The purpose of this blog is to provide a quick 500 word primer on B2B search engine techniques. In future blog posts I will delve deeper into each of the points highlighted in this blog. For now, suffice it to say, these are the core principals of B2B search engine optimization (SEO). I’ve ranked them in order of importance.
1) Internal Website Architecture. How your website is put together is critical to your success online. The internal architecture of your website will ensure that the search engines can index your pages and understand each page’s relative importance. Internal linking is of prime importance. Typically, B2B sites are content poor and thus your high value, information heavy pages need to be given extra weight within your internal website architecture.
2) Keyword Research. You need to use analytics and Google Ad Words, ideally in unison, to determine the keywords that produce conversions. If you Google one of your chosen keywords and the top ten results are disparate products and services that probably wouldn’t interest your target market – you’ve chosen a poor keyword phrase. A conversion doesn’t need to be a sale – it could be a lead, sign-up, registration, or information download. You can gauge the likelihood of a conversion occuring by looking at analytics metrics such as time on site, bounce rate and exit rate for each keyword phrase you are considering. B2B keyword research can be very challenging, as your most targeted prospects may be just in the beginning of their information gathering stages. Thus, it will be very difficult to determine their intent and interest without a close reading of your analytics and adwords.
3) Write solid body copy that incorporates your keywords into it. If you have a unique selling position statement, your keywords should be in it. Keyword rich, well written copy will help your prospects understand why they need to do business with you. If you are a reseller, you’ll need original high quality content to try and create rankings for your B2B products and services. If you’re using copy that appears elsewhere on the web – like on the product creator’s site or on other vendor sites – you’ll have a hard time obtaining high rankings. The more content you give the search engines the more you will be rewarded with targeted visitors.
4) Create Sitemaps. Good sites will have both XML and HTML sitemaps. Sitemaps speak directly to the search engines, alerting them to new pa
5) META tags. The <HEAD> section of your page’s code contains three META tags: Title, Description and Keywords. The Title Tag is of vital importance and should feature the results of your keyword research. The Description and Keywords tag are of lesser importance but should feature your keywords as well.
Offsite SEO Factors:
1) Link building. High rankings for high traffic phrases will only occur with dedicated, serious link building. Links from relevant, trusted sites are absolutely critical. Link building, if done properly, is the most time consuming search engine optimization activity. Are your partners and vendors linking to your products? Are you properly syndicated press releases on the web and linking back to your site. B2B link building can be especially difficult if you are not creating content. Creating addition content about your products and services will naturally attract some links. Start a blog or customer forum to entice visitors to link to your site.
This should give you enough of a basic understanding of B2B SEO techniques in order to effectively communicate with an internet marketing agency or your own internal IT assets to drive more quality visitors to your website. If you’re looking for more specific information, consider viewing our free SEO webinar Driving Success with Search Engine Optimization.