within that company may be searching for a slightly different benefit. For instance a technical buyer will be concerned with your product’s spec, whereas a financial officer will be more concerned with value and price.
Writing effective SEO B2B copy isn’t easy. Here are our eight tips to help you get it right…
B2B SEO tip #1 – research the typical keywords your clients use to search for you
Google frowns upon keyword stuffing, but you will still find a good list of keywords useful. Research both generic and long tail search terms, plus industry specific words and terms that outline the problem that your clients are likely to use. Remember that different personnel within a company may search for a slightly different term and add these extra keywords. Keep keywords qualified for your industry – so for instance specify ‘website’ rather than ‘site’. If you’re not in London, consider adding your county and region name to the list as a local provider may be something your client is searching for. Keep your keyword list current as catchwords in your industry change. To do this try logging into Adwords at least monthly.
B2B SEO tip #2 – add a blog to your website
Blogging is the simplest way to add relevant keywords to your site and to demonstrate your expertise. Use simple blogging tools that allow you to optimise your blogs − such as Yoast in WordPress. Include content that’s genuinely helpful and useful to your clients, such as ‘how to’s or reports on industry changes and news. Long copy is good, especially when nicely broken up with relevant subheadings, photos, captions and infographics.
B2B SEO tip #3 – make your website ‘sticky’
The longer a prospect stays on your website, the more likely they are to purchase from you. Most B2B purchase research is driven by fear of risk. Therefore, position your brand as trustworthy and demonstrate your expertise. Make both landing pages and product/service pages relevant to your target audiences, differentiating between each of them if necessary. Include links in your blog to other content to encourage your prospect to read more about what you offer. Feature case studies with quotes from satisfied customers. Use analytics tools to discover how long visitors are staying, and whether the number of return visits is growing.
B2B SEO tip #4 – optimise your blog
Plan each post around a single specific industry term or keyword. Remember that plurals count as a different term – so decide on singular or plural and stay consistent throughout the post. Include the keyword in your headline and sub-headings tagging them H1 or H2 respectively. Use alternative ‘long tail’ search terms within the body copy. When the title of your post includes your keyword, it gets incorporated into the URL (online address) automatically. All of these tell Google what your post is about and increase your page ranking. Soon you’ll end up with a number of web pages that both demonstrate your knowledge and skill, and which focus on the best keywords to pull prospects to your site.
B2B SEO tip #5 – pay attention to meta tags
Plug-ins like Yoast will let you write a title for the page and a description which display on the search page. It’s especially important to craft titles and descriptions for your main pages. The title allows a possible 70 characters, so where possible include a call to action. Equally, craft the description so that it makes your blog post feel like a ‘must read’. Include your keyword as well, of course. When you share your post on Facebook the title and description you’ve written will show up too.
All attractive blog posts contain a good image and you can add an Alt Tag to this (and possibly a caption as well) which contains your keyword too. If you use the image again in a different post, remember to rewrite the Alt Tag to include your new keyword.
B2B SEO tip #6 – use relevant anchor text to provide links
Think carefully about any internal links you can incorporate, and focus on the relevant text to highlight for that link. Google prefers relevant words rather than ‘click here’ or ‘read more’ as this tell it little about the content you’re linking to.
B2B SEO tip #7 – promote your blog on social media
Help people to engage with your posts by sharing them on social media. They can ‘like’ the content, re-tweet or share, or even comment on your post. Google loves these interactions as they prove that your content is valuable, relevant and interesting. Turn your blog into an e-newsletter because not everyone has time to check social media and may have missed your update. Either way, you want to get them revisiting your site.
B2B SEO tip #8 – make your web copy B2B friendly
Just finally, your copy has to convince once it’s got your prospect to your website. With B2B copy you’re trying to persuade experts making a considered decision. They’re not going to be impressed by gimmicks or fluff so the copy for your main pages has to be clean and well-considered.
Firstly do your research on each discrete target audience and gear specific sections for each of them. You need to know their pain points, and what they need from your product or service. Don’t oversimplify – your audience is knowledgeable and will expect a certain amount of technical detail which convinces them that you are too. Leave out hyperbole and go for the soft sell. Inform and build trust. Make the benefits crystal clear. Don’t forget to set copy out attractively with subheading that orientate the reader as well as bullet-pointed lists, good photos and captions.
If you’re having problems attracting traffic your B2B website why not let our expert team optimise it for you? Call us today on 0845 2606 255 to discuss your needs.