Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to earning relevant traffic for your website.
If your website is SEO friendly, your site is much more likely to rank higher in SERPs. To put it simply, in order to "do better" in Google or other search engines, your site must be SEO friendly!
The primary concerns regarding SEO are both on-site and off-site. Your on-site SEO are the things that someone can control or change whenever needed. Your off-site SEO are things that are not directly on your website that you don’t always have that same control over immediately, such as links from other websites to yours.
In this post we'll focus on on-site SEO. Here's how to check if your site is SEO-friendly:
How to Check if Your Site Is SEO-Friendly
While it takes several months to run a full B2B SEO campaign, here are eight best practices you can start on today:
- URLs & SSL
- Navigation & linking
- Tags, titles, & other headings
- Page speed
Keywords come first in this article because they affect many of the best practices below.
A keyword is a word, phrase, or string of words you want your site to rank for in Google search results because your ideal buyers are using it to research their problems/opportunities. Keyword research helps you determine what questions your buyer persona has in relation to your product or solution.
Use a keyword research tool like SEMrush to determine whether your website pages are ranking for search terms that are relevant to your solution. This will not only bring more traffic to your website; it'll also help you achieve B2B lead generation with SEO because the traffic will be more likely to reach out to you for more information!
If you haven't performed a keyword audit in the past year, get on it now.
2. URLs & SSL (SEO-Friendly Website Structure)
You may have noticed that URLs start with either HTTP -- an unsecure protocol for transferring data -- or HTTPS -- its more secure cousin. Sites that don’t use HTTPS gain the reputation of poor customer security and privacy.
To convert your HTTP pages to HTTPS, start with acquiring an SSL certificate. SSL keeps hackers and skimmers from accessing credit numbers, passwords, and so on. Learn more about adding SSL certificates here.
As for the rest of your URLs' composition, they should be legible and contain similar keywords used elsewhere on the website. For example, do your URLs look like this?
Or like this?
It's even a bigger deal with dynamically generated e-commerce website pages. If you have a web store, do your URLs look like this?
Or like this?
If your URLs are giving you a headache, they’re probably giving the browser crawlers a headache as well, so cleaning these up will have a positive impact on your SEO.
3. Navigation & Linking
First from a "human-based" SEO standpoint: Your website's navigation should be ...
- "Next steps"-focused
Confusing navigation causes visitors to spend less time on your page, and visit fewer pages on your site overall. And it just so happens that two major Google ranking factors are:
- Bounce rate: Percentage of visitors who left your site after the first page they visited
- Average time on page: How long the average visitors spends on a given page
Use the metrics tool in your content management system (CMS) to review these two stats. If your core pages (like your homepage and Services page) have horrible performance in these categories, your navigation may be at fault. Clean up confusing elements and make sure each page has a "next step" for the visitor so they have a natural prompt to keep moving throughout your site:
- Use short words/terms in menu titles
- Limit the # of options in your main navigation bar
- Add a colorful button in your navigation bar for your most-desired action (i.e. "Contact Us")
Now, from a "Google algorithm" SEO standpoint: Internal links give search engine crawlers information about what your website is about and how its pages related to each other. When you're writing blog posts or products/services pages, include links within the copy to any relevant pages -- both first- and third-party -- that would be useful resources for the reader.
Meanwhile, broken links cause visitors to look to other websites for help, so run a tool that finds these issues ASAP.
Lame cliche alert: Content is king for SEO.
Quantity and quality of pages is of the most important contributors to SEO, and it’s also one of the most common errors that pops up in site audits. The good news is, this is also one of the most accessible issues for you to address!
So, how to optimize website content?
Start with the quantity problem. How often are you publishing blog posts that address your persona's pain points? Do you have website pages for each of your core services/product lines? If you lack these B2B SEO content marketing strategy basics, start there.
After that, quantity should meet quality. You should create content on the page that matches your "searchers' intent." The keywords and page headline should set reader expectations that your page should deliver on.
This can't just be a bunch of keywords stuffed into a giant wall of text; it should be in a format that a human can read breezily. If you want a page to rank for a specific keyword, that keyword must be in the content. Include relevant supporting keywords as well to strengthen Google's recognition of your topic.
The guidelines for how many words you should have on your pages tend to change frequently, as do many other B2B SEO tactics. Just make sure you answer your readers' questions fully and helpfully.
5. Tags, Titles, & Other Headings
There should be a page title on every page, and every page title should be unique and relevant to the page associated with it.
If you have a CMS such as WordPress or HubSpot, you have easy access to editing page titles and corresponding meta descriptions. These are the two elements of your webpage that show up in Google results -- the page title being your headline and the meta description being the "ad copy" that convinces the reader to visit your page:
On your page itself, H1, H2, and H3 heading tags work side-by-side with your content, creating logical separations between sections. These are like the chapter of a book -- they help your reader find info more easily and make longer pages more digestible.
An added bonus, H1s and H2s are a great opportunity to implement your focus keyword.
Finally, we have alt text tags. Alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image if it fails to load on a website. This text allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website -- after all, Google can read text, but it can't decipher what an image is about. Alt text even helps vision-impaired readers who use screen-reading tools.
Google won't be able to crawl your site quickly or thoroughly if your code is messy. Ensuring that crawlers can parse through your code without getting tripped up on extra tags and poorly formatted lines will do wonders for your site health.
6. Page Speed
It seems like common sense, but if your website is slow, its user experience (UX) is going to be significantly worse. In this digital age, users don’t want to wait around for a page to load. If it’s taking more than a few seconds, they'll almost certainly back out and find another website to answer their questions.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a great tool for determining both your desktop and your mobile site speed. Not only will it provide the actual loading speed for each; it will also offer suggestions to help improve your page speed, such as addressing:
- Broken links
- Page redirects
- Improperly sized images
(Related Resource: How to Optimize Photos for a Website)
Some of these fixes pertain to on-site SEO, and some pertain to off-site SEO. Be sure to recognize the difference between issues you can fix on your own and those that will require outsourcing to a B2B website design expert.
Is your website optimized for mobile devices? If not, you're several years behind.
In 2022, depending on your industry and buyer persona, the majority of your website traffic may come from mobile devices. Whether it’s a phone or a tablet, ensuring that smaller devices can run your site at the same level of quality as on a desktop is paramount for improving UX, overall SEO, and site health.
Making sure that your menus are condensed and aspects like phone numbers and email addresses are large enough and clickable will help immensely when trying to improve overall UX. Content should scale correctly on small screens so your pages don't like a jumbled mess.
Complete a Website Assessment for 100% SEO-Friendliness
If you read through this post thinking, "I still don't have a clue how to do search engine optimization for my website" ... don't worry. Not all hope is lost for your website.
You can get a free website assessment by clicking the image below, and use that to analyze all the aspects of your site that affect SEO and lead generation: