Over the years, companies in the B2B landscape have become a lot more aware of successful digital marketing strategies. Now there’s hardly any B2B brand that doesn’t realize the importance of SEO for online visibility and long-term growth. However, I still come across brands that continue to make the same mistakes that negatively affect their SEO.

In this post, I will discuss some of the common SEO mistakes that could be particularly harmful for B2B brands. Let’s take a look:

Mistake #1: Misaligning Their SEO and PPC Efforts

Some B2B companies make the mistake of focusing too much on efforts that will get them instant results with little to no long-term value. This often involves PPC campaigns with a goal to drive conversions. While there’s nothing wrong with this, some go so far as to completely ignore their SEO needs.

And as expected, they wouldn’t be able to get much organic traffic or boost their search rankings this way. Once they stop putting money into their PPC campaigns, their traffic also stops. So there is no long-term result when you only focus on instant results through PPC.

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid PPC altogether, as it takes months to see the results of your organic SEO efforts. During that time, you will still need PPC to drive valuable traffic so you can make sales and boost your revenue.

Instead of choosing one or the other, you should learn to seamlessly align your SEO and PPC efforts. To do so, you need to have a clear understanding of how SEO differs from PPC and what are their unique pros and cons. This will help you come up with a strategy to balance out the cons of one method with the pros of the other.

You should focus on getting long-term organic results through SEO and occasionally amplify your efforts with PPC. Here are some tips to get this right:

  • Make a list of the top-performing keywords in your PPC campaigns and use them into your SEO efforts. Develop content ideas based on those keywords and optimize your organic content with them.These keywords have already proven themselves to be relevant to your target audience, helping you drive high-quality paid traffic. So there’s a good chance they will also help you drive organic traffic if you play your cards right.
  • Similarly, see what seems to be working in your SEO efforts. Which keywords are you ranking for and which of them are driving the most traffic to your site? Further boost your visibility for these keywords by targeting them in your PPC campaigns.
  • Long-tail keywords often cater to user search intent and are therefore, more relevant and more likely to drive high-quality traffic. Instead of just using them for your SEO efforts alone, you should also use them in your PPC ads to increase your visibility with a relevant audience.
  • Come up with highly effective messaging ideas by comparing the creative messaging of both PPC ads and SEO content. Look at the meta descriptions and titles of your top-performing organic pages. And compare this against your top-performing PPC ads to come up with even more effective messaging.

Mistake #2: Creating Too Much Short-Form Content

Short-form content is easy to create. So B2B brands that want to produce as much content as possible may resort to creating a lot of short blog posts just for the sake of it. This stems from the idea that Google prioritizes fresh content.

They believe that the more new content they produce, the higher they will rank in search results. So they commit a huge content marketing mistake by creating too much short-form content. I have come across B2B websites with 300 to 400-word blog posts that convey little to no significant information.

While Google does prioritize fresh content, not every website that produces fresh content regularly makes the cut. Your content needs to have depth and value as well. It should be informative and compelling enough to engage readers. It should be able to make them stay on your website for a long time, and perhaps even check out your other content or your product pages.

This is especially true for B2B websites, since you need to engage an audience that seeks credible information with actionable ideas. That’s why long-form content tends to perform much better for SEO, as short-form content cannot sufficiently meet those informational needs.

In fact, a study by Capsicum Media Works found that the top-ranking sites have an average content length of 2000-2500 words. Interestingly, the average content length simultaneously decreases as you go further down the list of search results.

This doesn’t mean you should aim to consistently produce 2000-word blog posts if you don’t have the resources. Perhaps you could do one or two 1000-word blog posts every week and then produce one 2000-word blog post every month. But don’t go lower than 1000 words, because you won’t be able to fit much valuable information into the post otherwise.

That said, you shouldn’t sacrifice the quality of information either. This is a very easy mistake to make when you’re trying to produce long-form content on the regular. Your first priority should be on providing value to the audience.

 

Create blog posts telling them what to do, why they should do it, and how they should do it. Your content should be able to help them solve a problem or answer their top queries. In other words, it should always have highly valuable information that the readers can use in real life.

