Better B2B Marketing 46 - Getting the fundamentals of SEO right
Getting the fundamentals of SEO right
16/02/2024

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is often depicted as a ‘dark art’ and the preserve of those who specialise in delivering it.

It’s certainly true that SEO is technically complex – especially as there are no definitive guidelines from search engines.

However, even if you don’t wish to study the specifics – after all, that’s what we’re here to help with – then understanding the fundamentals alone can still help transform your business’s appearance in search results.

So – as we’ve not written about SEO alone since way back in blog 26 – we thought we’d return to the basics and how B2B organisations can help their websites win favour with search engines:

First, what is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the actions you take to ensure your website appears more frequently and higher up in search results for the search terms (keywords) you wish to target.

The three biggest areas you can affect are:

• Relevance – the content within your website and its appropriateness to someone’s search
• Authority – how respected your website is as a suitable search result and source of information
• Structure – how well your website is built and the experience it provides

Let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals which you can address:

Content

Arguably the single most important element of SEO is whether your website contains content which helps address a user’s search term. The more ‘relevant’ your website, the more likely it is to appear in search results.

As such, you need to include content – text, images, video and other resources – in your website that directly address the needs and interests of your target audience.

Content also needs to be regularly added to and refreshed to let search engines know your website is current.

Keywords

One of the ways to improve ‘relevance’ is to include keywords (individual words or longer search terms) which your target audience might enter when searching.

The more your content matches their search, the more likely your website is to appear in search results.

You can use various free and paid-for tools to help research keywords. You might be surprised as people searching often don’t use the terms you might predict!

When including keywords in your content, it’s critical to do so naturally. ‘Stuffing’ your website with keywords can be a negative for search engines.

On-Page Optimisation

Other than the core content, there are a number of other attributes throughout even the most basic website which can contribute to SEO.

Each page has a ‘page title’ which appears only in the browser tab. It is one of the first elements search engines look at, so make sure it includes your keywords.

You can also use keywords strategically in your on-screen headings and image descriptions (alt tags).

Your URL (webpage address) structure is also important and should help show search engines the topic and importance of pages.

Authority

Authority is a measure of how respected your website is as a source of information. It is primarily demonstrated to search engines by high-quality backlinks (hyperlinks) from authoritative and relevant websites.

A typical link-building strategy involves approaching third-parties and sharing content (such as press releases) which they may wish to publish online with a link back to your website.

However, beware of purchasing links or creating them by registering on low-quality listings websites. This can be another negative for search engines.

Internal linking within your website is also important for guiding users and search engines through your site’s content.

Technical SEO

As websites are a complex collection of HTML and other computer code, there can be errors or anomalies which search engines dislike.

Free and paid-for tools can help audit your website to assess attributes such as crawlability, broken links, speed and other technical factors.

It’s now critical your website should be hosted on a secure (HTTPS) server with the relevant security certificates.

Mobile-Friendliness

In B2B organisations, many websites are still primarily viewed by working people using desktops and laptop screens.

However, Google moved to ‘mobile-first’ indexing a few years ago – so having a mobile-friendly and optimised website is crucial for SEO.

Ensure your site is responsive to different browsers and screens, and provides a seamless experience across various devices.

This can be achieved in most website builders and content management systems (CMS) – and online simulators can help you check what your website will look like on various devices.

User Experience (UX)

User-Experience (UX) is typically more associated with having an effective website which users enjoy and helps successfully sell what you deliver.

However, many of the priorities of UX also influence SEO and they are increasingly closely intertwined.

In general, you need to ensure your website is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and information is clear and accessible for everyone.

Lots of internal links help users explore your website.

Local SEO

Local SEO is important if the geographical location of your business has a bearing on who you serve – for example, if you have a branch or local office or work only with business in a specific town or region.

The fundamental action is to claim and optimise your Google My Business listing. This also provides your customers with a place to post (hopefully) positive reviews.

Local keywords (such a place names) and locally focused content can also help.

Getting your SEO fundamentals right

As we’ve seen, the fundamentals of SEO are fairly clear. Google and other search engines want to serve up good quality websites which satisfy their user’s needs.

The execution of SEO involves both technical expertise and the ability to create and disseminate great content to boost relevance and authority.

As East Anglia’s leading B2B marketing agency, we help our clients with all three areas of SEO.

If being found online is important to your business, we can help here.

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