Talking about the SEO best practices for B2B brands, it is essential to view it through the prism of the latest Google algorithmic update of 2020, popularly called the January 2020 core update, to get the full virtuous view of the transcending & dynamic SEO landscape. The marketers need to learn & optimize their digital marketing game to fit in the framework of Google across omnichannel.

As the research methodologies of the prospects & customers have evolved, so have the results being reflected on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Britney Muller, the Senior SEO Scientist at Moz advises targeting “link-intent keywords”.

She elucidates that leveraging the keyword statistics & keyword facts will give marketers an idea to write impeccable pieces of content around link-intent keywords.

This will help brands build natural links to their websites as the keyword statistics reflects on the searches the target audience naturally wishes to refer to.

The SEO trends for 2020 will focus on reevaluating users’ intent behind the purchase. The use of intent data will become vital in analyzing the customers’ expectations & accordingly articulating the pieces of content.

According to Eli Schwart, Growth Consultant & Advisor & Former Director of Growth & SEO at SurveyMonkey, the January 2020 core update by Google is focused on featuring an intent-based result for the customers rather than simply prioritizing the results based on keywords or strings.

He says, “Content will truly have to be written to user intent rather than just strings that a user might search…Keyword research tools may even become less relevant with the primary dataset for content creation coming from suggested queries.”

Evidently, the marketers will need to use the latest Martech tools for a precognitive gaze on the buying intent of their prospects which will help to articulate an impactful content strategy. As the focus will be more on addressing the intent of the end-users for search, long-tail-keywords will retain vitality while single strings will lose essence in the long run.

Moving into 2020, marketers will need to understand the SEO best Practices for B2B brands & what is it that their audiences really want from them. Optimizing audience engagement & interacting with the audiences face-to-face as well as on various platforms across the web will allow marketers to optimize content for users.

With its never-ending spirals of algorithmic updates, Google is becoming perceptively more accurate on how to prioritize search intent to publish results across the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

This blog article will help you focus on the SEO best practices for B2B brands in 2020 so that accordingly you can devise the ways to optimize the organic traffic on your websites, can tactfully guide them down the conversion funnels to achieve the desired revenue goals & can optimize the experiences of your end-users for fueling brand advocacy & customer retention:

1. Optimize Your Content to Feature in Featured Snippets: This will Optimize the Organic CTR as Google has deduplicated the results on the first page of SERPs:

A lot has happened since the January 2020 core algorithmic update by Google. Though Google proclaims that just because your website traffic or CTRs have dwindled, doesn’t essentially mean that the quality of your content is bad, it’s hard to digest the facts if you’re on the receiving end.

Web pages in featured snippets will no longer be featuring in repeated organic listings. So, there is no “Rank-0” for the SERPs now.

According to Mark Traphagen, VP of Product Marketing & Training for seoClarity, “There was no statistically significant difference in organic Google traffic sent to these pages after they lost the duplicate listing on page one, based on an analysis of real traffic data for featured snippet listings across multiple industries.”

However, the marketers need to optimize their content for the featured snippets to increase the probability of it being published under featured-snippet on SERPs. Though the phenomenon of deduplication wouldn’t impact the video featured snippets, the marketers need to admit that the change is global & will continue to influence even the variants of featured snippets such as the knowledge panel.

Though the deduplication wouldn’t affect the  Google Search Console Performance reports, marketers need to be prepared for this change brewing in the SEO industry to optimize their SEO best practices.

According to a report by searchenginepeople.com, as much as 54.68% of clicks from Google originate from Featured Snippets – implying that fetch more than 50% of the organic clicks from the search engines.

2. Optimize for BERT & User-Intent:

BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is one of the core Google core Algorithmic updates that was introduced last year. BERT equips the search engines to display a richer understanding of language. The algorithm looks at words before & after entities & context pre-trained on Wikipedia & is essentially bi-directional in nature.

This algorithm is pre-trained unsupervised natural language processing (NLP) model that can outlast 11 of the most common NLP tasks after being fine-tuned. The algorithm is essentially a rocket booster for natural language processing & understanding & it follows that re-evaluating the users’ search intent & inculcating them in the content strategy can help marketers feature high on the search-engine-result-pages (SERPs) to optimize the total number of clicks & conversions.

Futuristic marketers with vision understand that the use of intent-data has become more important than ever before in the ever-transcendent B2B world & it will help them not only score higher number of organic clicks & high-quality traffic for optimizing sales conversions but will also help them optimize their after-sales services & endeavors for branding, omnichannel reputation management & customer retention.

Marketers need to analyze the purchase journey of the prospects & deduce where they fit-in that journey so that accordingly they can come up with the best answers to suffice the search-intent of the prospects.

Furthermore, content should abide by the norms of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness & Trustworthiness) and marketers needn’t forget that E-A-T has always been an indispensable part of brands’ content strategy.

Optimizing for BERT helps marketers realize their core bottom-line objectives beyond sales.

Keith Goode, Senior SEO Strategist at IBM quotes, “Additionally, we’re going to have to extend our efforts far beyond the purchase in that journey to include content that addresses needs after the sale – support, opportunities to advocate, community-building and staying relevant for future purchases.”

Employing social listening to understand what sort of conversations your personas are striking or engaging with across multiple channels on the web & creating user-generated content can help marketers optimize their SEO practices for B2B brands as per BERT.

3. Optimize for the Foundational SEO: Titles, Metas, Headers, alt text, site speed, robots.txt, site maps, UX, CRO, Analytics, etc.:

The cores of SEO such as title tags, meta descriptions, alt text, etc. still hold as much importance as they did before. These practices ensure that to make your valuable pieces of content accessing across the web all sorts of foundational SEO indexing are required. 

