Here we talk about seo best practices in the world of SEO. Strategies are always subject to change. This is due to a variety of factors including algorithm updates, changing user behavior, new platforms or features launching, industry findings, and more.
As we enter the year, I thought it would be helpful to establish a set of best practices that will have the most positive impact on your SEO strategies.
By successfully implementing these best practices, B2B organizations can improve lead quality, build valuable relationships to support link building efforts, gain brand exposure through online communication, and better understand their target audience.
Here are some essential best practices and tips to help improve your search engine optimization strategy in 2020. Each best practice is backed by supporting evidence from industry research, thought leaders and publications. Enjoy!
1. Buyers Want Personalized Content
It’s important to think about buyers’ needs throughout the keyword research process, as well as during content creation. This means that your SEO team needs to guide content marketing strategies that focus on content which speaks directly to your buyer’s pain points.
Of course, this involves data collection and analysis to better understand your target audience and their needs. Once pain points have been discovered, you can guide strategies to create highly targeted blog posts, industry news articles, webinars, product videos, and more.
2. Make Sure You’re Aware of Google Changes
Search engine marketers can optimize content day and night, but when it comes down to it – Google does whatever it wants. Sometimes Google will display page tagging differently than you want, put your company / product name first and destroy your keyword strategy, or even display outdated information.
We know that Google wants to make sure that page titles and descriptions reflect the content offered on that page to provide the best user experience. So, what can we do as marketers? Make sure that you are aware of the changes that Google is making and try to determine why.
For example, if Google is displaying your product name first in title tags, it likely means that the search engine thinks this is most important to users. Could your other title tags benefit from this change as well? Of course, you’ll need to do some additional research by looking into search queries and visibility around the page, but it could lead to some interesting findings.
3. Create High-Quality Landing Pages
In theory, the more landing pages you create, the more opportunities you have to pick up organic search traffic. However, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of a well-constructed landing page to improve conversions and generate leads.
How do you know if your landing pages are high quality? A good place to start is by looking at how many people actually link to your pages and/or share them on social media. A helpful tool to help do this is BuzzSumo. If you have some existing pages that are generating links, you can look to replicate this strategy across website pages.
If your existing pages aren’t acquiring links or social shares, take a look at competitive search results around the terms that your pages are ranking for. Are those pages getting links or shares, and if so, what are those competitive pages offering that yours are not?
4. Take a Topical Approach to Keyword Research
In recent years, we have seen Google become much more intelligent when it comes to the user intent behind search queries (related searches, for example). With this, you must reconsider the keyword research process.
The key is to think beyond specific keyword targets and focus on targeting relevant topics or themes to develop content around. This means spending more time learning about your audience, looking at current search results to determine Google’s understanding around the topic, and developing content that aligns with your findings.
5. Match Content with User Intent
Keyword research can be both time consuming and challenging, especially when it comes to aligning your keyword list with specific content marketing tactics. In order to do this, you need to determine the type of content that appears in search engine results for priority keywords.
When analyzing search engine results for each keyword, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Which types of content assets are performing best in organic results?
- What type of user experience are these content assets offering?
- Are there any competitive websites ranking now in search results?
6. Make Sure to Leverage Schema
Google likes to show the searcher what they are looking for. With the recent changes we’ve seen in search results, Schema markup is becoming more important than ever. Let’s take a look at Google recent trends – Rich Snippets, Answer Boxes, AMP results, local businesses, reviews, etc.
Schema makes it easier for search engines to understand your website and helps ensure that your B2B brand is displayed correctly to users. This can help you appear for Google Answer Boxes and Rich Snippets, if Google decides to show those types of results.
7. Take a Question-Based Approach to Content Development
It’s important to explore opportunities to produce content that answers question-based queries with the overarching goal of ranking in top search engine results and driving relevant users to the website.
While Google Keyword Planner is often the preferred tool for keyword research, that’s not always the best approach when it comes to finding the questions that customers are asking.
When determining opportunities to create top-of-funnel content, you must consider longer-tail queries that do not necessarily have the high search volume that Keyword Planner bases suggestions on.
8. Secure Your Site
Search engines are making it a goal to provide a more secure search experience, even by going as far as to say they will offer a ranking boost to secure domains as well as noting which sites are securing in results.
Although transitioning to HTTPS can have temporary impacts on organic traffic, it’s the best decision for long term SEO results. Google not only uses HTTPS as a ranking signal, but announced that unsecured sites will be called out in search results.
9. Consider Chatbots for SEO
Chatbots can improve the user experience, boost engagement, and provide valuable data for SEOs. When thinking about engagement in online marketing, we typically think of a click; however, chatbots take engagement to the next level with an interactive conversation.
This presents the opportunity to get to know your audience better, ask targeted questions, add personalization to your messaging strategy, and bring the B2B brand to life.
10. Remember: Social Media Matters
While social media may provide more of an indirect benefit to SEO performance, a lack of social media visibility might mean your brand isn’t effectively connecting with their target audience across online channels audience.
At bare minimum, you should be sharing and distributing content through social channels to help boost visibility, support link acquisition and even gain exposure in search.
11. Be Flexible
A broad range of skills are required to be a successful search engine marketer; however one of the most important, yet often overlooked, is flexibility.
In an industry that is always shifting, the ability to adapt to change is crucial – whether you’re faced with re-branding, new product launches or even a change in client goals or expectations.
12. Dig Deeper Into Performance Reports
There are certainly misconceptions in the analysis of SEO tactics that need to be considered when evaluating performance and making informed decisions on what works and what needs to be improved.
The ability to understand and interpret SEO data is not only essential to tailor strategies, but it is also a desired employment skill in the marketing industry. 62 percent of CMOs believe digital marketing skills are most critical to their team’s accomplishments; 49 percent indicate data analytics.
13. Create More Extensive Content Pieces
More time and resources are being dedicated to content creation, and because of this the competition is heating up every year. In 2020, your SEO strategy should include goals that take your content marketing to the next level.
Start by creating longer pieces of content that offer great value to your target audience. While blog posts that are ~500 words are standard, your strategy should also incorporate more extensive assets like whitepapers, eBooks, guides and other premium content assets. These more elaborate pieces can be used to capture valuable customer data and get to know your audience more.
14. Don’t Forget About the Power of Infographics
With all this talk about video marketing and live video, let’s not underestimate the power of infographics.
This type of high quality, visual information naturally support link building efforts and organic search traffic. Not to mention, they also present the opportunity for repurposed content like SlideShare presentations, blog posts, social media graphics, and much more.
15. Keep Up with an Always-Changing Industry
As I’m sure many of you search engine marketers know, 2020 tips and best practices style blog posts are very popular this time of year. To be quite honest, it’s very difficult to set 2020 tips and best practices for an industry that is constantly changing. And, that’s where this tip comes from.
Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the industry – both internally and client-facing.
While there are many SEO best practices and tips for B2B organizations to consider in 2020, these are some of the most important ones that came to my attention over the past few months.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.