Search engine optimization—or SEO—is an essential component of any online marketing strategy. After all, more and more users are turning to Google and other search engines to research companies and products. As a result, the visibility of your company’s website is critical to the success of your brand.
And, it’s no secret– B2B blogging is a key contributor to a successful SEO strategy. Consider these statistics:
- Websites with a blog tend to have 434% more indexed pages than sites without a blog (source).
- Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website (source).
- When combined with other SEO techniques, blogging 2-3 times a week can lead to a 177% traffic increase (source).
But, seeing this type of success isn’t easy—you can’t just post the occasional article and expect traffic to come flooding in. So, if you’re struggling to infiltrate Google search results and generate organic traffic to your B2B blog, fear not!
Today we break down key steps you can take to boost organic traffic to your B2B blog. Keep reading.
1. Write in-depth, valuable content.
This might seem counterintuitive, but bear with us – don’t write for search engines. Instead, write for your readership.
Here’s what we mean. In an attempt to game the system and boost organic traffic rapidly, many marketers resort to quick and easy SEO hacks—but this strategy doesn’t always lead to high-quality content. But, Google’s algorithm is thorough and sophisticated, and it often recognizes low-quality content regardless of the SEO tricks you employ.
Here are some general rules you should follow every time you write a blog post, if you want Google to recognize it as high-quality:
Stand out from other sites by offering your own unique spin on important topics. If you cover the same topics in the exact same way as other blogs in your industry, you won’t get much attention – from readers or from search engines.
Also, keep in mind, duplicate content is a big no-no to search engines. So, before publishing a blog post, make sure the content doesn’t exist anywhere else on the internet—even on your own blog.
Approach each blog post from the perspective of the reader – what will they take away from this blog? How can they use the information in this blog moving forward?
Don’t try to trick readers. Avoid misleading, overly-catchy headlines, sensationalized descriptions, and any other deceptive techniques. Although these tactics may work to generate clicks, readers will leave your website as soon as they realize they’ve been duped. Not only does clickbait lead to high bounce rates, but it also leads to mistrust from your audience.
Even though SEO and organic traffic are largely dependent on Google’s search algorithm, never forget to write for your readers. This is the only way to generate content that search engines perceive as high-quality. In general, if humans don’t enjoy your content, it won’t rank highly within organic search results.
For more information, check out our guide to content marketing.
2. Leverage your target keywords intelligently.
Keywords are a fundamental component of SEO and as a result, they’re a fundamental component of generating organic traffic. For this reason, all content creators must perform keyword research to uncover the topics and phrases their target audience most commonly searches for.
In the past, a traditional keyword strategy involved mapping a single keyword to a single web page. But the modern SEO landscape is a bit more complex—singular keywords matter less and the focus has shifted to keyword clusters. Keep this in mind when you optimize your content and ask yourself, what variations of this target keyword am I forgetting? What topics are commonly associated with my target keyword? And how do each of these keyword clusters relate to one another?
It’s no longer enough to throw your target keyword into your copy and expect it to rank first on Google. Instead, content creators must have a thorough understanding of a website’s entire body of content and the ways in which each topic ties together.
If you don’t have a defined keyword strategy, your results will be inconsistent at best. So, let’s look at the primary areas of your blog where you must include target keywords and their variations:
Google’s crawlers will start with your URL to determine what your content is about. So, keep your URLs consistent with the page’s contents, keep them concise, and include your most important keywords as appropriate. Remember, long URLs can be viewed as spammy, so resist the urge to throw every variation of your target keyword in your URL.
The title tag of a blog post is critical to how Google assesses the contents of each blog post. This text is also what displays as each page’s title within search results. So, be sure to include your target keywords but also be sure to make it interesting and clickable to keep click-through-rates high. After all, ranking high within Google search results won’t generate traffic unless readers click through to your blog.
Keep in mind, Google only displays about 60 characters of your title tag so it’s important to keep your title under that limit. Otherwise, you risk having your text cut off.
