February 24, 2020
2020 will see even more importance placed on Page One rankings and high quality website content, and B2B execs need to be aware of how critical it is to invest in SEO for their companies’ websites now more than ever. In three posts we will discuss the top three B2B SEO trends of 2020 and how they could improve your bottom line.

Executive Summary

What execs should ask their teams about Page One positioning

Like B2B marketing, SEO is a long game. Savvy C-level execs know the right questions to ask their marketing teams to determine if the company website is operating at prime lead-gen levels according to 2020’s critical SEO trends.

Here’s what you should ask your website manager or marketing director:
  • Does the website’s keyword and content strategy support zero click searches?
  • Is your website is taking advantage of rich snippets with content optimized specifically for that?
  • Which keywords are generating leads for the company? Where does your company rank for these keywords?
  • If you have a locally based business, is it appearing in the local map pack for “near me” searches, and do you have a fully optimized Google My Business listing?

Now more than ever having up-to-date SEO of your website is crucial because being on Page One is crucial. Mayfield Consulting offers comprehensive SEO audits [link to SEO info on Mayfield site] that can find the gaps in your strategy and offer suggestions for how to improve the SEO of your website and your bottom line.

Read on for details on the importance of a Page One position for B2B websites in 2020.

B2B SEO trends in 2020 – a three-part series

Three trends stand out as the ones for B2B execs to watch in 2020. This post will cover why Page One rankings are more important than ever to lead generation and ROI. Two subsequent posts will discuss new trends in website content quality and in understanding the intent and type of the search being done, and how both are crucial to attracting and converting B2B sales.

Some background on SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website as attractive and helpful to your customers as it is to the search engines. When done well and thoroughly, it can turn your website into a lead generation powerhouse. The results of most SEO efforts build up over time, and build on each other. It’s a long game and a smart investment.

Business to Business, or B2B, marketing is all about the long game, too. Whereas a company offering products purchased and used by consumers focuses on short-term impact with price reductions and entertaining ads, a B2B company uses the marketing and sales funnel to build long-term relationships and focuses on gaining the trust of its buyers. The website is the crucial tool to this process.

So how does that translate in 2020 to a B2B website? And what do B2B execs need to know to make sure their websites’ lead generation capabilities are outpacing, or at least keeping up, with that of their competitors? Let’s start on Page One of the search results.

B2B SEO Trend #1: Ruling Page One is Necessary, Not “Nice to Have”

It’s not news that Page One of search engine results is the place to be for the best business exposure. Never before, however, has it been more important to be there. The foundation of B2B marketing rests on trust and expertise, and searchers are conditioned to expect Page One to contain the most authoritative and trust-worthy answers to their questions.

For many years, Page One offered two options for how searchers saw a company’s answer to their problem: organic search results (having pages of your website come up within the first 10 results based on the content of the page and other signals) and paid advertising (Pay Per Click, or AdWords on Google).

“Zero Click” searches dominate Page One

Now searchers often find out so much about a company from the Page One results that a click into the website is no longer needed to get the answer to their question or the solution to their problem. These are called “zero click searches” and are a result of rich snippets, or extra pieces of information that appear as a result of the addition of structured data to the website code. Position Zero, featured snippets, and knowledge graphs are all zero click results, and can take up the majority of Page One real estate.

Here’s what “zero click” search results look like:

zero click posiiton zeroGet noticed with rich snippets like this “Position Zero” result, but it may not generate a click into your website since the answer to the search query is displayed.



featured snippetsProvide many opportunities for customers to click into the information they need with Featured Snippets (a type of rich snippet).


knowledge panelCompanies already dominating the market are more apt to appear within the knowledge graph on a subject.


Benefits of rich snippets, and the catch

The catch: in order to qualify for rich snippet results, you have to rank on Page One already for the keyword in question. This is where an investment in high-quality and on-going SEO becomes business critical. Knowing which keywords convert to sales and where your website is ranking for popular search terms are essential to staying ahead of competition and establishing trust with potential clients and customers.

One study found a 516% increase in sessions, the click-through rate (CTR) quadrupled from 2% to 8%, and organic visitor revenue went up by 677% after getting a consistent featured snippet. Source

B2B companies whose results appear with rich snippets or in the knowledge graph on a subject not only take up more Page One real estate, but they have more opportunities to build trust and relationships with their customer base. The website becomes a more effective lead generator, which increases its ROI.

Location-Based Page One Domination

Companies with a physical location have a couple other ways to get onto Page One that don’t require already being there in the organic search results. A business with brick and mortar presence or a geographic service area can achieve Page One through its Google My Business listing and via the Local Pack. For people searching for information on your industry or product via a mobile device, the Local Pack results might take up the entire page of search results.

map packEven on the desktop view the Local Pack takes up most of the first page of search results.


A fully optimized Google My Business listing is the single most important aspect of local SEO and is the most straightforward way to get a business in the Local Pack and company information on Page One.

B2B GMB with featured snippetsGoogle My Business listings will show up on the right side of Page One on the search results page when a business is searched for by name. Shown here with a double whammy – featured snippets.

A complete Google My Business listing will allow a business to cover a multitude of searches, mostly those containing keywords such as “near me” or “address” and “phone number” with one relatively simple step. It gives companies that may not have organic results on Page One the opportunity for “zero click” searches, which, if your website content strategy supports it, can create a direct line to your sales team.

Conclusion

SEO is the industry that has grown from the desire for companies to have their websites come up on Page One on a search engine results page. For a company operating in a B2B environment, a Page One result helps build trust with potential customers, and shows it has the solution to their problem.

By taking advantage of opportunities for page one domination, like zero click searches and local SEO techniques, B2B marketing becomes streamlined, effective, and targeted.

Mayfield Consulting helps B2B clients generate high-quality leads through smart marketing. Contact us today to see how we can help you surpass the expectations of your clients and board.

Continue reading about the “Three Critical SEO Trends for 2020 for B2B Websites” in the two remaining posts in the series, coming in March and April 2020.
With multiple clients reaching 20%+ growth rates, being named to the Inc. 5000 List, and garnering a cumulative eight American Business Awards in the past two years, Mayfield Consulting lets the results speak for themselves. MORE >