As the internet becomes more and more local, it’s crucial that businesses start to take online marketing campaigns into account. This is a key factor for success in B2B marketing as well. Here are four surprising factors that determine your website’s SEO potential—and how to leverage them!
The “which factors are involved in search engine optimization?” is a question that many people ask. There are four surprising SEO factors that determine local B2B success.
One of the most common inquiries I receive from my customers is, “What do I need to attain a high position in the search engines?”
That is, after all, the sixty-four thousand dollar question, isn’t it?
That, though, got me thinking. Because the majority of our customers are local companies, and many of them are B2B, I figured we might do some research on their behalf to assist them understand what characteristics contribute to a successful local B2B website.
Here’s how we did it and what we discovered.
Websites that are best in class against those that are average
The first thing we had to do was come up with a broad research approach. We chose the following five typical B2B industries:
At this point, I should remind you that our study was limited to enterprises in the United Kingdom.
The top 100 sites, 20 in each sector, were then picked. By top ranking, we mean that in a local search on industry and location, they all show in the top three results (i.e. Printer Birmingham).
These companies were designated as ‘Best in Class.’
After that, we bought a data list of 440 random websites (about 80-90 per sector). To establish the average position, we first checked their position using the same search parameters (i.e. a local search on industry and area).
I should note out that the data we acquired was for companies having an annual revenue of $135K to $600K (GBP £ equivalent: £90K to £400K), so we knew we weren’t dealing with start-ups or non-trading companies.
In general, we discovered that these random websites were ranked in the top three in 25% of situations. As a result, we were satisfied that this collection of sites might be classified as lower-ranking.
For the sake of our study, these firms were dubbed ‘Industry Average.’
As a result, we had two groups that we could compare:
- The Top 100 Websites in Their Field (100 percent top 3 ranking)
- Websites with an Industry Average of 440 (25 percent top 3 ranking)
What We Looked At
The following variables were then assessed:
We’d then use a variety of tools, including SEMrush (of course), Screaming Frog, and Pingdom, to verify each website against each of these criteria.
We examined the two groups to see where the largest disparities were in order to figure out which characteristics were most likely to be the cause of the high ranking.
To determine if there was a substantial or slight difference between the two, we employed the Statistical Difference approach. We were able to extrapolate the data with a 95 percent level of confidence as a consequence of this. This suggests that if the study was expanded to 1000 websites, the findings would have a 95 percent confidence level.
The following table lists our key results in order of statistical significance, from significant to minor:
Findings Summary – Local B2B SEO Factors
You can find a short Executive Summary Report of Our Discoveries here.
We came to the conclusion that there were four primary elements that made a substantial impact based on these findings. These were the following:
So these four characteristics proved to be the most significant disparities between the Best In Class and the Industry Average.
We concluded that the Minor Disparities (i.e. where Best in Class did not demonstrate a significant difference from the Industry Average) were as follows:
Page Title Tag Average Length
GMB (Google My Business) Setup
On the homepage, there is an H1 heading.
Adaptable to mobile devices
Making Use of a Blog
Using HTTPS instead of HTTP (SSL)
Average Time to Load a Website
The Results and Their Interpretation
Wins in a hurry
What was noteworthy was that some of the parameters we examined might be changed rather rapidly, implying a quick return on investment (ROI).
We think that the following issues might be resolved in a day or two:
Google My Business setup and optimization (GMB)
How to Get Google Reviews
Fix on-page elements such as metatag length, location and industry in metatags, and heading optimization.
Sending an email to your top three customers, for example, may improve the quantity of Google Reviews, while crucial page components could be updated fast. Although the latter may need the services of an expert SEO professional, it is rather simple.
HTTPS and Mobile Surprisingly
We also discovered that other often cited characteristics, such as mobile friendliness and HTTPS adoption, did not seem to have an effect. However, it should be noted that overall adoption of both of these sets was not very high for either.
For example, in terms of Mobile 53% of Best in Class had Adaptable to mobile devices sites vs 40% for the Industry Average.
When it comes to HTTPS, both groups had relatively low adoption rates: just 3% for Best in Class and 2.58 percent for Industry Average.
Another surprising factor was loadspeed, which is frequently cited as a Google ranking factor, and it was the only one where the Industry Average outperformed the Best in Class, with an average loadspeed of 1.08 seconds vs. 1.24 seconds.
Overall, Google has said that HTTPS, Mobile Friendliness, and Loadspeed are all ranking considerations, indicating that this is certainly the way to go. It would be prudent to take notice of them and implement them as soon as possible.
Backlinks and Content Marketing are two long-term priorities.
Referring Domains and the amount of pages are two more key issues that would likely take longer and need more work to resolve.
Let’s start with Referring Domains. To begin, it’s important to understand why we picked Referring Domains above total backlinks. Multiple connections from the same site, such as sidewide footer links or blogroll links, were to be discounted. Referring Domains seemed to us to be a more realistic statistic.
Our Discoveries showed that the difference was 44 for Best in Class vs Industry Average of 17. This is not a particularly high bar to jump and it is unlikely that the top ranking sites are using some kind of exotic linking strategy.
They’re probably combining local business directories, NAP Citations, and connections from local suppliers for testimonials, for example. There’s no reason why a lower-ranking site couldn’t compete and subsequently overcome its higher-ranking competition in a matter of months with a little effort.
In terms of the amount of pages, it’s worth noting that neither category performed very well in terms of blogging, with just 40% of Best In Class and 30% of Industry Average having a blog.
We didn’t look at the frequency or length of blog postings, to be honest. However, it is reasonable to infer that neither group was significantly invested in Content Marketing as a core pillar of their online marketing strategy.
Adding particular service pages is an easy win for firms who need to expand their number of pages. Many small companies, in my experience, utilize a generic ‘Services’ page to advertise their services. Creating separate service pages will frequently result in the addition of a dozen or more pages.
However, there are a few anecdotal elements that we believe may explain this aversion to adding more material. For starters, many small firms will have to pay a premium to their web designer for additional pages. It’s conceivable they don’t see the value in adding the additional service pages.
Second, many local firms may be unaware of the advantages of blogging for business. They will frequently perceive it as either a waste of time or a pointless exercise – “Why is anybody interested in what I have to say?” or “I’m simply bad at writing.”
These are the kinds of things I hear from small and local company owners on a daily basis. But I believe it is a restricted perspective, and our data clearly shows that organizations who devote to content have greater outcomes.
Local B2B websites that have a high rating are doing things correctly. They are properly optimizing their sites, obtaining consumer feedback, constructing backlinks, and developing content.
If a company owner’s site isn’t ranking well, all they have to do is commit to fixing their flaws, and they’ll start reaping the benefits over time.
So what are your views on Our Discoveries? Do they match your own findings and do you have any other factors that you would include? Leave a comment below, it would be great to get your feedback.
Now is the time to check your company listings.
Check to see whether you’re listed in the most reputable directories.
The “which choice is a ranking factor” is the first of the 4 surprising SEO factors that determine local B2B success. The other 3 are: which keywords to target, which content to use, and which website design elements to include.
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