6 things to consider when writing b2b SEO content

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By in Blog
On January 21, 2020

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B2b SEO

Writing SEO content is never easy and a lot of the time tips and tricks are geared towards b2c industries, rather than b2b. SEO is a specialist field and if you’re at one of the many companies out there that don’t have a dedicated SEO team, then the chances are your articles aren’t ranking, or gaining the traffic levels you want. Google processes billions of search queries each day and 15% of them are brand new searches, meaning there’s a huge amount of competition.

So, how can you write b2b content which is SEO friendly? In this guide, we will provide multiple insights into how to grow traffic to your content, increase your search engine ranking and drive conversions on your site.

1. Write for people, not Google

Google’s changed a lot in the last 20 years. Gone are the days of Word Art logos and dial-up internet – we’re now in the leagues of RankBrain and competitive SEO, with Google’s natural language processing with its BERT algorithm recently changing the game once again. Powered by machine learning, Google is now able to understand conversational language instead of just keyword strings. But how does this reflect on b2b SEO, I hear you ask?

How people are searching and how Google processes search queries have both become much more focused on quality, rather than quantity. That being said, the two often go hand in hand. According to SEM Rush, content with over 3000 words gets 3x as much traffic as articles between 900-1200 words.

When writing a new piece of content, it’s important to think about how it will benefit your reader. A lot of the time when people search for things on Google, they’re looking for one of three things: information, solutions or perspectives. Often, the main content which gets produced by b2b brands is company news. Though this has its place and can often help at the decision-making stage of a buyer’s journey, most of the time readers aren’t too interested. By writing content that provides information on different topics, offers solutions to problems your target audience may be facing or simply gives a different perspective on a hot or niche topic, you can build brand recognition and start to become a recognised thought leader. This can help to drive traffic to your site and help with that all important b2b SEO.

Google BERT SEO

2. Do your research

If you want your b2b content at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), then you’re going to have to put in the work. There’s a reason you always see the same companies getting top rankings across different keywords and search queries. Their content is always well researched, long-form and arguably most importantly, written around a keyword. Yes, the BERT algorithm is smarter so it can tell you mean ‘cyber security’ when you in ‘cybersecurity’ or ‘hacking’ but it needs cues and related keywords to work off.

When I talk about writing around keywords, I often discover people have a mental barrier. So, to avoid making everyone else’s eyes glaze over, I’ll try and break it down simply:

Answer the public content brainstorm

Doing your research is all about providing value to your reader. By building personas, you can isolate problems your target audience may be facing, what they may be looking for from a product or service and what may already be working for them. When putting these together, as a b2b brand it makes sense to think about not only the companies you want to target, but also the decision-makers too. Who are these people, what are their job titles or seniorities and what will appeal to them? Ultimately, the goal is to uncover that key aspect that can make you stand out from your competitors.

Building accurate personas can be tricky, but by utilising your current customers you can paint a clearer picture. Asking customers for feedback – not just on the positives and negatives of your products or services, but also on the content that led them to discover your company – can help you generate new content for businesses just like them. More details about how to define your personas can be found here.

3. Optimise the backend

Here comes the juicy part. Getting your article to rank in Google isn’t as easy as writing great content that hits your audience’s pain points (though that certainly helps)! There are a number of things you need to do to optimise your b2b content so that Google can understand your article a little better. Rather than focusing on the content, this part is more about the ‘context’.

To add context to your writing, Google looks for signposts that highlight what your article is about, how to display the page on the SERP and what the quality of the writing is like. Before publishing any articles on your brand’s site, make sure you complete the following:

Example: for our article ‘Blockchain Public Relations 101: the building blocks to success’, the keyword ‘blockchain’ had a very high search volume, but an incredibly high difficulty. Instead of picking this, we used keyword research to find the niche phrase ‘blockchain public relations’ which was still a highly searched term (though nowhere near as high as ‘blockchain’) with a much lower ranking difficulty.

b2b SEO keyword planning

Top Tip: don’t link to other pages that are trying to rank for the same keyword, as you’re both competing for the top spot on the SERP.

