If you operate in the B2B sector, Search Engine Optimization can be a game-changer.
It’ll help you rake in more traffic, improve conversions, and even save you money on ad spending.
However, executing an SEO strategy can be challenging if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Fortunately, as an agency that’s helped tons of B2B businesses 10x their organic traffic, we know what works – and what doesn’t.
So, let’s dive into everything we think you should know about mastering B2B SEO!
In This Article:
- What Is B2B SEO
- B2B SEO vs. B2C SEO
- How to Build a B2B SEO Strategy?
- 1. Create Buyer Personas
- 2. Conduct Keyword Research
- 3. Generate Thoughtful B2B Content
- 4. Bring an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Approach
- 5. Use Programmatic SEO
- 6. Leverage Rich Results with Structured Data
- 7. Implement Off-Page SEO Practices
- 8. Evaluate Technical SEO Parameters
- 9. Monitor to Improve SEO Performance
What Is B2B SEO
B2B SEO is a set of sustained, long-term practices aimed at improving the organic visibility of a B2B website on search engines like Google.
In simpler terms?
An SEO strategy attempts to get your site to rank on top of the search result page each time someone searches using keywords relevant to your business.
For example, if you own a B2B time management app, you want to rank for every search related to ‘time management,’ ‘best time management app,’ ‘time management app benefits,’ etc.
But if you’re just getting started, let us warn you: it’s typically a long journey … 🛣️
From setting up a user-friendly website to capturing data on the average visitor’s site engagement, a thorough B2B SEO strategy spans a vast scope of activities.
Wondering if all this investment is worth it?
Why Is B2B SEO Critical?
SEO is more than just another part of your overall B2B marketing strategy.
It’s the centerpiece.
1. B2B Buyers Depend on Online Searches
It’s the age of self-service.
Seasoned purchasers no longer wait for a sales rep to approach them.
A 2020 study found that B2B buyers (now largely tech-savvy Millennials) spend most of their pre-purchase time (27%) searching online and only 17% in meetings with sales reps.
These B2B SEO statistics show where your digital marketing team needs to cast their net 🎣
And what do these online searches comprise?
2. B2B Buyers are Looking Up Long-form Content
The cost and quality-conscious B2B organization wants to get the best.
Research is how they ensure this.
Unlike most other digital content consumers, bite-sized content doesn’t always do the trick with B2B buyers. They’re looking for information-rich, long-form content — and lots of it.
The average B2B buyer reads about 13 pieces of content before buying something. (Quite the bibliophile 🧐📚)
The good news?
SEO is built for such long-form pieces of content!
3. SEO has one of the highest ROIs in B2B marketing
While pay-per-click (PPC) Google ads deliver quick wins in terms of visitors, a marketer will tell you that SEO generates more sales by a huge margin.
An effective SEO strategy uses relevant content and tactics to make the site user-friendly. This attracts the right crowd to your site and enables a smooth and easy-going buyer journey for them.
Plus, it costs way less than PPC ads.
If you were to depend on Google ads or social media marketing for traffic growth, you’d have to keep spending a large amount on them over a long period of time.
Ads only run as long as you spend on them.
On the other hand, SEO has a more long-term payoff for each time you spend on it. You invest in a piece of content, and it’s online forever.
All of this is reason enough to open the taps for SEO funds.
But while you invest money, ensure you’re not following generic SEO advice applicable to B2C customers.
Because, yes, there’s a difference.
B2B SEO vs. B2C SEO
Adopting a B2C SEO approach for your B2B organization just won’t work in 2023.
1. Nature of the B2B Buyer’s Journey & Conversions
Awareness > Consideration > Decision
The B2B buyer’s journey is much more complex, involving a lot of back-and-forth exchanges.
According to Gartner, it spans these four main stages:
- Problem identification
- Solution exploration
- Requirements building
- Supplier selection
And finally, purchase! 🤑
But more often than not, your typical B2B client will likely jump front and back in these stages. This is mostly because of the complex decision-making chain inside firms.
Some decisions may involve the digital marketing manager and their team, but others may need prior approval from C-level executives as well as extensive testing.
So, your SEO strategy must cater to your target company’s unique chain of command.
But if you’re already stressing about the lengthy sales funnels, don’t. 😌
In B2B sales, long sales pipelines are usually worth it because of high-value conversions. A months-long chase might help you land an account that makes up a sizable chunk of your revenue target!
Along the way, you set up an array of staggered conversion points that help you qualify leads at each stage.
You know a prospect could be interested when they:
- Sign up for a newsletter
- Request a demo
- Download an e-book
- Attend a webinar
- Use a live tool on your website, etc.
In summary, a B2B buyer’s journey is less a sprint and more a leisurely walk through the woods in Wonderland!
2. Importance of Thought Leadership and Personnel Brand
B2B buyers are especially discerning.
Unlike an individual user of a B2C product, they don’t just want to quickly solve a problem with your product or service. The value of your B2B brand and your reputation in the industry also contribute to their decision.
If your team members — especially senior leaders — are perceived as thought leaders on the subject, it can steer the buyers in your direction.
And how can this happen?
Content. In every format your readers prefer.
Blogs, ebooks, videos, podcasts, webinars, landing pages, etc.
The more meaningful, helpful, and relevant things you create content around, the more your potential customer trusts you as a reliable expert.
SEO delivers the dual value of helping to bring in massive traffic for your thought leadership content.
Whether it’s B2B or B2C, every industry requires a unique approach to keyword research.
Pick up a few tips and tricks from detailed and dedicated industry-wide SEO playbooks on topics such as:
- Fintech keyword research and its trends
- Hotel SEO and why it’s important
- Automotive SEO to race your way to success
- 7 pillars for a successful insurance SEO strategy
- The complete guide to healthcare SEO
How to Build a B2B SEO Strategy
There’s no one-size-fits-all way to design an SEO strategy.
But a bunch of proven tactics come together to make up your essential SEO tool kit.
Integrate them and reap the results!
1. Create Buyer Personas
The most important step of the B2B SEO journey — is understanding whom you’re writing for.
Start by asking:
- What types of companies are we targeting? Small businesses, enterprises, startups, etc.
- Which positions will make purchase decisions? CEO, COO, VP of Sales, etc.
- What’s the chain of command in these companies?
Check with the sales team to figure out all you need to visualize your ideal customer type.
Once you know who will be involved in the decision-making process, down to the location coordinates 🗺️, it’s time to create a profile for them.
Paint a picture with relevant details like:
- Demographic: Age, gender, nationality, etc.
- Firmographic: Name of company, industry, team size, position, etc.
- Motivations: Pain points, incentives, goals
Now sprinkle it with additional information like:
- Preferred medium of communication
- Peak business season
- Peak business hours
- Pet peeves and soft spots
Quick tip: You can trust that B2B purchasers are mostly active during weekday working hours. And holidays can be a quiet time for most businesses.
Now, how does a detailed persona help your SEO strategy?
Let’s take an example:
Your B2B SaaS insurance tech company has figured that one of your ideal buyers is:
- Roughly 30+ years of age
- Located in the European Union
- Heads Human Resources (HR) operations
- Looking for affordable group insurance that covers dental procedures 🦷
This profile gives you clear signals for SEO content regarding the keywords you should cover (containing ‘group insurance,’ ‘dental insurance’), the calendar you should follow for your publishing schedule (avoid European holidays), and the level of expertise you need to address (HR heads).
And that’s just the start of it.
Your research and sales exposure will reveal more about the specific types of information HR heads seek, such as cost comparison, employee data confidentiality, etc.
Next, picture their typical buyer’s journey.
This covers the decision-making duration, types of other executives they consult, any compliance cross-checking involved, etc.
Every single one of these details is chock full of content ideas!
The more you can address their needs head-on, the more you become your persona’s expert in shining armor! ✨
Take a look at how Paddle — a billing automation software for SaaS companies — plays its cards.
From their use case, it sounds like they should just publish on billing and fintech, right?
Wrong. Paddle’s blog covers a range of topics that concern their target persona, from financial health metrics to sales efficiency.
Those are topics that SaaS companies (AKA their persona) would be interested in!
While you’re at it, go ahead and sketch out a ‘negative persona’ too. This is the type of person you DON’T want as a customer because they don’t fit your criteria.
