When you think of the top trends in off-page SEO for B2Bs for 2024, you may not immediately think about off-page SEO strategies external to your website. The first thing that pops into our heads is usually on-page SEO techniques, such as tags, metadata, and compressed images on our websites.
This article explains why off-page SEO (also called off-site SEO) is as critical as on-page SEO to improve organic search rankings for your B2B Business.
Why Should I Care About Off-Page SEO Trends for B2Bs?
When the Google bot crawls, indexes, and ranks pages, it analyzes data from both on-page and off-page SEO—and they are equally important. In the big picture, signals from off-page SEO are as important as those from the website in determining page quality and its relevance to a user search.
It’s all part of the complex ranking algorithm and businesses that rise to the top pay close attention to trends in both on-page and off-page SEO.
1. Experience, the newest E-E-A-T Ranking Factor
While not a ranking factor, Google emphasizes a set of characteristics known as E-E-A-T. Formerly known as E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trust), Google added Experience (the second E) as a fourth element in determining if a page is considered high-quality in 2022.
Experience indicates the author has first-hand experience with the topic. Off-page SEO strategies include product reviews by the author, evidence of personal transactions with a product or business, and original images related to product usage.
Examples of off-page SEO factors from the other three E-A-T factors are:
- Expertise: Expertise is signaled by industry recognition, including backlinks from credible sites, positive mentions or quotes about you, certifications, awards, and other relevant credentials.
- Authoritativeness: Evidence that you are the go-to source on a topic includes quality backlinks to your site, shares on social media, being quoted on credible websites, and podcast interviews hosted by an industry influencer.
- Trustworthiness: Signals that show your content is honest, safe, reliable, and accurate include data or statistics that cite a reliable source, secure website indicators, backlinks, reviews, and recommendations.
How to identify off-page SEO E-E-A-T signals for B2B
2. Local SEO for B2Bs
Local search focuses on optimizing your online presence. Goals may include increased visibility for local searches, in-store traffic and phone calls, reputation management, and backlinks. This trend is easy to quantify:
- Google Maps searches for “shopping near me” have grown globally by more than 100% year-over-year.
- Mobile searches for “store open near me” also grew by over 250% in a recent two-year period.
- The number of monthly local searches is 97 billion.
Google will rank for local search signals from many sources, including on-site relevance and quality, online review and reputation, local backline and citations, and user engagement factors. Two essential local search strategies that create backlinks are Google My Profile (GMP) and NAP (Name-Address-Phone) citations.
Google My Profile (GMP) for Off-Site SEO
Google My Profile is a free service that lets you control the information displayed for your business across all of Google’s services, including Google reviews, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. Your profile allows you to post images and videos, publish posts, receive and respond to reviews and more. Your contact information must remain consistent across all Google services. Include keywords in your information, product, or service section using appropriate keywords. If you don’t have a storefront or physical office, just leave the Business Location field blank.
For more information, check out the Google Business Profile guide.
NAP Citations for Off-Site Local SEO
NAP (Name, Address, Phone) citations are online resources that mention key information about your business, including business directories, social media profiles, review sites, and more. Similar to GMP, be consistent across all NAP citations. Submit NAP profiles to niche and local websites, run monthly NAP audits, and respond to all reviews, good and bad. Like GMP, keep your citations consistent everywhere. Tips include optimizing header tags, localizing content, and using local business schema.
3. Diverse Backlinking Strategies:
You will strengthen the power of your backlinks if they are from a wide range of websites, such as news sites, blogs, directories, and social media platforms. It also helps to have backlinks from sites with different domain authorities, page ranks, and niches. A diverse linking strategy will add to your authority and credibility, while increasing visibility and getting a mix of referral traffic.
4. Podcasts Guesting
Podcast listenership is growing, and most search engines have a specific podcast section on their SERPs. Successful SEO for podcasts relies on the metadata linked to your show, including the show name, episode title, and description. It’s essential to create a searchable description for visibility on popular platforms such as Google Podcasts and Spotify. Another way to improve podcast SEO is by having a dedicated podcast that also includes cover art, email subscribe buttons and social following buttons.
5. Guest Posting on Industry Relevant Partners and Publications
B2B businesses can boost off-site SEO, get backlinks, and build brand awareness–but there are a few caveats. It is against Google’s policies to pay for guest posting spots, and be sure to avoid “link farms” and other manipulative link strategies. In addition, steer clear of spammy tactics, such as keyword-stuffing. Always partner with reputable, high-authority sites that are relevant to your business, aiming for quality and not quantity.