Top Tip: try to have your keyword towards the beginning of your title so your audience can quickly and clearly see what it’s about.

Fun fact: this article is 2982 words long.

Example: this article’s slug is /uk/content-writing-b2b-seo/. As you can see, we have four words from the title, two of them being the keyword (b2b SEO).

When it comes to b2b SEO, a lot of the time images are often abstract or maybe not directly related to what your article is about. For example, if you’re writing an article about a specific audience pain point, you might add an image of someone sitting at a computer looking stressed. Try and include your keyword in the alt text in context to the image. Instead of having an alt tag saying ‘stressed person at a computer’, try ‘stress from your keyword’.

4. Promote your content

Let’s get one thing clear: just because you’ve written a great piece of content and maybe even ticked off all the things from the SEO checklist, it doesn’t necessarily mean your article is automatically going to rank or get found by your target audience. Promoting your content is a vital next step once you’ve finished writing. After all, you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste do you!

There are many different ways you can promote your content but here are our top four:

FYI: you can sign up to our newsletter here for similar content each month!

Additional reading: click here to learn about LinkedIn’s Objective-Based Advertising.

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5. Keep your content up to date

So you’ve written the best piece of content in the world, you’ve done a great job on your b2b SEO and you’ve got your article to rank high up on Google. Well done, but the work’s not over yet!

Over time, other people are inevitably going to write new, fresh content around the same keyword as you. It’s easy to sit idly by at the number one spot feeling good about yourself, but sooner than you think, someone will take your position. It’s up to you to keep your article up to date. By doing the following things, you can make it look like your article was written today:

Remember: don’t forget to update the image alt tags.

B2b SEO user experience

6. Consider how people search through voice

Though voice search has taken off in recent years with the likes of Google Home and Amazon Alexa creeping into homes and being owned by 26.2% of adults in the USA, b2b adoption has so far been a slow process. But just because it hasn’t skyrocketed in the same way as b2c, it doesn’t mean voice search should be ignored. In fact, optimising your content for voice can help with your site’s overall SEO value. At this stage in time, b2b brands can monopolise voice search queries in their broader industry by providing answers to questions that their target audiences are likely to search for. Not only does this give brands the opportunity to provide value and do some self-promotion, Google also helps with your brand recognition by stating the source of its answer every time, i.e. your brand name!

So what can you do to increase the chance of having your content chosen for voice search?

Similarly to ranking on a SERP, first you must consider the language your audience uses to search. When searching through voice, 16% of voice queries contain one of three words: how (8.64%), what (5.01%) or best (2.63%). By including question words in your title, you will be much more likely to answer the direct question a user asks, for example “What are some b2b product launch tools”.

Although it’s designed for traditional word searches, again Answer the Public can also help guide you on the type of questions worth answering around your keyword.  This is useful because not only will you be able to include the keyword you want to write about, but you will also have a title in question format, which is how people tend to search with voice. One thing to remember however is that the types of questions that people are prepared to ask a public voice-enabled device in an office or in front of colleagues could be different to what they will type in on a more private device like a laptop or mobile!

When writing your content for voice optimisation you want your content to be conversational and not overly technical. If you’re overly complex in your wording, Google may not understand what you’re talking about and will be unsure whether your content can answer the question. This doesn’t mean that your content has to be light or lacking in depth. You can improve your chances of having a snippet of your content read out by structuring it in a voice-friendly way. Subheadings, bullet or number points are a great way to break down components of your answer, and cover smaller topics within a larger theme.

So, there you have it! Although there’s plenty to think about when it comes to SEO, creating b2b content that will both rank highly and drive traffic to your website shouldn’t be thought of as an impossible task. Follow this guide when writing your next blog or thought leadership article and you’ll be well on your way to producing content that really hits the mark.

SEO can be a tricky area. To find out more about SEO or our digital marketing services, drop us a line at hello@rlyl.com or visit our Contact Us page.

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