Earlier this year, Matt Cutts declared guest blogging dead, and the interwebs erupted.
At its core, what Matt was trying to say is that guest blogging simply to get in-/out-bound links has gotten out of hand. It’s gotten “too spammy”. This is simply the latest way that bad people and nefarious “business” people are using Google’s search algorithms to their advantage. Instead of simply stuffing keywords into nonsense posts on a website simply to get clicks and traffic, they’re now submitting equally ->stuffed<- guest posts to other sites for the same purposes.
The point that Matt was making is that you can’t simply gather links to a site added by real people if there’s no quality or good intent behind it. In fact, Jerod Morris over at Copyblogger pointed us to a conversation Brian Clark had with people on Twitter about it. In the end, Brian summed it up nicely:
Build quality no matter what
Your site will continue to rank high with search engines as long as you keep striving for quality content. It doesn’t matter what your topic is, the fact that you have multiple contributors, or even publish guest posts. As long as all of that is of high quality, then you’re golden.
Apply This Requirement to Your B2B Website
This requirement about quality applies to ALL websites, including your B2B site. Just because you’re selling a unique product to a particular market doesn’t mean you should ignore this. After all, how are you going to get organic leads for your B2B business?
In an ideal world there’d be the silver bullet that would give you the results you’re hoping for, however since we live in the real world, we can agree that it just doesn’t exist. After all, that’s why SEO tactics have evolved so much with each search engine algorithm to include more than simple link building and site optimization.
There Is a Secret Weapon for Your B2B Website
Really, there is a tactic out there you can unleash on your website that will encompass Brian Clark’s idea of quality and Matt Cutts’ notion that guest blogging is dead: it’s called content marketing.
The Keys to Content Marketing + Search Engine Rankings for B2B Websites
Key 1: Write longer quality content. This is an interesting stat. Content longer than 1500 words receives more RTs on Twitter and Facebook likes. Content between 2000-2500 words ranks on the first page of Google. So let your inner Tolstoy out and let the words flow when you write.
Key 2: A corporate blog is critical to your success. Not only do people generally feel better about a company that has a blog on their site, but search engines like it too. They’re indexed more often by the search engines, which means you’ve got more opportunities to rank higher on the SERPs. That’s mainly because search engines like it when you have new content show up on sites, and if you’re blogging regularly, they’ll report that back. Plus the search engine index spiders tend to visit sites that change often as well, so you’re ensuring that the latest version of your website is being displayed in SERPs.
Key 3: Long-tail keywords are the easiest way to rank higher. That’s because long-tail searches are up almost 70% in the last 10 years. It’s one of the reasons that Google made the Hummingbird changes to their algorithms. People are used to searching now, and so are typing in more complete statements and sentences when they search.
- Pre-2004: People would type “legal software” in a search engine.
- Today: People type “what legal software can I use to optimize my filings?” in a search engine.
Including long-tail keywords in your B2B website content ensures that your site ranks higher for that phrase. Content marketing lets you incorporate the long-tails more easily, so that it doesn’t look like you’re simply stuffing the post. In fact, you can even use the long-tails as inspiration for your content, churning out blog posts, infographics, case studies, and white papers.
Learning How to Incorporate Content Marketing
Here are four ways you can incorporate content marketing into your B2B website.
1. Line Up Your Content with Your Readers
If you do, then it’ll be easier for you to convert them into customers. Methods include:
- Create educational content to explain concepts and ideas about your B2B that may be hard to understand.
- Tie in existing content to current events. (Not in the content itself, but in how you drive readers to it, for example in the social media message you use to link to a blog post.)
- Give your readers an inside view of the idea by tying into an archetype.
- Tell a story from their perspective, like in a case study.
- Put a fresh spin on an old concept.
2. Tell Some Stories
By stories, I’m referring to case studies. Promote the ones you’ve already written, and create some new ones. Try some different formats for them too, like blog posts and videos, as well as the traditional download copy.
3. Start Your Blog
Readers (aka leads) want to build a relationship with you and your B2B company. Writing a blog helps deepen any relationship you may have with leads, and start new ones with prospects. It also establishes you as the authority in your topic, which creates trust between you.
4. Get Help With Your Content Creation
Before you panic about having to create all of this new content for your B2B website, know that there are ways you can do it that won’t stress you out. Aside from hiring a freelance B2B copywriter (like me) to handle everything for you, you can always:
- curate some content on social media
- write up a link round-up blog post
- repurposes some old content: turn a case study into a blog post, or turn a client interview into a testimonial
Bring the Quality to Everything You Do
You already produce quality products and services, so isn’t it right that your B2B website reflect that? Take the same care and pour quality content into your website and the search engines will reward you with higher rankings. In turn, that’ll bring more prospects to your site, and hopefully, if you’ve done it right, they’ll be customers.
Content marketing’s working for many companies out there, so how about you?