Do you want to appear on the first page of Google's search results? Who doesn't? It is a much-coveted spot for any B2B company. So how do you stand out from the crowd and go from SEO wannabe to SEO master?
Learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before you. To help you do that, I've assembled a list of the very worst (think disastrous!) SEO errors you can make. This, combined with your growing knowledge of SEO, will help win you a prime spot on any search results page. (Click here to find out how SEO can work for your video content marketing.)
Mistake #1 : Optimizing For The Wrong Keywords
The SEO playing field is vast, with many intimidating contenders vying for keywords. Don't make the mistake of competing for attention in this sea of big brand names -- at least not yet. Limit your keywords to those that you can easily dominate right now.
Avoid choosing keywords that are:
- Too globalized
- Highly competitive and too broad for your topic
- Attraction magnets for visitors only wanting freebies
Instead, make your keywords specific. The more specific your keyword is, the less competition you'll have, and the higher you'll rank on search pages. When you've secured a safe rank on the search results page, that is the time to pull out more competitive keywords. Here's an examples. B2B is a very broad topic. To narrow it down, think B2B business or B2B company. Those are still on the broad side. So to go even more specific, think B2B business plan or B2B business plan template.
(Click here to learn about tools that will help you to create amazing, SEO-friendly content.)
Mistake #2 : Optimizing For Global Search When You're Local
When you're a local business, you want to attract clients locally. What good does it do for a local Midwest business to attract California-based customers? It's imperative to learn about and optimize for local search.
First, use region-specific keywords in your title and meta description. If you're a local handyman, consider using handyman services in Boston as your keyword.
Think like a local consumer. What information does a consumer seek? To that end, make your local address and phone number easy to find in the header or footer of each page. Promote your business on local review sites and local business search sites, such as Yelp, Foursquare, and Google Places, and encourage customers to leave positive reviews. This will help secure you a prime spot on a search engine results page.
(Click here to learn how your behind-the-scenes company can get the attention it deserves.)
Mistake #3 : Not Having Unique Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Picture your website - do you use your company's name as the title for every page? Not only does this harm your SEO, but it comes off as boring and unimaginative. You need a unique title for each page, with the keyword near the beginning.
By all means, include your company's name, but spiff it up a little. Add a detailed keyword that sets this page apart from the others.
For instance, instead of 123 Technology Company -- blah -- start each page title with a unique company feature or service. Look at how the following examples breathe new life into each page:
- Deskside Support from 123 Technology Company
- Going Green at 123 Technology Company
- Software Solutions at 123 Technology Company
Do you see how this can make a difference on your site?
Meta descriptions are what someone sees when a page on your website crops up in a search. It's a snippet about your page. And it's another SEO tactic many ignore. Search engines pay attention to your meta descriptions, and will penalize you for not including a keyword, or having too many. Users also depend on your meta description for an accurate description of your site. In this B2B PR blog post, for example, I use the following meta description:
Do you want your B2B PR to climb up that SEO ladder and appear on the first page? Then avoid these 8 common and damaging SEO mistakes.
When the post pops up in the search engines, the meta description is what will be seen. A truthful and attractive description will increase your click through rate.
Mistake #4 : Not Using Internal Links
Internal links are a crucial part of your SEO game plan. These links help search engines to find new pages, and to see that these pages are important to your B2B website.
Here are the best places for internal links:
- A Relevant Content section at the bottom of each page
- Linked keywords throughout the body of your content
- Linked general words, such as "click here" and "this post"
- Within both new and old posts
Mistake #5 : Concentrating on Link Quantity Over Link Quality
Links from other sites can be SEO gold, but only if those links are high quality. Get a link to your B2B site from a popular blog or authority website, and it's worth far more than hundreds of low quality directory links.
True, it's harder to get those good quality links, but that's also why search engines give them more credibility. Forget about how many links you have. Focus on what quality links you can get.
Mistake #6 : Creating Poor Quality Content
SEO brownie points are lost when you cut corners in your B2B business content -- you will only be penalized in the end. Avoid blog mills that mindlessly crunch out content. And stay away from article spinners that only reword and recycle content. You won't fool anyone.
When you use poor quality content for your B2B company, everyone suffers. Your readers become fed up and flee. Instead, invest in writers who can produce fine quality content that you're proud to display on your site. (Click here to learn how to make your content stand out.)
Mistake #7 : Not Creating Link-Worthy Content
In B2B PR and any B2B marketing, a good maxim is: Build it strategically, promote it, and they will come. Links from popular, reputable sites will give you a big boost up that search engine ladder -- but how do you convince those sites to link to your content? Create stellar-quality content that generates a linking frenzy.
Produce valuable top lists, infographics, and video or text tutorials. Those types of content create the most links for a B2B business. It's especially helpful to include mentions of influencers in your niche in your content. It's easiest to just use an influener's published quote. Then share your post with the influencer and he or she may share it. (To find out how to better promote this link-worthy content, click here.)
Mistake #8 : Not Using Analytics in Your B2B Marketing Strategy
A lot of work goes into each SEO piece of content. Don't forget about it just because it's published. Measure how that work is paying off in terms of your goals. A good analytics program will show you which parts of your site are performing well, and which parts need a little more TLC.
An analytics tool will give you an idea of which SEO keywords convert and bring in more traffic. Google analytics is a must and a tool like Moz Pro with a 30-day free trial is useful. Once armed with this information, you can hone in on these successful keywords in the future.
(For 5 more great tips on how to boost your B2B PR with SEO, click here.)
It's never too late to improve your SEO skills. Learn from these common SEO mistakes, and claim your rightful rank in any search engine.