It’s the age-old SEO catch-22: Once you get to the top of the SERPs, that doesn’t mean you’ll stay there.
To outrank your competitors in search engines requires constant optimization and iteration. With more and more businesses turning to SEO because of the increasing price of PPC ads, SEO will only continue to grow more competitive in the upcoming year.
That means outranking your competition will require continual work and iteration from your B2B marketing teams. It can be time and resource intensive, but that’s the name of the SEO game, and it’s how you’ll continue to win in organic search.
Outranking your competitors in Google in 2024 will require combining search engine optimization best practices with the newest SEO technologies that can help you scale your SEO strategy faster and at a sustainable price point.
Here are 10 methods that combine both classic SEO fundamentals with the best marketing techniques. Use them to outrank your competitors within the Google search engine result pages for years to come.
High-quality content has always been the North star in Google’s ranking algorithm. That’s not about to change in 2024.
Google’s Helpful Content Update and has improved the way that crawlers understand quality content. As a result, Google will continue to reward web content that gives users a satisfying experience, or what Google’s webmaster guidelines call “people-first” content.
If you publish content purely for search engines to index and promote, rather than creating content for the real humans who discover it, Google is less likely to reward your web pages with higher-ranking positions.
So what does helpful, high-quality content look like to search engines?
Webpages with answers to user's questions and in-depth exploration of a topic
Content that reads as if an actual human wrote it, not an AI content generator
Relevance to the primary topic or purpose of the website. For example, a digital marketing agency website with articles about related marketing topics, rather than unrelated topics like insurance or financial topics
Proven expertise in the industry or topic area. This is best displayed through, backlinks, referring domains, and other off-site factors
You can use the aid of a content optimizer tool to create the kind of content search engines are looking for. They essentially provide the “codes,” for ranking — meaning the terms, keywords, subtopics, and questions that you should include on the page.
Google also continues to pay attention to bounce rates and click-through rates to understand quality content and what to promote in organic search. These are just a few of the quality indicators that will continue to influence your website’s rankings in 2023, and you can get to know them more thoroughly by reviewing the Quality Rater’s Guidelines.
Improving your content quality can have major benefits for all areas of your inbound marketing. This is true even if your website’s off-site signals like backlinks or Domain Authority still have room for improvement. Of all places to invest your B2B marketing budget, higher-quality content will pay long-term dividends.
Searchers are unlikely to find your B2B content helpful or high-quality if it takes too long to load. Nobody likes a slow website, and neither does Google.
Page speeds and load times will continue to be essential to outranking your competitors and improving organic traffic in the new year.
Fast load times are also important for converting website customers, regardless of whether they come from the SERPs or a social media post. The reality is, 70 percent of consumers admit their page speed impacts their willingness to make purchases online or submit a lead generation form.
If your website is too slow to load or the web design or WordPress theme drags down performance, consumers will quickly bounce away from your website and go to the next competitor they find in the SERPs.
Google measures page performance and experience primarily through its Core Web Vitals metrics, and this algorithm will continue to play a big role in 2024. To see where your website stands in terms of speed, consider some of the below options
Look at your Core Web Vitals report in your Google Search Console report
Run a PageSpeed Insights report to see detailed page speed metrics
Use a site auditor or other SEO tools to access guided recommendations on how to improve your page speeds and the technical SEO elements of your web pages
There are a lot of potential reasons for slow-loading pages. If you don’t have skilled web developers in-house, consider partnering with an agency that specializes in page speed optimization or technical SEO.
Keyword research is the work of finding the terms, search queries, and phrases your prospective customers are using in search engines. In addition, keyword research can help B2B marketing teams discover the many ways users are leveraging search engines to find products and services like yours.
However, not all keywords are created equal. You can optimize for the same target keywords as your competitors, but just because your competitors are succeeding with those keywords doesn’t guarantee your website will rank as well. Some keywords are more competitive than others. Therefore, it’s important that your website chooses target keywords that are within realistic reach.
Why? Because the majority of searchers don’t scroll past the first page of the SERPs. If your website has low Domain Authority and has not yet built up off-site signals with backlinks and link building, it’s unlikely your web pages will rank on the first page for very competitive keywords.