4. Optimize for Schema markup:

Optimizing for Schema markup will be amongst the SEO best practices for B2B brands in 2020. This includes optimizing for FAQ schema, breadcrumbs & business info. The News Schema is also being featured in voice searches.

5. Focus on Creating niche-Specific & High-Quality Content:

Marketers need to research what is more relevant to their industry & accordingly focus on creating useful pieces of content being researched by the prospects in their niches.

According to Jesse McDonald, Global SEO Strategist at IBM, “The goal of switching the mentality to more of a topic-focus is to create content that addresses an entire conversation holistically as opposed to just worrying about the single keyword a page should be targeting.”

Marketers should focus on adopting a deliberate & methodologically organized cluster of content that delivers comprehensive & intuitive topical experiences. Finally competitive benchmarking lies at the heart of an optimized content strategy.

Avoid content cannibalization i.e. a detrimental SEO strategy of targeting the same keyword across several web pages. Keyword stuffing is disadvantageous for your search ranks. 

Also, the marketers should keep in mind that the users are driven by multi-intent at different stages of their buying cycles & accordingly, should route their content strategy.

Certain specific data-points are more helpful in optimizing users’ experiences than others.

Read more on: How to use Data to improve B2B Personalization in 2020

6. Integrate Your Information Architecture (IA) with the proper understanding of Entities & Topical:

As the keyword game continues to fade away marketers will learn to focus on long-tail-keyword phrases & awareness of keyword buckets. They should inspect what are the entities, people, places, topical things that audiences are searching for in their niche.

The brands’ websites should be organized in-a-way that helps audiences research about their preferred topics.

7. Implement Hreflang & Canonical Tags Correctly for  optimized International SEO  as well as localization of your Content:

Hreflang attribute & canonical tags are signals to search engines and are important while architecting a comprehensive international SEO strategy. These factors along with the search engine’s algorithmic dissection help alternate versions of a page rank higher.

Canonical tags help to signal the official version of a URL whereas Hreflang tags are useful when matching a correct piece of content to local users, speaking a different language.

Motoko Hunt, president, AJPR, states why it is important to invest in localization of content in the world of international SEO:

“Many global websites have poorly translated content that hasn’t been edited for the local tongue… It’s not the placement of the keywords, it’s about how well your content is written for the local audience.”

8. Optimize Technical SEO Skills for Boosting Users’ Experiences (UX):

Use Experience will be one of the key delineators of brand success in 2020 & technical SEO can help you with that in the following ways:

  1. The marketers will need to optimize the website loading time & page loading speed
  2. To reignite website conversions developers might need to redesign page templates & re-engineer the way assets are loaded on their websites
  3. A technical SEO ecosystem fueled by enhanced JavaScript frameworks usage will help improve the overall landing page experience of the users & will also enhance their experiences once they leave the website. Improved personalization would aid to repeat visits & conversions & would positively impact the drip marketing & retargeting campaigns
  4. Personalization of JS frameworks & SEO automation can help bigger websites, where machine learning with Python can  pave the way for optimized conversions

9. Optimize for Mobile SEO:

Marketers need to optimize their websites for mobile also need to study mobile SERPs to further optimize their mobile rankings.

According to Kris Jones, Founder & CEO of LSEO.com, “Build sites for mobile-first, then make them compatible for desktop … That way those sites don’t have to be optimized for speed after launch.”

Marketers should compare the desktop & mobile search results for the search engines before they deduce a strategy to optimize their bottom-lines through mobile SEO optimization.

10. Assimilate Structured Data with your Analytical Insights:

Marketers need to scrutinize their analytical findings to figure out what sort of content strategy is driving the highest number of conversions. Structured data is an imperative marketing layer that can assist marketers with publishing contextual content for search engines & also for voice assistants, chatbots & machines.

Providing the right content at the right time means optimizing user interaction & help marketers optimize their core bottom-lines.

According to Shelly Fagin, Brand Ambassador of SEMrush, “New types of markup are continuously being added or improved upon…I also expect to see a lot more manual penalties related to poor implementations of structured data. Don’t automatically trust some plugin you’ve installed to structure your data correctly”.

Gauzing, Benchmarking & Optimizing the KPIs aligned with the business bottom lines will help marketers do incredibly well to achieve their bottom lines.

Wrapping Things Up

Google has been continuously improving its search engine algorithm for years. The prime motive, however, is the same – to improve users’ experience by optimizing the web pages. Intent data is the new buzzword that has transcended the SEO realm for B2B marketers. With the last two core algorithmic updates in 2020 namely: BERT & the January 2020 core update, marketers need to figure-out & prioritize the multi-intent behind the users’ search. Understanding the context in which certain combinations of keywords are being used by the prospects becomes extremely important.

Audiences are becoming smarter & hence, the marketers not only need to focus on the link-building abilities but also need to adopt unique strategies to project themselves as subject-matter-experts within their niches – such as designing & optimizing their pieces of content for knowledge graph. The basis of the SEO-game though remains the same, help brands improve their reach.

The SEO trends come & go but the core focus of marketers should be to pulse out new challenges being faced by target audiences & optimize their SEO strategies to best resolve them. The rest of the things will eventually fall in place.

Experts at Valasys Media are intrinsically connected with the evolving marketing trends & provide B2B marketers address their core bottom-line challenges. Our services such as lead generation, account-based marketing, lead nurturing, event promotion services, list building services & content syndication services have been crafted with the expertise to help you accomplish your bottom line priorities. 

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