As B2B content marketers, it’s important for us to understand the impact content has on our Brand’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). From up and coming major search terms and exciting trends, to how to best optimise your brand’s search results, content marketing is key in this area. In turn, these content assets will have an impact on a B2B brand’s SEO – but how can B2B content marketers make the most out of it, especially if you’re not SEO savvy?
We spoke to SEO experts, Dandy Marketing, to get the real story about how content truly impacts a B2B brand’s SEO….
What are the major search trends today?
SEO in 2018 can pretty much be summed up with the below six topics. They have defined how Digital Marketers have approached SEO and you can expect these areas to stick around in 2019 as well – in no particular order:
The Google “Medic” update and E-A-T
Google’s “Medic” update happened in August 2018 and completely obliterated some websites’ search traffic, almost overnight. It was possibly the biggest core algorithm update ever. While Google continued to keep their cards close to their chest by not revealing too much to users, what can be said is that the update seemed to shift everyone’s focus to Google Search Rater Guidelines, and specifically E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trust). In brief, any content that is on your web page must demonstrate that you are an expert, an authority on your subject and the content you create is trustworthy, in order to gain a high rating. The type of E-A-T content you post can be very depending on your business but it is essential for B2B content marketers to practice, can achieve SEO success. E-A-T will be high on the agenda for 2019.
You’ve probably read or heard someone say “50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.” And that still stands true, with voice search continuing to be a growing trend this year. With new technology continuing to place emphasis on voice search (think Alexa, Siri etc), expect this trend to also grow throughout 2019.
User Intent was a growing trend throughout 2018. It has become a key part of SEO strategy and keyword research, with a searcher’s intent becoming more and more important. By identifying and categorising what online users intended or expected to see when they used their search engine, marketers can gain greater insight into target audiences and preferred strategy, format and mediums for content marketers.
A snippet is a result Google shows to the user in the search results: it has the title in blue, the URL in green and a description of what the page is about. This year, rich snippets became more prevalent. A rich snippet shows extra information between the URL and the description. For example, for a product a rich snippet may have a photo, the google rating, and more details on the product’s specs.
Rich snippets stand out from normal snippets and are much more useful for the user – and this is probably why Google is introducing more and more rich snippets in its search results. Rand Fishkin is consistently pointing this out, and with good reason. Rich snippets will impact the type of content that is created for each keyword topic, with more focus around optimising the page to gain the rich snippet result as well as ranking.
- Site speed
Around the same time in July 2018, Google also confirmed they would use site speed as a ranking factor in its Mobile Search Results and consequently updated its Site Speed Insights tool.
What do you think will be the most exciting trends with optimising content for good search results in 2019?
Those trends mentioned above will also continue to be prevalent in 2019, and this especially goes for user intent. Understanding the content your audience prefers to consume, whether that’s images, text or video, is key to gaining an advantage in search results. Knowing what your user is expecting to see will help you provide the most relevant content for that search query. And the more relevant your content, the better that content will do. This links in with another key factor for SEO – Site Usability. Enhancing the customer journey throughout your site, making it easy for users to navigate through your site, interact with it and find the content they want, will all give you brownie points in the eyes of a search engine. Look at it this way, Google is interested in providing the searcher with the best websites related to their search query – the best ones are those that have the most relevant content and have a winning customer journey.
Content Depth will also be key. Those sites that create truly epic content, covering topics in depth will tend to rank well on search engines. You should aim for content items over 750 words, supported with relevant and engaging imagery where possible. By creating such content, you increase the likelihood of the content acquiring links, a staple of great SEO. Use in-depth keyword research to highlight problems or questions that users have and answer them. You’ll soon be on to a winner.
Another trend to look out for will be towards position zero. You may have noticed that when you input a search query, there is a snippet of an answer that appears before any links. This is known as position zero and provides the user with a quick answer to their query. Getting onto position zero will help drive more traffic to your site (above and beyond position one) as well as build authority for your segment (a key part of search mentioned earlier).
What should B2B marketers do to optimise their content for the best search results?
Review the current Search Engine Results Page (SERPS) when doing keyword research to understand what type of content is currently ranking. For example, take a product page. Content like an in-depth review or ultimate guide will set readers off on the right path straight away.
Basic on-page optimisation is always vital, as well as Schema markup (a code that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users), if its relevant. Ensuring the page loads as quickly as it can will also be vital.
If you managed to get a piece of content that’s driving traffic, you need to make sure your visitors are performing the actions you are trying to trigger. Ensure you have a good Call To Action/ lead generation link on the page.
Also, make sure you’re paying attention to engagement metrics (bounce rates, average session duration). These are all great indicators which will show you what content works, and what content needs more work.
What type of content strategy would be the best to get great search results?
Content strategy should be aligned with sales and marketing priorities, and developing a content strategy is a process including defining your target audience, setting content goals, establishing key messages to creating key campaigns, metrics and KPIs. The most important factor is that your content strategy should focus on addressing the pain points of your customers or other target audiences. A range of diverse content types helps improve SEO-friendliness, including multimedia and voice. Ensure you include a variety of short and long-form content, updated and distributed systematically and frequently. Content should offer value to audiences and address issues of relevance and importance in the industry. And don’t forget to promote your anchor content across your owned, social and paid media channels.
So, by putting the right content out there, B2B content marketers can expect a positive impact on the brand’s SEO, but it’s important to remember to do the groundwork beforehand!
Want to find out how content marketing can help your B2B business, or how you can encourage your employees to share the content you’ve already written? Check out our some of our other blogs to help you get and stay on track with your B2B content marketing.