Maintain your laser-sharp focus on your ideal customer persona, and charge ahead!
2. Conduct Keyword Research
The buyer’s persona should give you enough ammo to load your keyword gun.
But before you shoot, refine your keyword strategy with some basics.
First, define your seed keywords based on:
- What’s your primary offering?
- Who’s your ideal customer?
- What’s your unique selling point?
For example, if you own a sales assistant tool with a unique focus on AI features, your seed keywords could be: ‘sales assistant tool’ and ‘ai sales assistant features.’
Next, let’s explore your competitors.
If you’ve done your foundational market research right, you most likely already have a list of leading competitors ready.
But in terms of SEO, competitors could include anyone and everyone who ranks on the search result page for the keywords you want to rank for.
A quick look at the search engine result page (SERP) on Ahrefs for ‘sales assist tool’ indicates that your competitors range from leading sales tools like Pipedrive to software directories such as Capterra and G2.
Since software directories, marketing journals, or other sites have a drastically different purpose for blogging than yours, we’ll ignore them for now in our competitor analysis.
Instead, let’s look at websites also targeting audiences similar to yours. In this case, Pipedrive. What are they consistently ranking for?
Ahrefs’ Organic Keywords features show us this when we sort its top keywords for words containing ‘sales assistant’ and ‘ai sales assistant’:
This gives you more directions to branch out in.
For example, by pitching your tool as an alternative, you can target people looking to hire live sales assistants (‘sales assistant skills,’ ‘inside sales assistant job description,’ etc.).
Keep referringto you r buyer personas to narrow your keywords to your customer’s needs. Think of all the queries they might type in.
Most typically, keywords are categorized as:
- Top of the Funnel (ToFU): Discovering your niche/product, unsure about their needs. Examples:
- Ai sales
- Sales automation
- Middle of the Funnel (MoFU): Certain about their requirements but still browsing through options.
- Sales assistant tools vs. hiring a sales assistant
- Sales assistant tool benefits
- Bottom of the Funnel (BoFU): Actively comparing products and services to make the final purchase.
- <your tool> vs <competitor tool>
- Best sales assistant
- Sales assistant tools
Find keywords to address each of them while acknowledging that these are not water-tight stages. As we saw above, the decision-making tree for a B2B organization can resemble a game of snakes and ladders!
Want to simplify it even further?
Just use these cheat codes for the perfect set of keywords for your B2B SaaS SEO strategy.
Pick a few keywords based on these categories:
- Solution keywords: To demonstrate the ultimate value add of your product.
- Ex: Sales assistant, sales intelligence, etc.
- Problem keywords: To describe the problems that your product solves for the user
- Ex: Slow sales funnel, long cycle time, etc.
- Product keywords: Adding the suffix ‘tool’ or ‘software’ to showcase your tech solution
- Ex: Sales assistant software, sales intelligence tool, etc.
- Integration keywords: To showcase the tools your product integrates and illustrate how it fits into the user’s current tech stack
- Ex: <tool name> Slack integration, Gmail sales integrations, etc.
- Alternative keywords: To position your product as a suitable alternative to other competitor tools by highlighting benefits, cost-effectiveness, or other unique attributes
- Ex: Salesforce alternatives, Hubspot alternatives, etc.
- Brand keywords: To consolidate your B2B brand’s position as a top search result by ranking for the product name
- Ex: <tool name>, <tool name> pricing, etc.
- Persona keywords: To establish your authority on all topics relevant to your audience — even those beyond your narrow use case
- Ex: Product led growth, cross-selling, etc.
But the keyword research saga is just getting started.
Learn all there is to know in our in-depth guide on SaaS keyword research.
Best Practices for B2B SEO Keyword Research:
Stay on track with these tips:
a. Prioritize BoFU keywords
B2B customers typically don’t go after informational searches like that B2C customers do.
What do we mean?
B2B customers are pretty aware of their domain and aren’t looking for informational breakdowns. They want solutions.
If you start a blog and spend the first months just introducing your readers to the niche and application of your product, that’s valuable time wasted.
You’d better believe that at least a section of your audience is primed to buy instantly.
Encourage them with content geared towards their intent by targeting BoFU keywords with a high search volume.
b. Go after low-volume, long-tail keywords
Most Google searches use keywords containing 1-3 words that summarize their query. Such short queries are popular because they’re easier to type.
