Build it, and they will come. That’s what Dan thought when he devised his B2B content strategy. But four months into it, he wondered where he had gone wrong. His site had received little traffic from his content efforts. Unfortunately, he had made the same mistake many B2B marketers do.
What Content Can Do For You
From one-man shops to enterprise-level corporations, B2B businesses are investing significant resources in developing unique content. Whether it is in the form of blog posts, tips, how-to’s, or advice columns, such content can help an organization differentiate itself from the competition and keep customers coming back to their site.
But like Dan, many B2B marketers stop there. This is a mistake. To fully capitalize on your content investment, you need to build SEO into the creation process. Doing so can help you establish your site as a subject matter expert, tap into seasonal traffic swings, and garner valuable external links. Ultimately, it will enable you to take your content to the next level and really make it pay off.
How To Make It Happen
To get the most out of your unique content, follow these four tips:
1. Build a scalable taxonomy
For a content or publication site, taxonomy can be one of the most important structural elements. However, webmasters often create a site with a taxonomy that is too flat, resulting in just a handful of category pages to organize hundreds of different articles. Instead, strive to organize like content into specific subcategories. Doing so will help ensure that search engines are more aware of your site’s depth of content.
For example, organizing all articles related to “small business tax deductions” together will better position your site as an authority on “small business tax deductions”. Creating specific subcategories for popular searches will also benefit the user by allowing them to find all related articles in one central location.
2. Pay attention to search demand
Content farms are the newest target Google has painted a bulls-eye on, and with good reason. There is a big difference between content farming and content marketing. The former creates poor quality content with the sole purpose of ranking; the latter creates quality content for users, and rankings are a byproduct. This crackdown on content farms does not mean content writers shouldn’t leverage traffic and seasonality tools to guide their content creation.
Integrating the use of online trending tools into your existing content creation workflow will ensure that you’re publishing the right type of content when your users need it (e.g. tax articles during tax season). Keeping an eye on your internal site search statistics will also give you insights into where your content gaps lie.
3. Source articles
B2B content and publication sites are typically chock full of useful facts, tips, studies, and best practices – the type of information your target audience is likely to share. Unfortunately though, without proper sourcing, the external linking benefit is often lost. The best way to ensure optimized linking is included when users share your content is to make it easy for them to include such links. Implementing social media sharing buttons on content pages is a great way to encourage quick and easy sharing. While links from social media sites may not be driving significant linking value, the traffic gains and indirect SEO benefits are worth the effort.
Another way to encourage optimized linking is to provide your users the HTML code to do so. Providing pre-formatted HTML code, with the article title or description and optimized links, will eliminate a bit of coding work for your users as well as increase the odds that the article is shared. Source attribution metatags should also be included on all articles to ensure the engines can identify the original source.
4. Leverage authors as link builders
If you’ve sourced your articles effectively, those content pieces should begin driving external links back to your site. But your linking strategy should not stop there. Many content sites using guest authors should be looking to leverage these assets as well. Guest authors often have their own sites where they promote their expertise. Getting your authors excited about promoting their work will help drive valuable links (and traffic) back to your site. Whether they manage their own site, or control a profile on another site, encouraging them to link to their recent work will increase their own awareness and potentially drive significant link value to your site.
Content is definitely king today, but it offers marketers a lot more than differentiation and engagement. Smart marketers will incorporate SEO into the creation process to fully capitalize on their investment in this area.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.