While reviewing the progress you made this year and setting goals for 2018, telecommunication marketers should take the time to evaluate their website's current SEO and create a strategy to adjust accordingly in 2018.
Search engines are an essential part of the telecommunications customer's research process. As a result, search engines have become more sophisticated and continually strive to provide a better experience for users. The problem is that despite their advances, search engines still don't interpret a web page in the same way a user does. Fortunately there are things telecommunications marketers can do to make sure search engines properly understand what's on their website and get it to the right potential telecommunications customers organically.
Search engines continuously make updates to their algorithms so what worked when you built your website, may not work now. In fact, it may hurt your organic website traffic. That's why taking the time to update your SEO strategy in 2018 will pay off.
Here is how to create the SEO strategy telecommunications brands need in 2018.
Create a blog. Each time a blog is published, a new page is indexed on your site. This is a cue to search engines that your telecommunications website is active and increases your chances of being highly ranked in search engine results.
Additionally, those who blog receive 97% more links to their site, making it the most effective form of SEO. When creating a post, most bloggers link to other blogs, articles, or other sources to reference where they found their information. Once your content is published, it continues to impact SEO by driving traffic to your site through search engine results.
Use long-tail keywords in your content. These are longer, more specific keyword phrases that users are more likely to use when they are in the consideration or decisions phases of the buyer’s journey. Searchers are finding the answers to their search queries using longer terms are longer than ever. In fact, almost 42%of all searches consist of five or more words.
Image via Hubspot
The use of long-tail keywords is more prevalent among B2B customers, including those in telecommunications. These consumers are typically very knowledgeable in their particular niche and are able to execute more precise search queries, resulting in longer search terms.
Review your website's redirects. There are times when redirects are necessary, like when you launch a new website. If your website has committed any of the redirect sins listed below, you'll want to take steps to amend them. Otherwise Google may think your website is up to something fishy or will mark your site as low quality, both of which negatively impact your SERP rankings.
Here are the ways redirects could be hurting your B2B SEO:
1. Redirect chains
2. Internal linking steps through redirects
3. Unnecessary 301s
4. Canonical tags that 301
Review your URL structure. Your URL structure tells both Google and searchers what a particular page is about. Your URLs should semantically make sense and be relevant to the content on the page.
You also want want to ensure you are using "safe" characters in your URL. They perform better in B2B search rankings because they are easier for both users and search engines to understand. There are "reserved" and "unsafe" characters that you should avoid.
Unsafe characters should be encoded with a URL, for example ‘#’ must be encoded. Reserved characters are the characters that are reserved for a special meaning.
The characters that show as reserved but are also in the safe category are safe characters just as long as they are used for special meanings only.
- Safe: A, B, C, D, etc., $, !, *, ?
- Reserved: $, &, +, /, ;, :, ?, @, ,.
- Unsafe: Space, “”, <, >, ~, %, #.
All of this is not to not to say that you need to change existing URLs. When updated incorrectly, a change in URLs could cause your website's rankings could drop. If your website and its pages are ranking well, leaving them alone and planning to follow best practices going forward will be your best option.
Check your image tags. Without certain text, search engines cannot know the content of your images. In order to show up in search results, an image must have a relevant file name and alt text. Search engines are able to crawl these and can then render them in appropriate telecommunication SERP results.
The file name is the first location to use that keyword. Don't use the name the camera assigns the image such as DSC4536.jpg. The main keyword or subject of the photo needs to be the file name.
Alt text is a word or phrase that inserted as an attribute in HTML that tells search engines what the content of the photo is. When choosing alt text, ensure that it tells viewers as much as possible about the image, using as few words as possible.
Find out if your website is using old technology. Search engines either can't understand old technology or will struggle to properly crawl it. Common SEO technology transgression include:
- Using frames
- This dated technique displays the real pages on your website by using them as parts of other pages, usually your home page. As a result, search engines see your home page as empty.
- Not declaring doctype
- A document type declaration, or DOCTYPE, defines which version of (X)HTML your web page is using. Proper doctype declaration assists with proper page rendering and functioning of web documents in compliant browsers.
- Using Flash
- Flash not only lowers the usability of most websites – it also reduces the amount of content that’s visible to Google’s indexing bots, lowering search engine visibility.
Reevaluate who uses your website. In order for your ideal buyers to find your website, it needs to be built with them in mind. Sometimes telecommunications marketers make the mistake of building their website based on what they think is important rather than what their potential customers need to make the decisions to buy. When that happens, the website may not jive with what people are searching for, making it harder your website to show up in SERPs.
Your website should be built in a way that supports your ideal buyers in each phase of the buyer's journey and moves them along the path to purchase. Start by defining your buyer personas and what they need in each phase of the buyer's journey. Tailor the design and content of your website with that in mind.
Incorporate internal links. Inbound links to your existing content shows search engines the validity of your content. The same goes for linking internally to other pages on your website. If you’re working on a blog post that is related to or references a previous post, link to the old post. Beyond the SEO benefits, this tactic keeps the reader engaging with your website.
At the end of the day, the goal of your telecommunications website is to attract qualified visitors, convert them into leads, and nurture them into customers. Continual monitoring of SEO best practices and updating your website accordingly gives your telecommunications website they best chance of ranking at the top of the SERPs.