However, targeting them purely for their high search volume will not automatically result in more clicks for your pages.
Let’s compare two keywords:
- Short tail: lead management software
- Long tail: lead management software for small business
It’s clear more people are looking up ‘lead management software’ than the long-tailed alternative. That’s because the shorter keyword caters to a much broader search intent.
But look at their keyword difficulties, too. The significant difference means ranking for the high-volume short-tailed keyword will be much harder.
So, the question is:
- Would you rather rank really low for a high search volume, short-tail keyword — for which many searchers don’t match your buyer persona?
- Or rank high for a low search volume, long-tail keyword — to attract a fully primed audience?
But to start off, especially if you’re a new site, go for the keyword with lower difficulty. It’s a much more achievable target!
c. Avoid keyword cannibalization
When too many pages on your website target the same keywords, it leads to cannibalization. Search engines like Google detect sister pages competing against each other, which does not bode well for your site.
How to avoid this?
Consolidate your keyword research activities under a single approach and document it. If you keep changing the approach often, there’s bound to be duplication.
Make sure you revisit older content before starting a new bout of keyword research. This way, you can address any obvious overlaps before publishing fresh pieces.
Most importantly, keep expanding the scope of your keywords — wider and deeper — with each round.
d. Use clusters to demonstrate authority in varied topics
A cluster is a bunch of subtopics you can cover under each parent keyword.
This lets you cover every aspect of the keyword relevant to your reader while at the same time covering the whole user journey.
For example, if your parent keyword is ‘sales techniques,’ you can create content for related subtopics such as ‘sales prospecting skills,’ ‘sales closing tips,’ etc.
What’s more, ranking for even a few of these subtopics will help you rank better for the parent keyword, too, which can be pretty competitive.
Google detects your website’s growing Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (also known as E-E-A-T) growing with each keyword you rank for.
This makes you a highly reliable and sought-after content creator in Google’s eyes, who can’t wait to recommend you to searchers!
How about bypassing the DIY route and getting professional help on this front?
Just hire a seasoned SEO agency like Startup Voyager!
3. Generate Thoughtful B2B Content
Comprehensive keyword research is the foundation for a great content.
But you’ll still need an effective content strategy — whether you do it yourself or outsource this B2B SEO service to an SEO agency.
Ready to start building your content tower, brick by brick?
Here are some essential guidelines to follow along for a content marketing strategy that reaps results.
a. Target a variety of content types
Don’t limit your imagination to just blogs.
B2B SEO content can take many forms.
When you brainstorm on content creation, think:
- Long-form content: Blogs, Glossaries, Case studies, Testimonials, etc.
- Landing pages: That target specific use cases like Events, Industries, Feature use cases, Tutorials, etc.
- Downloadable content: E-books, Infographics, Free tools, etc.
And that’s just the tip of the content strategy iceberg.
Ultimately, your content marketing strategy should aim to create a website where a visitor can keep jumping from page to page, captured by relevant content that they derive value from.
So, don’t focus on a single arm of B2B content. Create helpful content wherever there’s a need.
b. Split content into category pages
No one likes a chaotic blog — brimming with case studies, event announcements, BoFU content, employee profiles…
Cut the clutter. Designate content to relevant categories from day 1.
Don’t worry about having very little content under a particular category.
As long as your content is cleanly organized, your visitors will appreciate it.
Plus, you can always merge or delete categories as you go.
Check out how Hubspot’s blog subdomain maintains content categories and subcategories. Striking visibility means the reader knows exactly where they should look for.
c. Establish thought leadership
Your content strategy should amplify the authority of your B2B brand.
Use your B2B content in this journey to give back to the business community all that you’ve learned over the years.
But first, establish your area of expertise. Then, gear the keywords in your content marketing strategy to focus on this topic and publish frequently.
For example, if you own a project management tool, publish case studies on the best agile methodologies.
Use this platform to showcase your unique brand and voice in the space.
And don’t forget to invite your customers along for the ride.
Let them share their insights with your wider community.