H1, H2, H3, H4s:
Be sure to tag the headings and subheadings within your blog posts with the appropriate H tags—and of course, use your target keywords throughout each. This not only signals to Google what your post is about, but headings and subheadings also help break up large blocks of text to make your content more accessible to humans as well.
A meta description is the text that appears below your headline within search results. This description provides additional insight into what your blog post is about, for both the search engines and your readers. Google recently expanded the length of meta descriptions to 300 characters. If you don’t stay under this limit, your text is at risk of getting cut off.
Image alt text:
Be sure to use target keywords within your alt image tags to signal to search engines that your blog post contains relevant images. This is particularly important to appear within Google’s featured snippets and image search results.
Keep in mind, there is such a thing as using too many keywords. Refrain from cramming keywords throughout your blog posts. Keyword overkill appears spammy to Google and could potentially result in your blog posts not ranking at all.
Be strategic about keyword placement. Rather than aiming for a particular percentage or keyword density, add the keyword as it appears naturally. Then review your content to make sure it covers the appropriate keyword variations and related phrases.
3. Invest in your backlink strategy.
When you produce high-quality, engaging content, other companies and publications are more likely to link to your website. And, this is important because links from reputable websites are an important ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. This means you must invest in strategies to generate links from other high-quality websites.
This can be done a number of ways—guest blogging, directory submissions, blog comments, etc. The key thing to remember is that any automated or “hacky” link building strategies are likely to be flagged by Google. So instead of finding ways to generate mass quantities of links, focus your efforts on generating more high-quality links. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Create infographics and share them with industry publications. Offer to write a unique introduction and conclusion. Because images are not seen as duplicate content, this is a great way to repurpose the hard work that goes into creating an infographic.
Welcome content swaps with other publications. This is helpful when the other website or publication is hesitant to publish your content with nothing in return. Plus, it helps you generate more content for your website!
Training or certification programs:
Create a training or certification program and offer online badges or certificates that recipients can embed on their own websites. For instance, if you sell email marketing software to marketing agencies, consider offering an email marketing training program. Attendees will link to your training or certification program as a way to generate more clients. This strategy helps both parties involved.
Develop an award system and announce the winners on your blog. Similar to the previous tactic, winners will want to boast about the achievement and link to your announcement from their own posts and websites.
Get creative with your link building strategy! There is no one way to generate links for your company—but as always, stay away from tactics that seem spammy or tactics that generate links from low-quality websites. Lastly, even if you’re tempted to, never pay for backlinks. Although it might pay off in the short-term, tactics like this will always come back to bite you in the form of a Google penalty.
4. Optimize your blog for mobile.
Recent statistics show that nearly 60% of search queries come from mobile devices rather than desktop queries (source). As a result, Google heavily considers mobile optimization as part of their ranking algorithm. For this reason, it’s critical that your blog has a responsive design so it displays correctly on mobile devices and tablets as well as desktop browsers.
5. Perform an audit of your content.
Although it’s important to focus on optimizing new content, you must also devote time and attention to old articles and existing content. Here’s why – 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, which means their organic search traffic increases over time (source).
So, although they may be long forgotten to you, blogs from three years ago might generate more traffic than you think. However, if those posts are formatted incorrectly, written poorly, or lack valuable information– they will quickly fall from the search results and even hurt the reputation of your blog.
6. Be mindful of Google algorithm updates.
As Google constantly changes its algorithms, it’s easy to fall behind the SEO curve. In fact, 40% of marketers say that changing search algorithms are their biggest obstacle standing in the way of SEO success (source).
One thing is for certain– Google will continue to make frequent changes to their algorithm. If you ignore or miss any new updates, your SEO strategy can quickly become outdated. Because of this, we recommend you keep up to date with any big changes in the SEO world.
Thankfully, there are many resources to help you keep up with these changes, such as Moz’s Google Algorithm Change History.
Key Takeaways on Blogging and SEO
Generating organic blog traffic isn’t a task that results in instant gratification. You must be willing to spend time and energy to create blog posts that can captivate both humans and search engines with valuable, engaging content. So, before you post your next blog– take a step back and analyze your SEO strategy.
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