Everything you need to know about SEO, delivered every Thursday.
Ten Copywriting Tips for B2B SEO
B2B copywriting is tough stuff. Instead of, “Wipes clean with a damp cloth,” you may find yourself trying to simultaneously explain and extol the virtues of some complex mechanical system while being creative and persuasive at the same time. Copywriting for B2B SEO is even tougher. Here are ten tips to help you succeed.
Watch the lingo
Make sure to use generic terms on the page. In most cases, B2B searchers are more likely to use generic terms than brand names. Proprietary brand names tend to be unusual, so searchers Googling for one of your brand names will likely find your site quite easily. Go ahead and use the brand name in copy, but make sure you also include the generic terms just as much, if not more.
Keep page copy focused
Search engines attempt to discern the topical focus of the page. Don’t confuse them. Keep the content of a given page focused on the page’s keyword strategy. If you have multiple topics, better to put them on multiple pages. Don’t try to use a single page to go after numerous unrelated keywords.
Remember the long tail
Before you even start to write copy for a given page, you better know the likely long-tail words B2B searchers may also include in their queries. While the keyword focus of the page may be “conveyor systems,” your target prospect for that page may also be entering words like “distribution”, “sortation”, and “full-case” when they’re searching for a solution to their problems. Good B2B SEO copyrighting seamlessly includes these long-tail words.
Watch the word order
In some cases, word order doesn’t matter for PPC. In SEO, however, word order matters a lot. Obviously, you don’t want to create stilted copy, but if your keyword research shows that “LTL shipping” is more popular than “shipping LTL,” make sure you use the more popular word order more prevalently in your copy.
Watch singular and plural usage
Whether you treat a keyword in copy as singular or plural makes a difference. When you search for “healthcare consultants” and for “healthcare consultant”, you’ll often get different results even in the top three to five results on Google. Know which keyword you’re going after, and write copy accordingly. (This goes for other things, too, like title tags.)
Long copy is good
In B2B, long copy is a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to explain attributes and benefits that aren’t readily apparent. It gives you the opportunity to differentiate your company’s products and services. Longer copy is also good for the search engines. It gives them a better opportunity to assess the focus of the page and the depth of information on the page. When you write long copy, however, remember to also break it up with keyword-rich headers and tag them with H1 or H2 tags.
Keep page headers keyword-rich
Creative, engaging, keyword-rich B2B headlines are tough to write, even for some of the best B2B copywriters. If you’ve got a creative, engaging, persuasive headline, but it isn’t keyword-rich, make sure you use other tactics on the page. In some cases, you may want to stylize the creative headline and put it in an image. If so, write keyword-rich ALT text for this headline image, and put the “generic” headline somewhere else on the page and code it with an H1 tag. The site visitor will get the impact of the visual headline, and the search engine will get the right idea about the content and focus of the page.
Include captions for images
Text-based captions are a great way to get more keyword-rich copy on the page. Many consumer products don’t require captions; a picture of a red Polo shirt is pretty self-explanatory. The nature of business-to-business products, however, is typically not readily apparent simply from a picture. Whether it’s a single line or a short paragraph, write captions for your images. Make sure you include keywords in the captions, and that those keywords match the keyword strategy of each page. Good B2B copywriting uses captions as another opportunity to sell to the prospect and another opportunity to influence search results.
Write with anchor text in mind
Internal linking is a good thing. It helps robots find other content on your site. And the anchor text you use for text links can help with SEO. Before you start writing, know what pages you could or should link to from the copy you’re about to write. Then determine what the optimal anchor text should be for each link. Once you know the optimal anchor text, you can incorporate it seamlessly into copy. If you wait until the site is done to do text-based internal linking, you’ll have to edit the copy you previously wrote. Good B2B copywriting flows smoothly through the desired anchor text.
Customize ALT tags to the page
Although not visible copy, ALT text is important. First, make sure you actually create ALT tags for images. Then, if you use the same image more than once on the site, make sure you vary the text. Most B2B companies don’t have rich image libraries. Accordingly, they tend to frequently use the images they do have. Too often, if an image is used multiple times throughout a site, no one thinks to alter the ALT tags; usually the web designer will simply copy the ALT text from another page where the image already resides. If you have the same image on more than one page, customize the ALT text according to the keyword strategy for that page. For instance, the same image may be used on a page whose keyword focus is “material handling systems” and on a page whose keyword focus is “conveyor systems.” Make sure the ALT text matches the keyword focus of the respective page.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.