SaaS entrepreneur and founder SaaStr, Jason M. Lemkin, is a prominent voice in the tech space. His audience comprises B2B tech founders who seek his expert opinions on the latest trends in the market.
d. Use topical as well as evergreen content
Just because your birthday happens every year doesn’t make it any less special, does it? 🎂
Similarly, topical content is critical to any SEO campaign, even if it ages as soon as a day ends.
Pieces around holiday trends, annual wrap-ups, financial year round-ups, etc., help you capture seasonal traffic.
For example, if you publish a blog on ‘freelance business tax filing’ in February, chances are you should start ranking quite well right in time for tax season!
Such peak traffic seasons are useful runways to launch new content, products, or services. But they can be just as effective all year long.
Salesforce leverages this trend with a separate category for holiday-themed B2B content published all year long. This way, they’re always ahead of the trend.
But a quick look at the navigation bar tells us they also publish on topics relevant to their visitors throughout the year.
e. Optimize for conversions
Conversions aren’t always sales. Think of all those steps that lead to a final purchase, which indicate the intentions of your potential customer.
Won’t your sales journey be clearer if you could decipher buyers’ intent from how they interact with your online content?
Won’t your sales journey be clearer if you could decipher buyers’ intent from how they interact with your online content?
Your SEO strategy can help here.
Pick various points on your page that convey a deepening of the reader’s interest levels, such:
- Spending more than 10 seconds on the page
- Clicking links on the page
- Scrolling to the end
- Signing up for the newsletter
Now, ask yourself if these points tempt the reader to take the desired action.
How can you nudge them?
The answer is usually in gentle tweaks to the user experience and interface, like:
- Moving the ‘sign up for newsletter’ button higher
- Adding a pop-up for a lead magnet resource that’s relevant to the article
- Ensuring the most important information is above the first fold
Hootsuite nails this with their nudge to sign up for their 30-day free trial.
No matter where you’re on their blog page, the big red button to sign up for the demo follows you everywhere as a floating element.
f. Repurpose the content across media
Take a lesson from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Once you have saleable intellectual property, you can plug it anywhere, anyhow. 🦸🦸🦸
Turn blogs into YouTube videos, YouTube videos into Shorts and TikToks, infographics into Insta stories, survey results into blogs, and the cycle repeats!
4. Bring an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Approach
If digital marketing is like searching for treasure, ABM is like using X-ray vision to spot exactly what you’re looking for.🔍
It’s just a more precise method to pursue a particular set of companies or even a department with a B2B SEO campaign tailored just for them.
If this sounds too narrow, don’t worry.
You’d use ABM only to target high-value, long-term accounts.
Take this interesting example.
Gum Gum, a contextual advertising platform, concluded that they wanted to target the wireless company T-Mobile.
Looking at T-Mobile’s ex-CEO’s Twitter profile, Gum Gum took a bold chance. They created a custom comic featuring ex-CEO John Legere that explained Gum Gum’s enterprise features and benefits — T-Man and Gum Gums and shared it with him on Twitter.
Gum Gum landed the desired account and gained some major media traction for a standout marketing campaign!
If you want to break ground on ABM, take these steps:
a. Study CRM data
Look for any and all executives from your target firm in your Customer Relationship Management database. These could be people you interacted with in the past at various stages of the buying process.
How close were they to purchasing? Were they Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)?
Have they tried your product before?
What’s their primary draw to your brand, and how have they rated their past interactions with you?
b. Understand user engagement
If your CRM platform integrates with Google Analytics 4, it should help you recognize your target users’ website engagement, too.
And this will be critical information. From here on, you can track their interactions with your content at a granular level to answer questions like:
- What devices do they prefer?
- What kinds of Google searches land them on your site?
- What type of content do they prefer? Informative case studies or straightforward product comparisons?
This should give you a firm foundation to craft your content.
c. Plan and create custom BoFU content
Use the content media they’re most likely to engage with. If you don’t want to rely on organic content alone, boost your chances further with a Google Ads and LinkedIn ads campaign that takes a similar approach.
Once your content is live, keep a keen eye on their engagement. Reach out to the people who show an interest.
5. Use Programmatic SEO
Publish or perish — words to live by for a B2B marketer.
But what if there was a way to create hundreds or thousands of pages in the time it would take you to write a few blogs?
