Site Architecture for B2B SEO | 5 Steps to Success

As many of you know, I’m a columnist at Search Engine Land regarding B2B search marketing. In my column today, I focus on the issue of creating the proper site architecture for B2B sites.

To be found for a specific search term, there needs to be an optimized landing page on the website that revolves around that search term. And because of the lack of shared lexicons in most B2B verticals (i.e., there are several different words regular used to describe the same thing), this creates the need for content-rich B2B sites with expanded site architecture. That means more pages, organized in an intuitive, easily navigable architecture.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s article at Search Engine Land:

Five Steps To Successful Site Architecture For B2B SEO

A couple months ago, I noted that one of the 6 mistakes B2B marketers continue to make with organic search was inadequate site architecture-the fact that many B2B sites don’t have sufficient content to respond to desired search terms. The solution, however, isn’t simply adding more content. Proper site architecture is also critical. Here are five steps to success.

1. Identify potential keywords

Keyword strategy in B2B SEO is downright difficult. I talked about many of the reasons why in a previous Search Engine Land article about navigating B2B keyword strategy. Erik-Jan Bulthuis had a great post on Joost de Valk’s site in which he also describes some of the challenges and proposes a good approach to B2B keyword research. Your goal is this first step is not to make keyword choices or judgments, but rather to create the gross list, being as inclusive as possible of the potential terms actual prospects might use.

Focus on generic keywords; don’t get caught up in proprietary brand lingo. Think of the types of products and services you sell. What are your revenue streams? What do customers and prospects call things? Will their search string express the product/service sought, the problem they’re experiencing, or the type of company potentially offering solutions? Does geography play a role in the search string?

2. Determine relative popularity

Once you’ve created the gross list of potential keywords, you need to determine the relative popularity of those search terms. Often paid search keyword research tools (such as Google’s Traffic Estimator) won’t have data because traffic for these terms is low. In some cases, there will be data, but it will show very low activity. That’s okay. Don’t pay too much attention to that. Rather, use tools like Keyword Discovery to determine relative historical popularity of your keywords. This will give you some idea of which search terms are used more often than others on your list. The actual raw number of searches for a given search term really doesn’t matter much.

When you’re doing this work, remember to enter the root word(s) or root phrase, letting your research tool return permutations and long-tail options. Not only will this give you a larger list to consider, but the results will often lead you down a path you hadn’t previously considered.

3. Make your draft picks

Now determine for which search terms your site will be optimized. In B2B keyword research, usually there will not be clear-cut winners. Instead, for each B2B product or service, there will be one or two relevant search terms that rank highly, three to five more that place as strong “seconds”, and a host of others that have good potential. Click here to continue reading the article at Search Engine Land

2 Comments

  1. Great post Galen. Its always difficult choosing those primary keywords. The ones that are very popular are often too generic and the ones that are very specific to your product or service can sometimes show as very rarely searched. Would you recommend always selecting the more popular ones as primary and then the a few more as seconds?

  2. It’s always a balance. You want to use keyword research to determine what people are actually searching for, but I wouldn’t always go for the most popular unless they are exactly what you offer. To the extent they are, I’d always make sure you include the most likely long-tail terms to be included in your prospects’ searches. Competing straight up for the most popular may be difficult, depending on the competition and the popularity of the search term. The more specific you can be to the searchers’ intents, the more likely you’ll rank well.

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