Even if you can only produce one lengthy blog post per month or one 1000-word blog post every two weeks, it should be fine as long as you convey valuable information through quality writing. You can also keep your content fresh by picking some of your old content and repurposing it to add more value.

 

You can use content research tools like BuzzSumo to brainstorm ideas for high-value content. Run a search of a relevant keyword and the tool will pull up results of the top-performing content on that topic. Look at the topics that are getting the most engagement so you can get a clear idea of what your target audience likes.

Come up with ideas to build on these topics. Can you put together more updated content with fresher information? Can you provide better, more actionable tips than these top-performing pieces? Do you know any more points to add to the most popular list posts? Asking these questions will help you come up with highly valuable and informative long-form content.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Content Readability

Google pays close attention to how visitors interact with your site. They will consider factors like how long a visitor stays on your site (dwell time) and how quickly they leave without checking out other pages (bounce rate). When people stay for a long time on your site and engage with your content, the search engine will assume that you’re giving them the information they need.

That’s why content readability plays an important role in your website rankings. When your content is easier to read, there’s a chance that people will continue to read till the end. They can quickly skim through the piece to see if it contains the information they need. But if it’s too difficult to read, they may give up even before they start and leave your site soon after.

Some B2B brands completely ignore this factor because they’re trying to focus too much on trying to sound like professionals. I’ve noticed B2B content with huge blocks of text and an abundance of jargon and complicated sentences.

Just because your content is long-form and informative doesn’t mean it should be difficult to read. I would suggest breaking up your blog posts into more readable sections. Here’s how:

  1. Add tons of relevant, high-quality images where possible to make it more visually appealing.
  2. Break up blocks of text into shorter paragraphs with no more than four sentences per paragraph.
  3. Keep your sentences short and easier to process. Break up a long sentence into two or more shorter sentences.
  4. Add bullet points and subheadings where possible to improve scannability.

Further, you can also use tools like the Hemingway Editor to analyze your text for readability. This app will highlight some parts of your text that could be improved upon to make them easier to read. This will help you develop high-quality content that’s easy to read for every audience type.

Mistake #4: Not Auditing Their Inbound Links

I’ve come across a ton of clients who make this mistake. The general idea is that inbound links are good for SEO, and getting more inbound links will improve search rankings. But that’s not always the case. Google assesses the quality of those links as well.

So if most of your inbound links are coming from spammy websites with low DA or irrelevant websites, your rankings will likely take a hit. You need to regularly look for new backlinks coming to your site using the Google Search Console and manually audit them for quality and relevance.

Ideally, you should only be getting inbound links from high authority websites that are relevant to your industry. If a manual audit seems to grueling, you can also use the free Backlink Checker tool from Small SEO Tools. This tool will automatically pull up the top domains referring to your site so you can assess them for quality.

You can clean up bad backlinks by contacting the owner of the website and asking them to remove the link to your site. If they don’t respond and you have no other option, you can also disavow these bad links. All you need to do is create a list of links to disavow, visit the disavow links tool page on Google, and then upload your list.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the most common SEO mistakes that I’ve witnessed from B2B brands. Refer to this list and make the most of my suggestions and tips to avoid or overcome these mistakes. Got any other mistakes to add to this list? Let me know in the comments.

You can clean up bad backlinks by contacting the owner of the website and asking them to remove the link to your site. If they don’t respond and you have no other option, you can also disavow these bad links. All you need to do is create a list of links to disavow, visit the disavow links tool page on Google, and then upload your list.

Author Bio:


“Gaurav Sharma is the Co-founder of Attrock, a result driven Digital Marketing Agency. He’s a certified Google Analytics and Adwords specialist who regularly contributes to reputed publications like the Huffington Post, TechCrunch and many more. He leverages his experience and knowledge as a digital marketer to help influencers monetize their efforts and eCommerce and SaaS companies grow their revenues. When he isn’t inspiring his team of devoted individuals to achieve more, he can be found globe-trotting, sampling all that the world has to offer.”

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