Just like how it helps individual writers connect with readers, blogs help businesses interact with clients in a more casual, personalized way. Business-to-business blogs help expound certain products or services without necessarily altering the tone of the message within product pages. But when they’re not optimized for search engines, their prospect clients may not easily find them.
Business people. Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
Here are some common practices B2B blogs commit that could stunt progress on search engine visibility:
Some B2B blogs display full posts on homepage
Instead of posting an excerpt of each blog in the homepage, some B2B blogs display the full posts. This practice impacts two things. First, the individual page containing the post isn’t worth visiting because the reader would have read all of its contents in the homepage anyway. This could affect the bounce rate and likelihood for the post to be shared or linked to. Second, the blog homepage becomes much longer, depending on the typical length of each blog entry and on how many blogs the homepage is set to display. This means search engines might be spending longer time on homepage when they’re supposed to spend more time crawling inside pages.
Lack of keyword-rich titles
Some B2B blogs prefer to write titles of articles like the way newspapers write creatively. Nothing wrong with that. The problem is that not a lot of people may use those keyword or terms that they are using. Since many blog platforms automatically format the page title the same as the article title, the less prominent keywords are given more emphasis. As a result, search engine visibility for the blog entry gets compromised.
Some B2B blogs lack keyword-rich URLs
Certain blog platforms automatically align the blog post URL along with the blog title. However there are those that don’t support it. They are the blogs that use elaborate URL format, complicated string of parameters to display one simple blog entry.
Compare that with a keyword-rich URL some blogs offer:
Some B2B blogs allow link juice to leak
Many blogs are guilty of this mistake, this blog included. Link juice refers to the link popularity a page possesses based on quality of inbound links. Using archive categories (monthly or daily summary of blogs) allows precious link juice flows towards less important pages. By not allowing link juice to flow on these pages, a blog post retains its importance with respect to link popularity. There are ways to prevent diluting of link juice: applying nofollow to archive links or simply not displaying the monthly archives at all.
Some B2B blogs don’t optimize anchor text
I am not sure who writes the articles (a busy executive, a know-it-all CEO or some ghost writer) but it’s a common observation that B2B blogs don’t consider using a relevant anchor text (text used as hyperlink) when linking to another page within the blog. It’s not unusual to see “click here”, “more details” or other words irrelevant to the page it links to. Search engines place emphasis on anchor text as a signal that indicates relevance. If I want to optimize a page about best practice SEO, I’d rather use “best practice SEO” as an anchor text within a page that links to that best practice SEO article.
Some B2B blogs don’t address canonicalization issues
Some business blogs ignore the impact of canonicalization issue. The same page shows up whether it’s www.businessblog.com or businessblog.com or www.businessblog.com/index.html. Instead of consolidating the link popularity towards one version of the site, search engines and external sites that confer links don’t behave this way simply because they are allowed to choose different URL versions.
Some B2B blogs don’t link to internal pages
Some business blogs do not promote healthy internal linking structure through linking to other relevant posts within blog entries. If one blog talks about its corporate products or services it’s good to link to that product or service page. If the blog post talks about the recent awards received by a local business council, a link to the press release page about that award is a good practice. Of course it’s better to be more sensible and use a relevant anchor text when linking to internal pages.
Hopefully, we’ll see more B2B blogs think about what they are missing, implement these changes every time a new blog entry is published while aiming for better search engine visibility.