If you want to achieve this superhuman feat, programmatic SEO is the way to go. But before we dive into how to do it, let’s first understand who needs programmatic SEO.
Programmatic SEO — or generating hundreds of landing pages for searchers looking for very specific types of content — is ideal for products or services that resemble Zapier.
Zapier is a ‘middleware’ tool that acts as a bridge between two separate tools with no default integration. For example, you can use Zapier to connect Slack and Gmail to get the familiar *ping* on your desktop each time you get an email.
Like this, Zapier has permutations and combinations of hundreds of tools and thousands of actions it can facilitate. The typical format is: when you connect tools A to B, Zapier causes C action when D happens.
If they were to write about each of these integrations and functions, it would take them years to publish! But their programmatic SEO strategy reduced this runway to a hop, skip, and jump!
They have a page each for every software-to-software integration and triggered workflow you can use with Zapier.
Check out how Zapier and other prominent SaaS players are mastering SEO with their innovative takes.
Does your B2B business resemble this model?
Perhaps you own a software aggregation website and want to create pages for each software category you cater to. Or your corporate telehealth service wants feature pages for all the specialties and medical services you offer.
If you have hundreds of similar-looking pages to be published, look to Programmatic SEO
While there’s no universally applicable way to implement programmatic SEO, most of us can do it completely code-free now.
The basic steps are:
- Map out the exact number and types of pages you need. Make sure the hierarchy of these pages is clear for internal linking later
- Design the basic structure of each page. Usually, a few hundred words of basic information and images should do the trick
- Create an Excel or Gsheet with blanks where the copy goes
- Conduct keyword research
- Fill in the copy, images, and any relevant notes for the developers
- Incorporate relevant keywords in your B2B SEO content
- Publish these pages manually or using a simple plugin like this one
- Add internal links wherever needed
- Make sure these pages are accessible through the homepage
The SEO ROI that you get from this activity can be truly staggering. And for half the creative effort.
But like all powerful tools, use it carefully. If your website doesn’t qualify as the typical usecase for programmatic SEO:
- You’ll end up spending wayyyy more time on this activity than you should, taking away your focus from important activities
- Your pages may end up sounding suspiciously spammy, which signals to search engines to drop your site’s authority
With or without programmatic SEO, we still have a lot of ground to cover on B2B SEO. So, let’s keep moving!
6. Leverage Rich Results with Structured Data
Search engines are constantly thinking of ways to enhance a searcher’s experience. Ideally, they want every user to find what they’re looking for instantly, without even scrolling.
Rich results are just yet another way to achieve this goal. These are information snippets on Google search’s first page that display not just the page title along with a brief description but (in a B2B context) also other relevant surrounding links and information.
Check out what happens when you just search Canva.
How can you get your website featured like this?
Use structured data on your website to mark out bits to be featured as rich results. It’s like a coded language on your website’s backend that tells Google and other search engines what elements to pick up as rich snippets. Most commonly, this is in the form of Schema markup.
Under this, here are the different types of rich results you can optimize your website for static aspects like your logo or contact information. But there’s more.
Set up a Google Business Profile. This will feature a complete overview of your company on the right-hand side of Google SERPs, like Canva in the screenshot above. This might even give you a headstart for your local SEO ventures — to capture local leads online.
Next, use the event schema for any conferences, webinars, or courses your B2B organization may conduct for better visibility.
Finally, set up breadcrumb navigation to ensure visitors can explore your site easily. This is the trail of page names that show up on SERPs. Breadcrumbs allow the searcher to understand categories and page hierarchy even before landing on your website, helping them choose better.
Structured data’s application isn’t just limited to the business but also covers the people who make it up.
Suppose you want to market the prominent leaders in your business (founders, C-suite executives, subject matter experts, etc.) as thought leaders. In that case, you can claim the knowledge panel auto-generated in their name.
A knowledge panel for an individual is an information slide that gives a basic introduction to their life and work.
It’ll be critical to your business leaders’ personal SEO if they have:
- Written books
- Appeared in documentaries
- A thriving social media presence
- Made headlines
Google also lets you ‘claim’ the knowledge panel to customize it further to reflect authentic and updated information at all times.
7. Implement Off-Page SEO Practices
When you take charge of how pages outside your site refer to your domain, it’s called off-page SEO.
