Good Ranking. Lousy Click-Through. Poor Perceptions.

December 27th, 2006 Posted by B2B Search Engine Optimization 0 thoughts

So many search engine optimization efforts (and SEO practitioners for that matter) seem to be focused solely on ranking. Companies and practitioners alike seem to be happy with good ranking in the search results. But that’s just the beginning. Searchers don’t click every search result. They choose which ones offer the most promise—and only a portion of those links clicked on will ultimately be considered as a potential source for a B2B purchase.

Good B2B search engine optimization has vital components beyond ranking. First, getting the searcher to click on your search result. And second, making sure you deliver on the expectations of the searcher after they click through to your site.

Driving Click-Through in B2B SEO

Even though you may be getting good rankings, it’s important to check what your search result actually says. Does it make visitors want to click through? Does it describe what the searcher is going to see when they do?

Too often, people are just lazy when it comes to Meta descriptions for organic search. While the content of the Meta description may have limited value in influencing search engine rankings, it has tremendous value to the searcher and in generating click-through.

You need to think of Meta descriptions as advertisements. First make sure you actually write Meta descriptions, otherwise the search engine is merely going to excerpt some text and place it in the search results. Why leave the decision of what to show up to them? Second, make sure what you write for the Meta description is appropriate for your landing page and entices searchers to go there. Doing these two things will drive significant increases in click-through.

Delivering on Expectations

While a high-ranking search result may drive click-through, you should be reviewing exactly what a searcher is going to get when they click on that high-ranking result. Do some searches, click on your links, and see where they go.

All too often, even large, sophisticated companies have high-ranking search results that lead to lousy landing pages. Although the desire would be for these links to point toward the most relevant related landing pages on the site, these links often end up pointing to less-than-relevant pages, such as marginally relevant news releases, pdfs on tangential matters, or product-specific pages when you would rather point searchers to product category landing pages.

If this is the case, you may not actually have created appropriate landing pages or may not have optimized them to be the one the search engine selects for a given search term. If your site doesn’t deliver on the searcher’s expectations after they click on a search result, they may quickly abandon your site and, worse, begin to form negative perceptions about your company and its offerings.

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Proteus B2B Marketing is a professional services firm specializing in maximizing marketing qualified leads through organic search and content marketing. In 2006, we were the first to specialize exclusively in B2B SEO.

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