With the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, B2B marketers must now focus on wrapping up 2012 and preparing projections and budgets for the upcoming year. A common theme we have seen with our clients is to define a few “big” Web enhancements that will be associated to B2B search engine marketing in the coming year.
Website functionality requests are usually a component of B2B SEO that need to be budgeted in larger organizations, since the website is often managed by a different department than marketing. SEO is often a small component of the Web team’s overall priorities and responsibilities in any given year.
Here are three Web initiatives that we’re recommending our clients budget for as we look forward to strategic SEO planning in the coming year.
Note that mobile site development and broader site redesigns could certainly be in your budget proposals for 2013 (and appropriately based on target markets). This column puts a greater emphasis on enhancements specific to existing site structure and functionality, and not necessarily broader architectural changes.
Implementation Of Authorship Tagging
Authorship and its impact on AuthorRank could represent solid wins for B2B search engine marketers. The reason is that a successful authorship implementation could positively impact the organization’s overall brand presence, establishing thought leadership organizationally and individually.
Potential customers and prospects may see your organization’s thought leaders in search engine results, driving click-thru rates and improving social media presence.
Authorship has additional search-related implications as well, as Google’s search ranking algorithm continues to develop.
- In late September, Google has confirmed that if a user returns to the search results after reading an author-tagged search result for a certain period of time, they will add three additional links to similar articles from the same author below the originally-clicked link.
- Could the relationship between email marketing, personalized search, and authorship, blend together to form a more comprehensive search result experience? Imagine impacting search results (through authorship visibility) of your target audiences directly through productive email marketing campaign development.
- Search marketers are still seeking to understand and test the relationships between Google+ profiles (directly linked to authorship), Google+ pages, and their impact on the ranking of company-owned assets (webpages, blog posts, etc).
For B2B organizations concerned about brand development and thought leadership in search engine results, authorship tagging is a critical first step.
Implementation Of A Tag Management Solution
Tag management solutions allow B2B search engine marketers more control over tracking elements associated to site performance and activity metrics, in particular.
SEOmoz has a good overview of tag management and the specific functionality released in Google’s new (and free) Tag Management solution. The two immediate benefits for B2B search engine marketers are:
- Ability to manage tagging information (analytics, remarketing, and hopefully, A/B testing in the future) in one location.
- Ability to control execution without requiring the IT/Web team’s direct involvement, thereby speeding up implementation time.
With proper implementation, B2B search engine marketers also have the ability to better track and manage events and campaign information. This brings greater flexibility (and responsibility) for tracking into the marketing department and letting the Web team focus on change requests and development that directly impacts and benefits IT.
Schema.Org Tagging Adoption
Schema.org might not be for every B2B website, but we’re seeing a growing number of B2B organizations that typically work through dealers and distributors, exploring e-commerce opportunities directly to businesses and consumers.
- More detailed product and product-offer information, which could be valuable when outlining more complex B2B solutions.
- Increased visibility in the SERPs associated to rich snippets for a product in the search results, which may positively impact click-thru rates on those results.
In coordination with authorship tagging above, B2B organizations can seek to leverage better visibility for both content marketing and product marketing assets in organic search results moving forward.
Is your B2B organization considering any of these website recommendations in the coming year? Are your priorities for site enhancements dramatically different? I would love to read your perspective and opinion via comments below.
Perspective On SEO Fundamentals & Best Practices
Don’t forget pressing forward to get missing or incorrect SEO-centric site elements implemented. While new innovation is exciting, SEO-specific page elements (HTML Titles, Meta Tags, etc.) and site architecture are more important than ever.
The reason for this is two-fold:
- In my experience, a site with good keyword and linking strategies can achieve dramatic organic search improvements if site-specific issues such as URL structure or crawlability problems are solved
- As mobile device usage and social media gain greater traction, HTML fundamentals make distribution and optimization that much easier.
These types of SEO fundamentals are essential for long-term success. If you are struggling to make a decision on which way to go first, my recommendation is to get your house in order before diving into more advanced B2B SEO initiatives.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.