Search engines are hungry for content. And by hungry, I mean starving.
Google algorithms are constantly trolling the web for new and relevant information to deliver to users so that when they ask, “what to do with old office chairs?” there’s a specific answer for that—and plenty of context to boot.
Your company’s blog, the place where content is most often renewed, is one of your best tools for keeping these SEO beasts happy, and therefore your website visible to the masses. But that doesn’t make it easy. It’s important to calibrate your B2B blogging strategy so that you’re always visible to search engines.
Blog on the regular
Blogging for business takes time. And effort. And ideas.
Lots of ideas.
For a B2B blog to be successful, new content is ideally posted multiple times every week. In fact, inbound marketing software leader Hubspot found that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5x more traffic than companies that published between 0 to 4 blogs per month.
Like I said—lots of ideas. But you might be surprised just how easily blogging content can surface if you know where to look. Start with:
- Industry trends. What’s new in your industry and your client verticals? What issues exist? What’s emerging in the coming year, 5 years or decade into the future? Discuss these industry trends and let your readers know that you’re at the forefront of change.
- Specific expertise. Every business has a team of experts who understand your specific area of business and your customers’ needs. Use their brainpower as fodder for your blog.
- Company culture. Bring life to your blog by showcasing your business’ people and its company culture. Talk about community service outings, teambuilding events and “Bring Your Dog to Work Day.”
- Q&As. Maybe it’s the back office data input staffer, your CEO or a happy client. No matter who is the subject, Q&A interviews are an excellent (and easy) way to expose your company’s history, competitive advantages, personality and successes from multiple angles.
- How-to guides. Ask your sales team about customers’ and potential customers’ common questions and pain points. Then, walk them through those issues in an easy-to-digest how-to guide.
- Case studies. Have a success story? Share it in the form of a case study.
- Get visual by designing infographics that make industry data or concepts easy to understand. (Tip: If you’re not a graphic designer, Piktochart offers a free and easy way to make your own infographics.)
- Blogging doesn’t have to be all about writing. Post a video! (But do be sure to include surrounding copy to explain what the video is about and to help search engines find it.)
It sounds like a lot, but don’t let new content overwhelm you. Use what your company already has on deck. There could be an abundance of blogging material disguising itself as a marketing leave-behind, a conference presentation, a webinar, a management team discussion or even a comment left on a previous blog post. Pull from these resources and repurpose the content.
Also – have others blog for you. Guest blogging is an excellent (and easy) way to create new content. Plus, guest bloggers are likely willing to share your post on their social media channels, further driving web traffic.
Capitalize on keywords
Your ideas will go further if keywords are strategically interspersed within the copy. That is, use words and phrases that people might use to find you on the Internet.
Online tools like Google Analytics can show you different words and phrases people search for before they come to your website. Even more, inbound marketing software, such as Hubspot, can help you manage and track your keywords. Once you have an idea of how people are coming to you, build blogging topics around those keywords, so they can easily be maximized in the copy.
Of course, be natural when planting keywords into your blog. You don’t want your content to suffer at the expense of trying to jam keyword phrases in places where they don’t belong. But make it a point to actively, and tastefully, place keywords that attract readers.
Also – think about how you use search engines. You ask a lot of questions, don’t you? Include a question or two – or pull from phrases (long-tail keywords) that would lead readers to your website.
Make use of metadata
The content of a B2B blog is only part of how search engines find and promote your blog and website. The blog’s headline, meta description, tagged keywords and alt descriptions can all help make a blog SEO-friendly.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Try to keep headlines below 60 characters. Search engines won’t use more than that.
- Keep meta descriptions, or short summaries of what the blog is about, under 160 characters.
- Tag the relevant keywords included in a post; but don’t overdo it. Stick to one or two target keywords.
- Include “alt text” with images, or text that tells viewers the nature or contents of a graphic, and add a more thorough description of any images or videos in the blog if your CMS includes a place for a long-form description.
- In headlines, sub-headers, meta descriptions, tags, alt text and images descriptions—use keywords liberally but naturally.
- Headlines, specifically, should use <h1> tags, which tell search engines they’re important.
- If you’re using WordPress or another CMS that accommodates plug-ins, incorporate ones that help you with SEO (like this one from Yoast) and analytics (like this one from MonsterInsights).
Have other great B2B blogging tips? Tell me about it—leave a comment below!