B2B SEO Simplified: A Quick-Start Guide for Managers

By Rebekah Mays

As a marketing manager, you know that SEO is important.

After all, bringing in organic traffic to your website is crucial to getting more leads for your sales team.

But SEO seems to get complicated fast … and you’d like to understand it a little better.

Today, I wanted to keep things simple, and share with you the three main areas of SEO you should be thinking about if you want to see better quality, higher organic web traffic.

These three main areas are:

  • Technical
  • Content
  • Links

We’ll dive into each one of these, and discuss what you need to know about them as a marketing manager.

If you’d like a more advanced and extensive guide to SEO for your brand, check out our guide to B2B SEO strategy in 2023.

1. Technical

Let’s first start with technical SEO.

Basic technical SEO is fundamental to your site’s success, because if search engines can’t access your site, then your audience won’t be able to access it, either.

Search engines need to be able to find and index our site so they can deliver our content to our audience – so the first step in a technical SEO audit is usually making sure your “indexing” is correctly set up.

There may also be certain content you don’t want to appear in search results. For instance, article tag urls in WordPress that clutter up your site, or content users need to pay in order to access.

You can block access to these pages – but in most other cases, you’ll want your content to appear in search results.

Other technical roadblocks that might be affecting your site’s organic search include slow page speed, 301 and 404 errors, incorrect canonical tag usage, poor accessibility, and security issues (https vs http).

Google Search Console screenshot
Google Search Console is an important way to set up and monitor your site’s performance. Submit your sitemaps in the console so you can track whether Google is indexing your content.

Setting up Google Search Console on your site and following the recommendations in the console is a good way to get started with some basic technical SEO.

If you have a tech-minded person on your team, software like Sitebulb can help you further diagnose and fix the most important SEO technical problems on your site.

Technical SEO does get complicated fast — and you may want to work with an SEO consultant like One Generation to uncover these problems and the necessary solutions in a Website Quality Audit.

2. Content

Once you’ve got the major technical roadblocks cleared, the next thing to tackle is content creation.

As Google writes in its “SEO starter guide,” creating great content is one of the most important factors in building your audience:

“Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here … Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.”

Of course, creating great content is easier said than done. You need to think about your customers and what kind of content they need to reach their goals.

You also need to consider where they are in their customer journey, and how you can help them take the next step through different types of content.

AI tools might help you ideate and draft your website content, but you’ll still want to have a human heavily involved in the creation and editing processes.

If your brand struggles to publish content consistently, or you’re not getting the results you’d like, then it’s probably time to hire a content creator in-house, or outsource the work to an experienced agency or freelancer.

Without high-quality, consistent content, you won’t make progress toward your organic search goals.

3. Links

A third key factor in your SEO success is the number of quality backlinks your site has. The more quality, reputable, and relevant websites link back to your site, the more search engines will serve up your content to web users.

Link-building is a controversial field within SEO, and SEO professionals have differing opinions on the best way to acquire links.

Many SEOs still buy links from vendors – even though paying for guest posts without tagging these as “sponsored” posts in the code is against Google’s guidelines and may not even contribute to better search rankings.

Other agencies rely on methods like digital PR, traditional PR, or manual outreach to partners to build links to their sites more organically.

Screenshot of CSO report, Weinreb Group
Ellen Weinreb gives us an example of Digital PR with her biennial Chief Sustainability Officer Report. Publishing original research provides more visibility for her company. When people (like me) link to her content, her website gains more authority and more traffic.

If you’re just starting your SEO program and don’t have a link-building strategy in place yet, it’s usually best to focus first on creating great content that your audience will naturally link to.

Once you gain some traction in your SEO and organic content efforts, you can then re-invest in high-quality link-building content that will both build your website’s reputation, and your overall brand.

How to know if SEO should be a priority

Before getting started on an SEO program for your purpose-driven B2B brand, it’s wise to ask if now is the right time.

SEO is an excellent tactic for scaling your organic content marketing and reducing your reliance on paid advertising over time. But depending on the stage of business you’re in, you might need to prioritize other areas first.

To answer this question, think about the big picture and the other kinds of content you need to create for your website.

And make sure to download our free guide “Is SEO worth it? The six questions to ask for your impact brand” for helpful tips and a 6-point questionnaire about investing in SEO.

Profile of Rebekah, a woman standing outside, smiling, and wearing a blue blazer

About the author

Rebekah Mays is the founder and owner of One Generation, a digital marketing agency offering SEO and content “sprints” to grow traffic and leads for purpose-driven B2B brands. Ready for more traffic so you can make a bigger impact? Get in touch.

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