IT Marketing Insights Blog

B2B SEO Podcast: Improving Your Google Organic Search Rankings

Listen to the full 18-minute AMA Boston podcast with Saratoga B2B’s Charley Spektor here.

Excerpts from the Podcast (3-minute read): 

I recently joined American Marketing Association-Boston President-elect Meghan McGrath for a conversation. We focused on several key ingredients that can often help boost Google Organic Search rankings for both B2B and B2C firms.

Here are some edited highlights and takeaways from our discussion:

Charley: If you type in “white box switches” into Google, you’ll see that our client, Pica 8, ranks on page 1…we’ve been working with Pica8 for about 15 months…and prior to working on content marketing and SEO, they did not rank for “white box switches,” which happens to be one of their core competencies…

“We take a data-driven approach…we’re basically doing a digital SWOT analysis…if you ask ‘can I rank on page 1,’ you have to look at the landscape – who is already out there, what is Google recognizing your site for currently…and where are there gaps and opportunities…

“There are some great tools out there, including tools from Google…the one I mention the most that people underutilize is Google Search Console – which tells you which keywords you’re ranking for right now in Google. It shows you strengths and it shows you weaknesses. With all our clients every time you look in Google Search Console, you generally get surprised, either negatively or positively {at what you find]. You’re creating a data-driven technique to inform your business decisions using tools like Search Console.”

As an example with Pica8, we saw indications that Google was willing to rank us for “white box switches.” Here and there we would see “white box switches” showing up in [queries] in Search Console. But we didn’t have a dedicated page for white box switches. So we created a dedicated page. And we informed that page with three different levels of content: 1) “Table stakes – that is, what do you need to have [content-wise] as a minimum to just be in the ball game; 2) What subject-matter-expertise do you have to infuse the page with; and then 3) what is your differentiator. You always need a differentiator. Because if you can’t differentiate yourself from pages which are already out there, why would Google want to show your page and displace one of the existing pages.

The ability to analyse this is available through Google Search Console and other tools, including of course, Google Analytics, and tools which give you a [partial] view of what your competitors rank for. So you can make a great [data-driven] initial plan on what do we need to do to potentially rank [better]…

You don’t want to pin your hopes on one keyword – which is typically a [plan] that people have. There’s a trophy keyword that they want to rank for. So with Pica8 we actually created 10 different [new] pages. – not knowing which ones were going to work. As it turned out, several of those 10 worked…the idea of being flexible is very important, especially if you’re a smaller or younger company where the odds are a little bit greater than with a more established company. If you search in Google for “leaf-spine architecture,” you’ll also see that Pica8 is on page 1 for that, which is another core competency that they have. So we spread it out and several of them worked really well and certainly from an ROI perspective made it worthwhile to do all 10 pages. [Note from Saratoga: More than 1 year after the white box switch page and the spine leaf page entered the top 10 of Google results, they are still there.]

Meghan: Do you want to tell our audience about pillar pages?

A pillar page is what we used to call a content hub page. Pillar pages are associated with cluster pages. The pillar-cluster ecosystem. This is a very important concept because Google has become so sophisticated with its artificial intelligence, including its natural language processing (NLP) capabilities. You can’t go out and create one page and talk about a topic on just that one page and expect to rank unless you’re  

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to listen to the entire 20-minute podcast.

After listening, get in touch with us if you are interested in learning more about Saratoga B2B, a field-tested SEO B2B agency.