Influencing someone’s opinion may sound slightly beyond SEO, but it’s actually right up its alley.
Off-page SEO is a set of systematic efforts to improve your website’s external perception, primarily by building backlinks.
Won’t you like to be the talk of the town?
The number of backlinks you get from quality websites is a good measure of your popularity. Plus, it adds to your domain authority and helps you rank better.
But they have to be earned, not bought.
Google could penalize you for buying backlinks.
So, should you spend quality time emailing people to link to your content?
Not only is it inefficient, but it could actually work against your reputation by making you appear spammy.
Instead, follow these approaches to earn some quality backlinks.
(Psst… We’ll let you in on a secret here — backlinks aren’t as important a ranking factor as they used to be! You can still rank without them too, IF you join forces with an expert SEO agency for B2B SEO services.)
a. Guest posting
You can plug your website as a guest blogger on another site. This could be a site owned by a customer or a strategic partner, an online magazine, or any other site relevant to your space that attracts your clientele.
Not only does guest posting or blogging provide you with a quality backlink from an authoritative domain, but it also exposes you to a wider audience you probably didn’t have access to earlier.
But remember, guest posting isn’t a one-way street.
Invite industry leaders, influential professionals, and subject matter experts to write on your site. The more the merrier!
b. Social media exposure
SEO is indeed largely about improving organic search visibility.
However, not all readers land on your site via search engines.
People could come across your B2B SEO content on their social media feeds.
And since we’re talking B2B, LinkedIn is the place to be seen.
Promote your content on relevant social media channels and tag people or companies you write about. A little buzz in your comments section will go a long way.
c. Public Relations (PR)
Finally, trust the professional B2B marketers.
Set aside a budget for a PR executive who can help your site shine online.
Target major news outlets and industry journals that attract your customer base and investors.
A combination of these activities should help you gather lots of quality links.
For example, Sprout Social has been doing all of them. Look at the number of backlinks they;ve gathered from top domains like Huffpost, Indeed, and NY Times!
8. Evaluate Technical SEO Parameters
Does your website seem like a black box to you — making it impossible to decipher what’s really happening inside?
Don’t worry. You don’t need to be a web developer, coder, or psychic to uncover the mysteries hidden inside.
Just conduct these routine checks to figure out if everything is working alright, and talk to a professional B2B marketer, developer, or engineer to resolve any technical SEO issues.
a. Content Management System (CMS)
If your B2B SEO content is like a shirt that hangs on top of your website’s body, a CMS is its skeletal system.
A CMS is software used to create and manage all content without coding a site into existence. It lets you plug and play with features to showcase your content as best as possible.
And obviously, you need strong bones to ensure good health, i.e., the right CMS.
Your CMS should enable quick and easy content publishing and editing while also facilitating SEO-friendly features.
For example, WordPress — the world’s most popular CMS — lets you optimize images with alt text, set custom URLs, and supports a bunch of SEO-focused plugins. It’s also the best CMS if you don’t want to rely on your web dev team for every small change.
Webflow is another SEO-friendly CMS.
If your site is new or you’re considering a complete overhaul, review your choice of CMS. It may not be too late to migrate to WordPress or Webflow yet!
Do a quick spot check on the URL section of your browser.
Does your site use an ‘http’ or an ‘https’ protocol?
HTTPS is more or less the norm now because it’s more secure. Google (as well as other search engines) may discourage users from visiting sites that use only HTTP.
It’s easily fixed and inspires trust in your website.
Just submit your website along with the necessary details to get an SSL certificate. This will add an https to your site and indicate search engines that it’s a safe place for its users.
c. Site structure
An organized website encourages users to visit multiple pages in each session and increases their engagement.
This begins with how you categorize all your content — clearly visible in the URL.
Most websites use this common structure: Domain > Category > Subcategory > Page name.
Here’s an example:
Databricks.com > Product > Unity Catalog
However, others may choose to have separate subdomains for various reasons.
This goes: subdomain.domain.com/category/page name
For example, Hubstaff has an extensive support subdomain that features separate sections for their time, resource, and task management tools. Hence, they chose to house it as a dedicated subdomain on the main company domain.
