How do you build a high-quality B2B website according to Google?
Quality is a subjective concept. The Oxford dictionary defines quality as:
The Standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.
The definition of quality can vary from person to person, and what is quality to one person might not be for another. However, Google apparently has an opinion about what quality means to their search algorithm and how they define whether or not your B2B website can rank high in the search engine results pages (SERPS). Google determines that poor-quality websites are ranked low or not even ranked altogether, while high-quality websites and content receive a higher organic search ranking.
When Google released its Panda update in February 2011, it shook the internet. Panda was a major algorithm update that penalized low-quality websites by reducing their rankings and rewarding websites with “high-quality” content.
Google carefully guards the exact ranking signals in their algorithms to prevent people from gaming their system. However, the search engine giant has listed 22 factors that can improve the quality of a website, increasing the chances that quality websites will rank higher on SERPs than those with lower quality content. Keep in mind, though; the factors are just guidance for creating quality B2B websites and content. They are not exact measurements of Google’s algorithm.
22 Factors that Contribute to Developing Quality B2B Websites and Content
Trust is critical for getting visitors to take action on your website, whether to stay and read your content, make a purchase from your site, or return to your site. ECommerce websites are especially susceptible to building trust and credibility, given they are transactional websites and gather a person’s financial information.
With so much misinformation and disinformation available across the internet and printed media, you need to be extra vigilant when creating trustworthy content. Do you trust the content you present in your article or blog post? That’s the one question you should ask yourself when assessing your content or website for trust.
Google is concerned about delivering relevant and valuable content to its readers. An excellent way to tell if an article on your website offers value is to look at its depth. In other words, is your article written by an expert or an enthusiast that knows the subject well. Or is the article written with too few facts or ideas; is the article shallow in nature?
Some B2B firms tend to lean toward the shallow side of content writing. Their business leaders or marketing managers believe that quantity is better than quality. Nothing could be further from the truth. Focus on developing articles with depth that subject matter experts write within your business or by third parties.
Duplicate or Redundant Articles
Google’s algorithm favors websites with original; articles; these websites get recognized as the first site to post the original content. Any other website that copies the content and posts will not rank for that particular article or rank very high in the SERPS.
Google also looks to see if your site has duplicate content or similar content but slightly different keywords. Google will deem any website with duplicate content or similar content but somewhat different keywords as a low-quality website.
Comfort Disclosing Financial Information
Not all transactional websites are created equal. You have probably visited a few poorly designed websites that looked a bit “shady.” You thought to yourself that there is no way you would input your credit card information to make a purchase on the website. If a website is questionable to you, leaving you reluctant to provide financial information, Google probably sees the same thing and ranks the site as low quality.
If you’re collecting visitors’ financial information to complete a transaction, be sure your website is credible. There’s nothing like arriving at a website to make a purchase to see that they have not updated any content in months; they have broken links and poorly written content.
Before the Panda release, writing blogs or content was primarily based on quantity and not quality. Blogging “experts” would state that it was okay to have a few spelling and grammatical errors in your writing, as long as you are consistent with your content postings. A lot has changed since the release of Google’s Panda. Google’s algorithm for quality website content considers such factors as spelling, style, and whether there are factual errors in your content.
If you are not sure about errors in your writing, solicit the help of an editor who can review your content before taking it live. Also, make sure that you fact-check your information because Google will penalize you for articles with factual errors.
Reader Interest Topics
When you arrive at a website, you think that the content is carefully thought out and created with the reader’s interest. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many websites.
Web admins are looking to drive traffic to their website for several reasons, and most often, it’s to lure the visitor into a page filled with ads or links to click to other websites. That is how these websites generate revenue; with ad clicks. When auditing your website for quality content, ask yourself, “is my content and articles driven by a genuine interest of my audience, or am I just generating fluff content to game the SERPs?”
To Google, a quality website offers original content. As discussed earlier, duplicate content does not help your website rank higher. Google wants to see authentic content and information on your website. Are you offering original reporting, research, or analysis to your visitors?
Page Value Compared to Other Pages
Does your page offer substantial value compared to other pages in the search results? If you are writing about Marketing Control Tools, does your page provide more value than any other page that offers similar information? You may have to compare what other websites have posted about the topic to what you wrote.
Your page may offer a deeper insight into the topic, with interactive elements like a calculator and a downloadable supplemental document or tool, or possibly a marketing control tools forum to give readers a place to discuss the topic. All of the ideas, as mentioned earlier, add value to the user’s overall experience when looking for information on, for example, marketing control tools.
Do you or your marketing content team have a quality control process for reviewing your site’s articles? This concept ties back into what we’ve already discussed above, are you eliminating errors, poor grammar, and spelling. Is your article or content delivering value to your reader versus what other search results are providing?
