Do you ever wonder why your B2B website isn't getting more traffic? It could be that your website isn't properly optimized for search engines.
Google indexes not only websites, but also images, videos, local listings, news stories, blog posts, and more. Google calls their search results "Universal Search" and blends listings from all types of content it gathers from crawling the World Wide Web. You need to optimize your entire online presence, not just your website.
The fundamentals for optimizing a B2B site are essentially the same as a B2C site, though there are differences. Information needs are different for B2B buyers, so the type of content and how it's optimized will be different for B2B.
Optimizing all your online content will bring more visitors to your website and ultimately generate more leads. With that said, here are 22 SEO tips to optimize your online B2B presence:
- Participate in Social Media - SEOMoz released a study correlating data from over 10,000 keyword rankings and the factors that influence Google to highly rank a website. The study found that social media activity is correlated with higher Google rankings.
- Optimize White Papers - Document sharing is a great way to increase awareness of your company's products and services, build inbound links to help boost SEO, and drive traffic to your website. If your company isn't posting your B2B white papers on Scribd, you need to start doing it now. Within one hour of us uploading a demand generation white paper for our company, we received a Google Alert informing us that Google picked it up on Scribd. Now that's quick!
- Start a Blog - Search engines love lots of content and fresh stories. Blogs have both. Plus, B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don't according to Hubspot.
- Claim Your Listing on Business Directories - There are a number of free business directories such as Business.com, Manta, and others. These directories are indexed well by Google. Business.com's directory has dozens of categories from Construction to Industrial to Telecommunications. Put your business in the right category. Make sure you show up when prospects are looking.
- Optimize Images - Search engines cannot see images so you need to do some optimization to get them crawled. Use alt text and captions for your photos. Place the most important keywords towards the beginning of the caption and include keywords in the file name. Keep the caption short and don't spam the image by stuffing it with keywords.
- Put Presentations Online - Upload your PowerPoint presentation to Slideshare, the world's largest community for sharing presentations. Worried your competition might find out something about your company? Honestly, don't worry about it. Stop caring about your competitors and start caring about your customers. There's probably nothing you can share that your competition doesn't already know about anyway. Plus, if the White House can use Slideshare, you can, too.
- Write SEO-Friendly Press Releases - Use a service like PRNewswire or PRWeb and get your press releases distributed to bloggers and other online outlets. You'll show up in Google News.
- Create a LinkedIn Company Profile- Take advantage of a free LinkedIn listing for your company. Integrate your social media feeds into your profile, embed targeted keywords in your company description, and add eye-catching banners to promote your products and services. After we optimized our LinkedIn profile, our number of followers skyrocketed and our listing shows up on page one of Google.
- Optimize YouTube Videos - Insert targeted keywords for your business in the video title and description. Include a hyperlink in the description back to your website. Make sure the hyperlink is within the first sentence. Use keywords when you tag the video, too. Limit tags to no more than 10 to prevent "keyword stuffing".
- Submit Site to Search Engines - Expedite search engine spiders finding your site by manually submitting it to search engines. Submit your site to Yahoo Site Explorer, Bing Webmaster Tools, and Google Webmaster Tools.
- Use Description Tags - The Meta Description Tag is shown on the search engine results page as the summary snippet for your website. Description tags are limited to 160 characters including spaces. If you don't use Description Tags, Google will choose for you what your listing says. Don't rely on Google. Tell Google what you want to show.
- Claim Google Place Listing - A completed Google Places listing makes it easier for customers to find you on Google. Listings show up on Google Maps and get ranked on the first page of Google. Include photos, videos, hours of operation, offers and promotions, and company description.
- Write Error-Free HTML Code - Code that is written cleanly without any programing errors can rank higher than a site that has coding errors (broken links, missing commands, improperly formatted URL's, etc.). Use a Markup Validation Service to check whether your website follows the HTML standards as set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
- Move Your Blog Under Your Domain - If your blog is hosted outside your domain (such as on Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress.com), you're not getting Google credit for all the traffic you're driving to your blog. Move your blog within your website has a subdirectory like http://www.yourcompany.com/blog and not as a subdomain like http://www.blog.yourcompany.com.
- Create Title Tags - Title tags are shown in search results as the headline for your webpage. Title tags also appear at the top of the browser window when someone is visiting your site. Title tags are prominent and important. The maximum length is 70 characters and anything after that is shown with an ellipsis. So stay within that limit. Make sure you place keywords in your title tags.
- Use Anchor Text - Don't use "click here" when linking from one page of your site to another. Instead, use anchor text strategically to embed a hyperlink behind a targeted keyword. For example, if your B2B company manufactures product lifecycle management software, hyperlink any mention of "entire product lifecycle" of your website to a key page on your website, perhaps a diagram illustrating a typical product lifecycle.
- Create a Site Map - A site map helps search spiders index your content. It's essentially a Table of Contents for your website, ensuring that hard-to-find pages are scanned up by the spider.
- Use Nofollow Links - Under Google's rules, a website with links pointing to sites that Google considers spammy can affect the reputation (and ranking) of your own site. This most often occurs when spammers leave comments on blogs. To combat link spam, use the "nofollow" link command. With "nofollow" turned on, a search engine crawler will not follow the link and your site will not get SEO dinged for pointing to a spam site.
- Minimize Use of Adobe Flash - Search engine spiders can't crawl Flash. So any content that is displayed in Flash is nonexistent and won't get indexed. Flash use is dwindling anyway...even the iPad doesn't support it. Stay away from Flash other SEO killers that can alienate search engines.
- Include "Share This" - Make your content sharable (and make it worth sharing, too!). Social media activity influences Google rankings. The more your content is shared across the social web, the more it will increase the chance of your website ranking higher on Google.
- Get Inbound Links - One of the biggest factors in Google rankings is how many other websites link to you. The more links, the better. Getting links from high-traffic reputable sites is more credible than links from no-name websites. Identify influential bloggers in your industry and trade links with them.
- Write Good Content - You've heard the saying, "Content is king". It's true. Focus your website content on how your B2B product or service solves problems for customers. Be sure to have original, valuable content focused on customers as well as your targeted keywords. You want your site attractive to search spiders as well as humans.
Do you have a SEO strategy? What else would you add to this list?