B2B Articles - October 01, 2020

Technical SEO Checklist for B2B Websites

Companies are increasingly building their websites for lead generation and sales acceleration--seeing their website property as more than just a static brochure. A website can perform as a lead generation machine for B2B leads with the right strategies, tactics, and focus. And of all channels to grow traffic for your website, organic traffic is one of the most critical. 

SEO growth over time - chart of website performance

Many businesses are aware of the positive impact of B2B content marketing, and some have even developed keyword strategies to help their content get found by potential customers in search engines like Google and Bing. 

SEO contribution to overall traffic over time

However, search engine optimization is about more than the content you publish. In fact, you need to avoid common SEO mistakes and a wide range of technical SEO factors in order to move the needle on organic search traffic.

This technical SEO checklist of HTML tags is crucial for B2B websites:

  • Keyword focus: Keyword research is required to find terms worth your time and energy. Not every term that describes your business will make sense for search engine optimization. In fact, many B2B businesses put too much weight on branded terms that do not earn them an expanded audience, because the majority of target leads are not actively searching for their brand already. Make sure to analyze every keyword you go after to see if it has a worthwhile volume, with a keyword tool such as Keywords Everywhere or SEMrush. Keep tabs on these target keywords and your progress in ranking over time; we use Agency Analytics to monitor our rank. For B2B websites, do not fall in the trap of only pursuing high-volume keywords that are broad in nature. In fact, broad queries may generate a high volume of traffic but no return for the business.
  • H1, H2 tags: Every page on your website needs an H1 tag. This tag tells a search engine, “Here is the most important term describing my page.” The H1 should include a target keyword. Your H1 needs the appropriate HTML tags wrapping it; Simply styling text large or bold will not tell Google it’s an H1. You should also have several H2s on the page for organization, which optimally will include different natural variations of your keyword.
  • Title tag and slug: Your title tag should include your target keyword for the page and perhaps your business name, for example: <title>Keyword Here | Company Name</title>. Your page’s slug, or the URL string after your homepage URL, should also include your target keyword, for example: websitename.com/keyword-here. Keep it short and to the point! If your page is already existing with a different URL, you can still rank for the term with other technical optimizations. But if you’re running into issues, you can redirect the old URL to a new one that is optimized.
  • Image alt text: Every image should have an alt="keyword here" tag. Use your image alt text to use natural variations of your main target keyword. Google is smart enough to understand similarities and synonyms in the terms you used, so you can use variations. For example “software for finance companies” and “finance company SaaS” could both be acceptable variations.
    **Note: Google Image searches are an under-utilized awareness generator in the world of B2B marketing. ALT text can be a great semantic labeling system for a web page, but it can also be an awareness driver for prospective buyers that are conducting research on their pain points or readying for an upcoming presentation.
  • Page speed and performance: Google considers very heavily the performance of your website across devices. First, run a free page speed test like Google PageSpeed Insights to see how many seconds your website takes to load. Anything above 3 seconds is problematic for SEO. You can see which items are causing bloat, such as uncompressed images and code, too many scripts, or unnecessary redirects. Then you can have your development team mitigate some of the errors. Also consider mobile responsiveness -- design for mobile first, and reduce some on-page components and content to help streamline speed and user experience.

  • Robots.txt & nofollow: This file tells search engines how to crawl your website, and there are some critical factors that can hurt you in SEO. For example, developers will often build websites with a robots.txt “nofollow” or “noindex” which basically prevent the webpage from being crawled in search. While this is useful in the development stage before things are publication-ready, it will be traumatic for your SEO strategy. So make sure any nofollow or noindex tags pointing to your internal pages are removed before launch. You may also selectively use nofollow tags with links inside your website. For example, if you are referencing a third-party article, but you do not wish to endorse the article, you can use a rel="nofollow" to disassociate your website with an endorsement of the referred to website.

As a general rule, audit your website with a technical SEO checklist often. You should make sure every page contains the right tags, and you’re being mindful of page performance factors like speed and responsiveness. By posting regular content marketing and giving Google cues from your technical SEO work, you will see growth in organic traffic and leads to your site.

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