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Marketing B2B Websites: 20 Organic Ranking Factors to Consider
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
When marketing B2B websites as part of your online strategy, site owners often want to rank in the top organic position for what they deem are there important key phrases. It is interesting that the focus is on ranking rather than having a sound, easy to navigate, informative site that caters to the user. Regardless, the importance of organic rankings is crucial for online visibility and presence.

Here is something that all webmasters and site owners need to consider. Concentrate on your business and on creating informative content for your audience. Understand what your prospects and target audience are looking for. Give them what you want because if you don't, your competition will. This will become even more true with personalized search. Users want to see relevant results. So picture this, a user performs a query in a search engine (ie. Google) for "online b2b marketing solutions"the results that are returned for them need to be relevant. Are the current results that are returned relevant? Well depends on what the user had in mind, but if the user was looking for a B2B online marketing provider then results such as this or this may not suffice.

So what does it take for your site to rank well in the algorithmic results? Well there are a number of factors. Here are 20 organic rankings factors to consider when marketing B2B websites. These factors are not really in specific order although some of the more important items are higher on the list.
  1. Keyword Use in Title Tag - where possible incorporate your keywords near the beginning of your page titles to communicate the topic/theme of your page.

  2. Anchor Text of Inbound Link from External Sites - a key factor for Google is IBL (Inbound Linking). Having keywords in the anchor text of links that link to your webpages (and not just your home page) helps the engines determine the topic/theme of your site as well as determine the amount of authority on the page.

  3. Keywords of Page Text - keyword density helps communicate the topic/theme of the page contributing to the overall theme of the site (is anyone else sensing a theme here?)

  4. Keywords in H1-H6 headline tags - having keywords in heading tags again helps communicate the theme and topic of your site's pages.

  5. Unique Content - having unique content with unique page titles that focus on less competitive key phrases can boost your organic search rankings.

  6. Web pages that use very few parameters in the URL (?id=123, etc.) - the search engines (and users for that matter) still show a preference for URLs that are easy to read and are logical in structure.

  7. Age of Site - the longer that your site has been around the more authoritative it should be right? Well not exactly but the search engines tend to think so.

  8. IBL Inbound Link Quality of the site - currently this is a key factor with search engines such as Google. The quality (ie. relevancy) of the sites that link to your site is extremely important if you are to rank well in the organic results

  9. Global Link Popularity of Site - similar to the above point, sites that have similar themes and are linking to your site will have a positive effect on your rankings.

  10. Overall Keyword Density Throughout your site - higher keyword density help convey topic/theme of your site to the search engines and users.

  11. Keyword use in the domain name - enhancing the topic/theme of your page and website as a whole.

  12. IBL Link Popularity within the Site's Internal Link Structure - internal pages that are relevant and have quality external links pointing to them can help rankings for other internal site pages that they link to.

  13. Keywords in image alt attributes (alt tags) - helps improve keyword density of the page and helps communicate the topic/theme of the site.

  14. The number of click throughs on your SERP listing - obviously the more times your listing is clicked on the more useful it must be right? Well not entirely, but there is something to be said for the number of times your page listing is clicked on in terms of relevancy. For those of you going to "spam-click" your listings, you can be sure the engines have filters in place to deal with this.

  15. Using keywords in bold or strong tags - obviously there is a reason why a phrase is bolded. It's to get a stronger point across. The search engines are smart enough to pick up on this as well.

  16. New content or updating old content - while this may only have a temporary ranking benefit, adding new optimized content can receive temporary success in rankings. If the page generates enough link interest the ranking effect may be longer lasting.

  17. Optimize pages for less competitive terms - So long as your pages are informative and useful, optimizing for less competitive terms can help you enjoy top organic rankings.

  18. Beware of your paid efforts cannibalizing your organic rankings - if you are doing well in the organic listings, you shouldn't necessarily enhance your rankings by having a paid listing for the same phrase. Although in engines such as Yahoo, I have seen paid inclusion have a positive effect on organic results. (Which Yahoo continues to deny.)

  19. Inbound Link Quantity - be careful with this one as too many "watered-down" links can have a negative impact on organic rankings.

  20. Rate of New Inbound Links to Site - the use of link baiting is an effective way to "naturally" build your link inventory. The search engines reward sites that naturally build their external link inventories from other relevant sites.
There are other factors that contribute to why or how a web page ranks in the algorithmic/organic rankings, however the factors above appear to have the greatest impact. If you are marketing a B2B site, you will most definitely want to keep this list handy.


posted by Jody @ Tuesday, May 22, 2007  
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