Either way, it’s essential that your page path be crystal clear in the URL box. A clean URL will guide visitors to click pages relevant to them as well as point out to Google what your pages are about.
If a URL is like a map for your visitors, a sitemap is the same for search engines, spelling out your site structure and listing all URLs.
How does this help?
Crawlers from search engines like Google bots use sitemaps to crawl your site and index pages, adding to its ever-growing directory of all live pages on the internet.
Without crawling and indexing, your page is basically off the radar for the rest of the world.
But don’t worry about how long listing all pages on your site will take.
Most CMS’ generate sitemaps automatically.
You can ensure search engines have the updated sitemap by going to your Google Search Console and submitting one manually.
But more likely, if your website contains less than a thousand pages, you can probably skip this step entirely!
e. Page Speed
There’s a clear correlation between page speed and ranking. Anything more than five seconds is considered a slow loading speed and can tank your page rank faster than you can say ‘conversion catastrophe.’
Your best bet is to keep your site lean and mean by implementing the following page speed best practices:
- Compress all media files for the best size that loads fast
- Enable browser caching
- Avoid too many 401 page redirects
Once you’ve done the basics, run your page through Google’s PageSpeed Insights and check the score.
f. Mobile Friendliness
As a B2B website, most of your traffic might come from desktops during work hours. But that’s no reason to ignore mobile traffic.
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets provide instant on-the-go access to decision-makers. This is why your site design must prioritize mobile-friendliness from a UI/UX point of view as well.
Besides this, GSC provides a quick mobile-friendliness test that could tell you where you stand.
Take a complete inventory of your technical SEO performance with the help of this comprehensive checklist.
9. Monitor to Improve SEO Performance
So, you did everything on your SEO checklist.
How do you know if everything is working?
It’s time to bring out your detective tools 🔍to spot any inconsistencies and fix them.
Your Watson for this journey will be SEO monitoring tools — primarily Google Search Console and Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
But first, take this crash course in SaaS SEO metrics and KPIs that point you to success.
a. Google Search Console
Every website has its own free GSC account. Once you verify yourself as a site owner to Google, GSC gives you access to dozens of metrics reflecting the website’s organic traffic, including:
- Traffic: Number of people who’ve visited your site over time
- Impressions: Number of times people came across your site on SERPs
- Page position: Rankings on SERPs
- Click Through Rate (CTR): Percentage of impressions that turned into clicks
Metrics from this SEO tool (taken average or per page) can reveal a lot about your site.
In the B2B space, traffic tends to peak during the week and drop on weekends. If you spot this trend on your GSC, your content publishing schedule should be based on this.
A huge gap between impressions and clicks may indicate a need to focus on conversion optimization. Do your headlines and meta descriptions need a facelift?
b. Google Analytics 4
In the end, it’s all about conversions and sales, right? 🤑
GA4 will help you track this with an intricate setup to follow your potential customer on their entire journey across your website.
Once you calibrate it with your exact target audience (including demography, firmography, etc.) and desired conversion points (clicks, purchases, etc.), GA4 reveals:
- Biggest traffic sources: organic search, Google ads, social media, direct, etc.
- Engagement indicators: time spent on a page, bounce rate, session durations, etc.
- Time to conversion
- Dollar value of all conversions
Basically, GA4 shows just how intricately your business’ online performance is linked to your SEO strategy. With these metrics, you’ll see a direct connection between superior traffic and sales growth.
SEO Success = Business Success
Now you see how SEO isn’t just a way to improve your content visibility. Every addition to your traffic and CTR directly impacts your overall sales.
This is especially true in the B2B space, where reputation and expertise matter immensely.
With so much riding on your B2B SEO strategy, it makes sense to plan it out to the last detail and dedicate time and resources to its success. If you follow the nine guidelines mentioned above, you should have a solid foundation to build on.
But eventually, you’ll need an SEO marketer on your side. And that’s where Startup Voyager can help!
We’re a team of seasoned SEO experts who have experience working with both established and up-and-coming B2B brands.
With a proven track record of 10x-ing the organic traffic for our clients, our SEO services can take your website from just another touchpoint to the engine behind your sales.
Get in touch today to hand over all things SEO to people you can trust while you focus on what you do best!