What execs should ask their teams about website content quality
B2B marketing is about trust and expertise, which is what long-form content facilitates and showcases. Staying competitive in 2021 means showing potential and current clients that you know your stuff. One surefire way to do this is with high quality website copy that showcases your expertise and depth of knowledge.
As a C-level exec, here’s what you should ask your website manager or marketing director about your website copy to make sure the company website is operating at prime lead-gen levels according to 2021’s critical SEO trends:
- Are experts writing your copy, particularly your white papers and blog posts, and offering relevant, insightful information to your community or vertical?
- Is your content in-depth enough to show authority and mastery of the subject?
- Are you staying on top of negative sentiment and reviews about your company, and doing your best to provide a trustworthy, secure user experience on your website?
- What is the quality and quantity of the backlinks to your website?
Future-proof your website and its lead generation potential with a smart, thoughtful content strategy and website experience that shows your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Mayfield Consulting offers comprehensive SEO audits 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 high quality website content for B2B websites in 2021.
B2B SEO trends in 2021
Three SEO trends stand out as the ones for B2B execs to watch in 2021. This post will cover the role of high quality content in making your website into a business development power tool. Make sure you read our post on the importance of page one rankings, and the post about understanding the intent and type of the search due for publication in April 2021. Implementing all is crucial to attracting and converting B2B sales in today’s market.
Some background on search engine algorithms
It’s the job of search engines to index website pages and then serve up the ones that best answer the question at hand, in the order of how well they thinks that particular page answers the question. This complex process is achieved through algorithms: sets of rules and formulas search engines use to determine which pages have the most relevant information to the searchers intent. It’s estimated that Google updates its algorithms thousands of times per year to make the search experience easier and more relevant to users. The more significant updates can cause significant fluctuations in websites’ rankings.
Read this if you’d like to know more about how Google searches work.
B2B SEO Trend #2: High quality content has never been more important
We’ve all heard the phrase “Content is King” in reference to what Google and other search engines most value when choosing which of the billions of web pages to surface in response to a search query. High quality content has only become more vital in the past few years as search engines strive to deliver ever more relevant information.
But what do search engines view as relevant? In the past relevancy has been driven most obviously by the use of keywords, which are still a vital part of any SEO strategy. Now, however, focus is also on the depth and reliability of the information being offered. This is made evident in Google’s 2019 algorithm updates that, collectively, are referred to as E-A-T.
E-A-T, short for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, is a collection of ranking factors made up by hundreds, possibly thousands, of smaller algorithms. While not measurable in numbers or scores, its importance is more of a signal to Google that the content on the page in question is of good quality.
Let’s break it down.
The B2B business sales cycle is longer and much less emotional than that of B2C. Whereas B2C purchases are often ‘in the moment’ decisions, businesses are much more likely to put more weight on rational thought processes like “will this financial investment make us money” and require many layers of approval from departments with differing interests. Knowing your audience and being able to speak their language is key to B2B marketing.
“B2B businesses are much more likely to want to purchase services or products from an expert who understands their terminology, processes, and even the decisions they have to make during the buying process,” says SEO Specialist Liam Barnes.
Google and other search engines are looking for content that shows expertise on the subject of the search. B2B customers are looking for the same thing. A smart B2B marketing strategy will include website content that highlights the expertise of the company in an engaging way. The quickest path to this: have industry experts write the copy.
Content that is relevant to the search and of value to the searcher is the key to success in 2021.
“This means that CEOs need to learn how to write or hire people who know how to write,” says Tony Wright, CEO of WrightIMC.
While many companies can hire freelance writers for short blog posts or general website copy, to stand out to Google and your potential clients these days you’ll want to provide website content that:
- Shows a deep understanding of your industry.
- Exceeds the reader’s expectations or needs.
- Is formatted in a digestible, easy to read way.
Author reputation leads into the next aspect of E-A-T: Authority.
Is your content good enough to be shared widely on social media? Is it good enough to be linked to from reputable websites? The goal is to be considered not just an expert but an authority on the subject.
Another way to imply authority (and also expertise, as an added bonus) is by producing quality content that answers the question the searcher asked and that also has some length to it. While opinions vary on the ideal length of a blog post or web page, research shows that the average length of the top 10 results is at least 2,000 words. “Lengthy articles increase dwell time,” says Chima Mmeje on Search Engine Watch, “which tells Google that users enjoy your content. You build authority and Google increases your ranking for the search query.”
“While expertise and authority are factors that boost your rankings, trustworthiness or rather a lack thereof is what can easily tank your rankings on Google,” says SEO executive Ian Booth.
Booth goes on to list ways to create a trustworthy experience for your website visitors and potential clients:
- Provide a clear way to make contact with the website owners.
- Make sure your website’s domain is secure.
- If you’re selling products, try to include comprehensive specifications of the product and include any safety advice that might be relevant.
- If you’re sharing knowledge, in general, it's a good idea to have an author biography included and to cite external sources where relevant.
- Linking out to authority sites is a good thing.
Which brings us to the final point: backlinks.
Quality content gets backlinks
Tied closely with E-A-T, particularly with Authority, are backlinks, or links from other websites to yours. It’s websites with strong, high-quality content that get backlinks. It’s websites with a large number of good quality backlinks that have the best shot at Page One of the search results. And, as discussed in Mayfield’s February 2020 blog, some of the most business-driving search results page features like rich snippets are available only to the web pages that already rank on Page One.
You want your backlink profile to contain links from a variety of reputable websites, and that link to content that is deeper than your homepage. The more links to you, the more Google and other search engines view your site as authoritative and trustworthy.
Quality content is an investment that pays off in the long term, both with search engines and with B2B clients. By providing information that seeks to go beyond just answering a question, and is in-depth, expert-level, and share-worthy, a B2B focused company will pull away quickly from its competition. Potential clients and search engines will have a clear idea of the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness of your company, paving the way for a strong lead generation funnel.
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.