Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important tactics for marketing your business online. However, it can also be difficult to master. Since there are many different elements that go into a strong SEO strategy, it's easy to make mistakes, which can hold you back from being successful.
However, with a few changes to your approach, you can fix these mistakes and turn your strategy around. This means making sure you're targeting the right keywords, not simply copying your competitors' content, and more. Understanding what not to do is just as important as knowing what you should be doing.
Let's take a look at three common mistakes that many B2B businesses make with their SEO strategies—and what you can do to correct them!
- B2B businesses need to focus on keywords specific to their target audience and industry.
- Copying competitors' content too closely can have negative consequences for SEO.
- Changing your SEO strategy too early can ruin the progress you're making.
1. You Aren't Targeting the Right Keywords
Strong keywords act as the foundation of any SEO strategy. While there are many other components that will influence whether or not your SEO is successful, your choice of keywords will determine whether your content appears in front of the right audience. If you're not targeting the best keywords, you likely won't gain the attention you need to grow – even if you're doing everything else correctly.
When you're working for a B2B business, however, you need to do more than just target popular keywords and phrases. When there are so many different niches, industries, and potential companies you could work with, you need to get specific about who you're trying to target. In order to do this, you need to refine your keyword strategy and select phrases or terms that are unique to your target demographic. Keyword research tools, like the Keyword Explorer from Moz, can help you find the right words to target:
Consider the way your target audience uses search engines, including the specific terms, phrases, or words they search for online. When it comes to B2B clients, this typically includes more industry-specific terms, such as jargon or technical language. Understanding exactly what kind of terminology your target audience uses when researching your products or services can help you refine your keyword strategy, in order to better target potential leads.
2. You're Copying Your Competitors' Content
Drawing inspiration from what your competitors are doing is a great way to save time and money, especially when researching topic ideas. Monitoring the content your competitors create can help you better understand what your audience is looking for and how they connect with different pieces. However, you shouldn't pull too directly from your competitors' work.
Whenever you create a new piece of content, you want to ensure that it is both relevant and interesting to your target audience. If your competition has already covered the same topic, there is a strong chance your potential customers won't have any interest in hearing the same information again. Copying your competitors' content directly can also hurt your SEO, as Google and other search engines penalize duplicate content.
If you're going to pull ideas from your competition, be sure to look for new ways to approach the topic or provide a unique spin to the information, as you can see in the example of similar pieces of content above. Consider what you can add, include, or change that will make the content relevant and useful to your target audience, and be sure to make the piece entirely unique. Use your own voice, research, and conclusions to create content your audience will be excited about. Even if your competition has already put out something similar, you can always make your version better and more comprehensive.
3. You Aren't Giving Your Strategy Time To Take Effect
SEO can take some time to really take root. In order for your content to start ranking highly on search engine results pages, bots and human visitors alike will need time to become familiar with it. If you're making changes to your plan too early, before seeing the results, you may be hurting any progress that you're making.
In order to make it to the top of a search engine results list, bots need to understand the value of your content. This means they will gauge how your audience is interacting with your pieces, and if they are getting a lot of attention and engagement. If you're changing, removing, or shifting your keywords before your audience has a chance to discover your content, the process will need to start all over again.
A solid SEO strategy can take a few months to really start showing results. Properly monitoring your content during this time is crucial. While you want to give your strategy time to set in, you also want to be aware of what is resonating with your target audience and what is not. As needed, make small adjustments to boost your strategy, but avoid any large-scale changes until you've given your content a chance to find its audience.
Bonus: You're Locking Away Most of Your Content
Putting some of your best content behind a paywall can be a great way to encourage sales and convert more leads. However, if you're putting all your content behind closed doors, you may be hurting your SEO – and discouraging new customers from making purchases.
Search engine crawlers can only comb through public pieces. If you're putting all your high-quality content behind a locked page, therefore, those pieces will not appear in search engine results lists. Additionally, if you're not displaying high-quality content for potential audience members to engage with, they won't be able to learn about your brand, what you offer, or the problems you can solve. To appeal to both search engine crawlers and new leads, you need to ensure you're keeping some strong content visible to the public.
If you would like to have a paid content strategy, consider how it can fit into the strategy you've already created. Keeping basic, informative pieces open to the public but locking more in-depth guides, tutorials, or instructions behind a paid screen is a great place to start. Always ensure that you're keeping your content balanced, and you're providing enough information on your public pages to enhance your SEO and connect with customers.
Making mistakes with your SEO strategy can prevent you from reaching the top of search engine results pages and attracting new leads. Fortunately, many of the major SEO mistakes are easily avoidable. When you take the appropriate steps to solve the problems holding your SEO back, you can become more successful and grow your company online.
Let's recap the solutions to the four major B2B SEO mistakes you may be making:
- Target keywords that are a strong fit to your target demographic.
- Create content that is unique and appealing to your audience.
- Give your SEO strategy enough time to take effect.
- Keep your SEO content free to the public, so search engine crawlers can access it.
How do you think solving these problems will help your SEO? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.