With search engine optimization constantly evolving, it’s important to make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest updates. Following old-school SEO practices could put your search rankings at risk for penalties and prevent your website from ranking as well as it could. We compiled the top 5 mistakes to avoid when trying to improve your B2B SEO.
Focusing more on keywords than clicks
You’ve done your research. You picked out all of the keywords you want to rank for. Now what? You might be tempted to immediately start stuffing all those keywords into your site, title, meta descriptions, headings, etc. But slow down. It’s important to make sure you are still focused on conveying your message to your visitors.
Putting too much focus on your keywords can make your site look spammy and uninteresting — and prevent potential visitors from wanting to engage with it. Instead, focus on the quality of keywords and not quantity. Think what about phrases your visitors are searching for and what would make them interested enough to click on your link. The goal is not only to rank for your keywords, but to generate clicks to your site. The more clicks your site receives, the more its rank will increase over time.
Overusing anchor text on internal links
Using heavy anchor text for internal links used to be a common SEO practice, resulting in a positive impact on site rankings. However, within the past few years, Google began discounting this practice and penalizes your SEO rank when it feels it’s spammy, inappropriate or overdone.
As long as your links are well-written and relevant, they are usually ok. It’s important to make sure your links fit well within your content flow and are good for usability. On the other hand, if your anchor text looks sketchy or has low usability, your site will most likely be penalized. This includes things like using small font sizes or light colors to hide links from viewers so they are only visible to search engines. As Google continues to get smarter, it can no longer be fooled by these techniques.
Creating separate pages for different keyword variants
Your B2B SEO can suffer horribly from duplicate content. While many companies still employ this tactic, it is one you should seriously avoid. The idea behind this SEO strategy was to take one content page and create duplicate versions optimized for different keywords. For example, someone may optimize the main page for “B2B Web Design.” Then, they would duplicate the original page and create separate versions for “B2B website design,” “Website Design for B2B,” and “Web Design for B2B.” They thought that having each version optimized for a different variation of the main keyword would help the website rank better. This is wrong.
Up until four or five years ago, this SEO strategy may have worked. However, with all of its updates, Google has gotten wiser. Creating separate pages for every keyword variant can cost you SEO penalties and prevent your site from ranking.
Instead of having several pages of duplicate content trying to focus on different keyword variants, create one well-written page with these keyword variants strategically placed throughout. They can be scattered throughout the title, meta description, headlines and copy. With a good combination of keywords, your page should start rising in the ranks.
Using backlinks from directories, paid links, etc.
Link building is an important part of SEO, but be aware of what sites you are getting to create your backlinks. You want to make sure they are from credible sources and will help improve your SEO. Always avoid purchasing paid links, generic directories and linking to your site in comments or sites where you can push out articles with no editorial review. Google penalizes these link building strategies.
Posting unfocused, non-strategic “link bait”
It’s important to keep your site content and links focused and relevant to your site. While content strategy and content marketing continue to remain a point of investment, some sites are still investing in non-strategic “link bait” strategies.
So what is “link bait”? It’s developing content designed to grab attention and encourage viewers to click. The majority of the time the content is unrelated and solely meant to generate clicks and drive traffic. An example would be posting an article called “10 Ways Cats Can Suck the Life Out of You.”
While this may generate more links and clicks to your site, this is unrelated to the focus of your site’s content. This can also cause you to get penalties from Google, pushing your site farther down in the search results. To avoid this, just make sure all of your content on your site provides relevant information.
All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all marketing tactics, the marketing program becomes more effective and cost efficient. As a B2B agency, we developed B2B 360 Integrated Digital Marketing to meet this improved performance need. To learn more about B2B 360 and how it will benefit your business, download our free eBook: The Better Path to Top-Tier Tech Marketing.
Kate Smith is a graphic designer at Schubert b2b. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Design from Kutztown University. When not in the office, she enjoys snowboarding, eating cauliflower, and staying up to the wee hours of the morning playing Destiny.