When choosing keywords, look for these indicators:
Realistic Keyword Difficulty score: That means lower or equal to your website’s Domain Authority
Strong Monthly Search Volume: Otherwise, your optimization will be for nobody
High CPCs: Indicates strong conversion potential and qualified target audiences
Long-tail variations of keywords: This can be a great strategy for B2B brands where many searchers are often using more specific keyword phrases that show buyer intent but are less competitive
In addition, smarter keyword research will mean leveraging the power of SEO tools. Some helpful keyword research tools include:
Keyword Gap Analyzers: See if your website is lacking specific topics and themes that your competitors are doing well. Identify how you can add these right keywords to your content strategy for chances at boosting your organic rankings.
Content Planners: Let software automate keyword clustering and topic ideation for you. This is a great way to build out content marketing plans for you. This free content planner tool can generate a content plan with one-click.
Since the early days of SEO, Backlinks have always been the biggest factor to ranking in the SERPs. When another website posts a backlink to your website, it shows Google that other webmasters have confidence in your website and that you provide high-quality content to users.
But it’s important to differentiate that this only goes for quality links, from vetted, quality websites. Quality over quantity is important when it comes to acquiring backlinks and SEO, or else Google may think you are a spam account or using questionable link-building practices to artificially inflate your website’s rankings.
The number of backlinks can be associated with higher Domain Authority, as it tells Google multiple people can ‘vouch’ for your website. The best way to earn more backlinks is to leverage the quality content that lives permanently on your website.
Here are some of my favorite link-building strategies that will continue to be Google-compliant in upcoming years:
Digital PR: This strategy combines the best of content marketing, social media, public relations, and SEO to earn backlinks from authoritative websites through original content.
HARO Link Building: This free service from Cision connects business owners and marketers with journalists who are seeking to feature quality content or commentary from experts. HARO, or Help-A-Reporter-Out, can be a great way to earn backlinks from publications that are otherwise difficult to acquire.
Guest Posting: This strategy used by bloggers can be very impactful. It involves writing a guest post for another publication, providing both values to their target audience and backlinks to your web pages. This can be an excellent strategy for B2B brands that have very niche or technical areas of expertise and want to earn backlinks and build their reputation as an industry or thought leader.
Local Citations: For beginners, signing up for a NAP citation service, which can be as low as $20/month, can be a great first step to starting to build off-site signals to your website and outranking competitors in search engines.
Link building should be an ongoing part of your content strategy. Think strategically about anchor text, and make sure you are earning links that help you rank for your target keywords.
However, link building can also be very time and resource intensive. If you don’t have the in-house manpower to execute link-building for your B2B brand, you may want to consider outsourcing to a reputable SEO agency.
Google has made it clear that the authors and creators of our website content will continue to become a stronger content-quality indicator in 2023.
Why? Because with so much content on the internet, and so many people trying to rank in search engine results, users want to know the information they find is coming from experts.
Making clear who the authors of your content are and their areas of expertise will make your content more authoritative in the eyes of Google.
Here are some of the ways that you can get started with improving author authority signals:
Make sure that there is a clear author byline on your blogs, articles, ebooks, etc.
Include an author bio so your readers will see what makes your authors experts
Create “Author Pages” for your regular content creators. You can link out to all of the other articles they have contributed to your website, a great internal linking strategy
Link to the Author’s social media profiles in their bio or author page. If the user, or Quality Rater, wants to confirm that this person is an expert in the primary topic areas of your website, they can easily do so with one click.
Getting your potential customers to your website is one thing, but keeping them there is another challenge! For the best user experience possible, I recommend creating an intuitive navigational structure with plenty of internal links.
The last thing you'll want for your customers to feel overwhelmed and frustrated with the user experience and navigation of your website. Plus, incorporating internal links is an easy way to improve bounce rates, and encourage visitors to view more pages and learn more about your products and services.
If you’re not quite sure where or when to add internal links, some content tools will suggest internal links for you as you optimize blogs or landing pages. Consider following those suggestions to improve your internal linking profile.
In terms of crawling and indexing, internal links also help search engine crawlers find new web pages and understand how your website content interrelates. It is an essential step in communicating the topical authority of your domain in comparison to others in industry.
