How to optimize your B2B content for Google
Ninety percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing tactics to grow their business and 81% of B2B buyers are using search engines to find their solutions. People and businesses are producing content at lightning speed. Here’s how you can make sure yours sticks out.
You’ll first need to make sure your buyer personas are in tip-top shape. You should have a clear idea of who your ideal customers are before you try to attract them to your website. You can’t produce optimum content without knowing what your audience needs and wants. Here’s a great article on how to start out — or take your buyer personas to the next level. After you have discovered what keywords and search terms your audience is using and what kinds of content would interest them, you’re ready to start creating.
High-quality content is based on an understanding of your audience, as well as optimum keywords and the search terms they are likely to use. It’s best to write your content in a similar way to how your audience would write, speak, and search.
Length of content: Your content should help your reader complete one specific task. Long content, between 1,300 and 2,500 words, tends to rank better in organic results because it is typically more thorough. Make sure your content doesn’t lose focus, and that it stays true to your main purpose. If you’re looking for ways to make your content robust and thorough, you can add examples, checklists, statistics, and quotes that support your thesis.
Calls to action: Make sure you have clear and enticing calls to action (CTAs) in your content. Upon reading your article, what is the next step you’d like your reader to take? If you have a clear CTA, your reader will take the next step in your sales funnel and continue browsing your content. If you’re not sure where to put your CTA, you can always test out a few places. If you’re not familiar with A/B testing, you can read how to successfully complete A/B tests here.
Engaging content: When users are engaged, they consume more content. They interact with it by continuing to browse your website for more, and they should also have the opportunity to download some content and/or be able to share the piece of content that engaged them to their social media or in an email. One good way to create engaging content is to think of your reason for producing that piece of content. Ultimately you should be producing content that either solves your audience’s challenge or educates them on something they need.
Social sharing: Search engines are taking how much your content is shared into consideration when it comes to showing your website in search results. Social sharing buttons make it easier for your visitors to share your content on their favorite social platforms and increase your digital footprint. Any content you create for your target audience is a prime candidate for social sharing.
Alt text for each image: Search engines, as well as your visitors, use alt text to determine what an image is about. Providing alt text allows your image to be found with search engines. Alt text for an image should be between four and six words long and as descriptive as possible. If your image isn’t loading, this will help your user determine what should be appearing in that area. Alt text is also beneficial for anyone who is visually impaired or using assistive technology. It’s really easy to go back and add alt text to existing images and it’s worth your time because descriptive alt text is a boost to your search engine rankings.
Meta description: This content doesn’t have a direct effect on how you rank in the search engines; however, your meta description is an excellent space to provide a “sales pitch” about your content or web page. Meta descriptions appear as the 1–2 sentences below the title in each search engine result. Having a meta description filled out for each page on your website will attract more click-throughs to your article from search results.
Formatting: Anytime you’re creating something for your target audience, you should take all of the components below into consideration. Since we’re talking about writing content, I’ll stick to only the most important design factors to take into consideration here.
- Your content should be written for your audience, not your peers. Whomever you’re writing for is who will end up on your website. Often this gets overlooked, as it’s easier to write for your peers. Remember, since you’re writing for your target audience, this is a good opportunity to make sure your buyer personas are in great shape. You can reference them to figure out what types of content to create.
- Does your content include strong titles, appropriate headers, bullet points, or numbers? Make your content enticing with a strong title and also make sure it’s easy to read by breaking your paragraphs up with headers, bullet points, or numbered lists. Also, it’s very important for your credibility that your content is free of spelling and grammatical errors. No matter how many times you’ve reviewed your piece of content, it’s best to have a proofreader to review it one final time.
Check out your competition: Google your search words and see what content is popping up. Review the pages and ask yourself if your content is equally as good, if not better — and unique. If your content needs improvements, you can always add visuals, additional details, more specificity, real life examples, statistics, and/or relevant quotes.
I hope these tips have been helpful and that you’re already thinking of all the ways you could be optimizing your content. Above all else, fresh, valuable content — combined with these optimization tips — will make your B2B content exactly what your target audience is looking for.