6. Social Media Posting
Businesses can’t ignore the fact that 84% of B2B buyers or decision-makers use social media at some point during the decision-making process. But is it useful for SEO? Search engines do not use social signals–such as shares, followers, and mentions–as a direct ranking factor, but some professionals see social as an indirect SEO enhancer.
While there is still controversy about Google’s attention to social signals, social channels expand the reach of a business’s content, leading to more backlinks, improved engagement signals, and other factors that are positive for SEO. As with all SEO strategies, be sure to optimize your photos, videos, and other content.
7. Forum Participation
Participating in forums—such as LinkedIn and Quora—related to your specific niche can help you add to your authority, increase traffic, provide valuable ideas, get helpful feedback, and build relationships with colleagues—and potential partners. Most forums are open to the public, and search engines crawl and index them.
Events provide a plethora of off-site B2B SEO possibilities in 2024. An effective SEO strategy could land you at the top of the SERP, in an event or video carousels, knowledge panels, and other rich results. Events appearing in these rich features, located above other organic search results, usually come from social media platforms and the event’s official website, so make the most of these channels.
The most effective methods for getting rich results on organic search are to use event structured data and Event schema, utilize the event website, and optimize the event information you post on your social channels and other off-site opportunities—always with mobile-first design.
9. Industry Leadership Webinars
According to a study from B2B content and demand marketing platform, BrightTalk, 91 percent of professionals say webinars are their top learning format. Businesses can use the potential of webinars as part of their SEO strategy to build their authority and credibility, drive traffic and conversions, attract high-quality backlinks, and more.
Effective SEO strategies for webinars include:
- Research keywords to use in your webinar title, description, landing page, and description. Use categories and tags with your webinars, along with the correct schema.
- Prioritize the video name, description, duration, and content
- Include a video transcript on your webinar page.
- Create and repurpose valuable content
- Monitor and improve your performance
Digital marketing disciplines don’t exist in a vacuum. Areas such as social media, content marketing, events, and SEO often overlap and reinforce each other. For example, your company may plan a webinar that can be promoted on your social channels, with related video content shared on social channels and posted on your website. Other projects may involve collaborating with other businesses, such as co-sponsoring an event, co-authoring an article, or appearing on each other’s podcast.
Whether working with internal or external groups, all parties should create a joint strategy that includes optimizing for search, using common keywords, promotion on each other’s social channels, backlinking, and other SEO-friendly techniques.
11. OptomizeVoice Search
We increasingly rely on our mobile phones and digital voice assistants—such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Now—to get immediate answers to our questions, especially for local searches. One study by PWC revealed that 71% of consumers would prefer using a voice assistant than typing to search online. From an SEO perspective, voice search technology brings us closer to understanding the intent behind a user’s search.
Tips for voice search optimization include using question-based and other long-tail keywords, creating content with conversational language, prioritizing local SEO, aiming for Google featured snippets, using schema markup, optimizing for mobile, and increasing site speed.
12. Consider User Intent Vs. Keywords
Voice search and user intent are closely related. AI, voice search, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP) are all emerging technologies that help us interpret, manipulate, and comprehend human language. Since voice commands encourage longer and more context-rich search phrases, we can put the user’s search into the proper context. As with voice search strategies, SEO professionals should optimize for social channels or other external websites by selecting keyword phrases (and content) that align with conversational language.
It Pays to Follow 2024 Off-Page SEO Trends for B2Bs
2024 SEO trends for B2B businesses reflect continuous changes in Google’s search algorithm, search technology, consumer habits and lifestyles, and economic and industry shifts. While we must adapt to new technologies to be competitive, the human element is superior to machines in business experience, creativity, intuition, and the ability to strategize in the long term.
Ready to Adapt to the Latest Trends in B2B SEO?
Following trends is a great idea, but not every B2B business has the staff and resources to continuously adapt to digital marketing and industry shifts. Even in larger companies, strategies can be put into place in stages, rather than all at once. Sometimes this is preferable because different strategies can be analyzed in isolation, more accurately determining the effects of each.
B2B businesses, especially smaller ones without SEO expertise, can more quickly adapt to trends by hiring an award-winning digital agency like ours, known for developing websites that implement effective SEO strategies.