Blog posts are a surefire way to amplify your total keyword rankings. The more content you have on your website, the more opportunities you have to rank.
However, that content needs to have relevancy to your B2B business and needs to be high-quality for this strategy to succeed. Also, blogs should follow on-page SEO best practices with page titles, meta descriptions, alt text, and other meta tags.
Not sure what to write about? Then leverage AI SEO tools to help you get started. Simply enter a keyword, and a blog idea generator will provide you a list of topics based on the top articles that are already ranking.
As already stated, make sure that you are using expert authors and creators to write those blog posts for your website. But for beginners getting started with an SEO content strategy, these AI-powered tools can be really helpful for building out a strategic content marketing calendar.
A website is only as great as its technical performance. You can have the best content in the world, but it’s unlikely you’ll reach the first page if you have not invested time and energy into technical SEO optimization.
The technical part of SEO is easy to ignore because it is more complex, and it does require some web development knowledge. Business owners who aren’t comfortable moving around in the backend of their content management systems may be missing opportunities for optimization.
But once again, enter SEO software to the rescue. Site auditors can crawl every single page of your website and check them for technical SEO issues. With comprehensive reports and guided recommendations, you can know exactly what technical fixes are required to improve your website’s ranking.
Many of these tools offer continued monitoring so you can know whenever any issue arises that may impact your SEO performance.
Again, the better your website performs technically, the better your website will perform within the search engine results, because after all, in 2023, Google is still a robot. To outrank your competition, you’ll need to make sure you make it as easy as possible for those bots to crawl, index, and understand your website content.
An increasingly popular and effective content marketing strategy is to create topic clusters around your main product or services.
Topic clusters are when you lump all similar products, services, or verticals of your business into one category of keywords and explore all of the subtopics of those keywords in depth.
For example, my agency specializes in link building, so we have built out a pretty strong cluster around link building that includes articles such as:
The meaning and role of anchor text
How to choose a link-building service or package
The best link-building tools
How to analyze a website’s backlink profile
Each of these individual content pieces ranks for a unique cluster of keywords, but they all fall under the general umbrella of link building. Because we have additional services that we offer, like on-page SEO, web design, conversion optimization, and more, we have also built out topic clusters in those key areas.
Topic clusters can help your B2B brand build topical authority in your specific industry niche. Because the marketing funnel is a bit more complex and longer for B2Bs, having lots of content for your potential customer to engage with along the way that answers their questions is also beneficial to the buyer and conversion journey.
The one common denominator between all of these recommendations are the use of SEO and marketing tools to do smarter SEO more quickly and at scale.
There are plenty of SEO tools available on the market, and outranking your competitors in 2023 will require leveraging the power of those tools, and becoming a power user of the specific SEO tools or software platforms that are the right choice for your business.
Here are some things to look for in the best enterprise SEO software platforms:
Content Optimizer: For beginners to SEO, the best place to start will be optimizing the on-page elements of your web pages. From the article copy to the title tags and meta descriptions, you will want to have a content optimizer to help you do that optimization more effectively and easily.
Backlink Analyzer: Because backlinks are so important to your website’s ranking, you will want access to a software platform that lets you see all of the linking domains pointing to your website. Even better, you’ll also want to be able to see the links pointing to your competitors' websites. You will be able to leverage that data in your own link-building efforts.
Keyword and Analytics Tracking: As already stated, iteration is the name of the SEO game, but you can’t iterate without a full and complete picture of how your content is currently performing in search engines. Look for keyword tracking tools that have Google Search Console integrations rather than keyword scraping, otherwise, you will not have a complete picture of your SEO performance.
Site Auditor: A built-in site crawler in your SEO platform or dashboard will make it so easy to improve the technical elements of your website without having to spend thousands of dollars outsourcing to an agency. The continual monitoring of landing pages for errors or problems makes it easy for your in-house web developers to quickly resolve and fix technical issues.
In summary, outranking your competition next year will require the powerhouse combination of classic SEO and the best of today’s software platforms.
If you’re not yet using SEO software, start leveraging free trials of SEO software to see what different platforms have to offer, and how they can help you start executing SEO more easily and at a sustainable price point.
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