One way to ensure that you offer valuable content is to provide at least two perspectives or sides to your writing. Articles that offer just one view are biased and can lead your site to rank lower than other sites with the same content that articulates opposing sides of the story.
Is the website a recognized authority on the written topics? That is, are you writing topics that belong on the website? For example, imagine a B2B website that is a contract manufacturer for personal care products. You should write content about personal care topics.
Suppose you are writing about topics that are not related to personal care. In that case, Google may not recognize your B2B website as an authority on the subject, thus lowering your search ranking or simply not ranking your website.
Some content across the internet is mass-produced or outsourced to a large number of content creators. Thus, the content spreads across an extensive network of websites, and individual web pages do not get the needed attention or care that a well-crafted document on a single website or page receives. The warning here is that your duplicate content is spread all over the internet, reducing the value for readers. Google frowns on this type of content creation behavior.
Is your article or content appropriately edited, or does it appear sloppy and rushed? When it comes to B2B websites and their content, many B2B marketers are concerned with just getting some content on their website, thus editing plays a backseat to their content strategy or is non-existent altogether.
To ensure that you have a fighting chance for being ranked for a higher quality B2B website, have your articles and content edited by either an in-house editor or outsource it to freelancers like those found on UpWork.com.
Recognized Authoritative Source
Google wants to know if your website is a “go-to” (authoritative) source for information. Do people in your industry or market recognize your B2B website as an authority on the subject matter? For example, if you are a logistics company and regularly post articles and content about business-to-business logistic services, are there other websites that link to your website? Do your customers (and non-customers) recognize you as an authority in logistics?
There is room for many authoritative websites across all industries. You can become an authority in your industry by posting valuable content to which other websites will want to link.
Comprehensive Topic Description
Does your content or articles present a thorough description of your topics? Again, the idea is that when posting articles on your website, are the articles complete? Do your articles or content offer insights to your readers that similar articles on competing sites in the SERPs do not?
Are your readers gaining value from visiting your site and reading the articles? Do you provide value to your readers with your writing? Keep that in the back of your mind when you are developing your content.
Beyond Obvious Information
Does your article or content provide insightful information or analysis that is beyond the obvious?
Can you begin to see the pattern in this list for developing quality B2B websites? Google wants to make sure that content creators create unique and original content that delivers value to their readers.
Would you recommend your webpage to a friend or bookmark the page for yourself? The act of sharing or bookmarking a page signifies some value in the content for the reader.
Too Many Ads
Many websites want to drive any traffic to their pages. B2B websites are no different if executed poorly. Google will recognize if an article has too many ads placed within it, causing a significant distraction for the reader.
Again, Google wants to deliver value and high quality to its readers. Pages with ads that shroud the articles do not signal quality content, but rather the opposite, as Google sees that article as bait for the ads.
Would you expect to see the web article you are reading published in a credible print publication like a magazine or a book? Let’s face the fact that not everyone is a world-class writer, me included. However, you can tell if an article is suitable for print within a newspaper, magazine, or book over pieces that do not make any grammatical sense or have poor spelling.
Google is not asking you to become a published author. Again, they want websites to deliver well-written, thought-out articles that provide value.
Avoid Short, Unsubstantial Articles
Google likes long, thought-out articles that offer your readers specifics. As a B2B firm, is your content helping your readers solve challenges to their problems? Is your content delivering valuable insights into your products and how they can help your readers? If you answered no to these questions, you might want to revisit your articles to see where you can improve the ones falling short of delivering valuable insight.
Detailed Web Pages
There’s nothing more frustrating than arriving at a web page to find very little information or detail on the page that is relevant to a search query. When designing your B2B web pages, place a good amount of attention on creating detailed pages with proper navigation and valuable content.
Do your readers or customers complain about your webpage? Are there missing elements, poorly written content, or hard to navigate or find information? Google wants to deliver the best quality to its readers. Poor design and a lack of depth in your site’s content can turn readers away. Make sure that you create a quality B2B website that readers will want to come to, stay, and share with friends.
The days of simply placing anything on your website and spamming with keywords are long gone. Google emphasizes creating quality websites that deliver value to its readers. Yet, google even recognizes that assessing their algorithm for site quality is a difficult task. While it is nice to hit every one of the 22 factors above for creating a quality B2B website, keep in mind that very few websites achieve everything on the list. Instead, focus on developing unique content and delivering value with little to no page distractions, especially distractions from too many ads.
Since Google does not disclose their exact strategy for their search algorithms, they recommend following the 22 factors for developing quality B2B websites. However, Google notes that websites with several low-quality ranking pages can cause the entire website to drop in SERP rankings. The advice here is to make sure that all of your pages are delivering high-quality content.