The 4 most important ranking factors for B2B websites

The ranking of a website is influenced by over 1,000 factors. For B2B companies with limited resources, such an SEO effort is almost impossible. We show you with which 4 factors you can master your online presence.

Ranking factors

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Digital visibility

If you want to be found online, you have to appear on the first page of Google. This not-so-new wisdom is still valid today. Accordingly, it is important to deal with those factors that help your B2B company to appear at the top of the search results (SERP).

Only those who can be found online by their target group can build a digital presence, attract relevant traffic, convert users into leads and thus create the basis for digital sales.

An eye for the essentials

But online marketing has to be learned. With the help of over 1,000 factors, the Google algorithm decides where a page appears in the search results. And it does so anew for every search query.

How does a B2B company with limited resources succeed in making its own website SEO-fit?

With a focus on the 4 most important factors.

Not every ranking factor has the same weighting and is especially relevant for B2B companies. Manick Bhan, CTO and Founder of linkgraph, examined over 200 search queries for 18 metrics during Ad World 2021 and determined the four most important ranking factors for a good Google ranking.

The 4 main factors for your B2B online presence

In his analysis, Bhan was able to identify four factors that are particularly important for ranking.

These ranking factors are:

  • Page Authority

  • Page Experience

  • Content

  • Keywords

While the factors themselves are not new, the balance of power among them has changed significantly in recent years. Page Authority was clearly the most important factor in 2000. Today, content and page experience are increasingly important factors, and the trend is rising.

Ranking Factors

Source: Excerpt Presentation "Coming Out on Top: Discover the 1,000 Ranking Factors Google Uses" by Manick Bhan

As Bhan sums it up:

Search is becoming more democratic. Authority is becoming less important than page experience and content. (...) This is really great news for the underdog.

In the following, we will show you what to look for when optimizing your B2B website:

Factor 1: Page Authority

As mentioned, this factor has become less important in recent years. Nevertheless, the Page Authority is still one of the most important factors for Google.

Page Authority describes the relevance of a website, based on so-called trust signals. These are on the one hand ratings by users and customers, on the other hand links from other websites with a high Page Authority.

The more official and high quality websites link to your B2B website, the better the Page Authority.

Google thus sees Page Authority as a kind of confirmation from other websites (links) and users (reviews) that the website is what it claims to be, performs accordingly, and is trustworthy.

Example Aioma Testimonials

Source: Example Testiomonials Aioma

This can be further strengthened by the B2B website itself having a well thought-out internal linking concept. The website thus shows the user and Google which pages within the website are more important and actively leads the user there.

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Factor 2: Page Experience

The page experience is becoming increasingly important for Google and encompasses the complete experience that a user has on the website.

Starting with the page load time, over a clear orientation to the layout and reading flow: all these factors have an influence on the page performance and the associated experience.

Aioma Hub

Source: Example Aioma Hub

Site speed in particular is a factor that should not be underestimated when it comes to ranking. With tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights, the loading time of the website for mobile and desktop can be measured and optimized according to the recommendations.

Furthermore, Google evaluates the dwell time and the number of pages that a user looks at in the page experience.

Page Experience is how Google measures whether and how well users find what they are looking for.

If the user jumps back to the search results (pogosticking), this is an indicator that the page does not provide the desired content for the user and the page will rank less well for the same search query in the future.

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Factor 3: Content

Many of the major Google algorithm updates in recent years have focused on the relevance and quality of content. Accordingly, it seems logical that content that is valuable for the user is a clear ranking factor and will continue to be so.

Google Algorithm Updates over the years

UpdateDateRanking Factors
PSI Update2021Performance
Passage Ranking2020Content Relevance, Content Quality
BERT International Rollout2019Content Relevance, Content Quality
BERT Update2019Content Relevance, Content Quality
Mobile-First Indexing2018Mobile-friendliness
Penguin 4.0 Phase 22016Backlinks
Penguin 4.0 Phase 12016Backlinks
RankBrain2015Content Relevance, Content Quality
Quality Update2015Content Quality
Pirate 2.02014Content Quality, Security
HTTPS/SSL Update2014Security
Pigeon Update2014Local Signals, Content Quality, Backlinks
Panda 4.02014Content Quality
Hummingbird2013Content Quality
Pirate2012Content Quality, Security
Penguin2012Backlinks

Source: Own representation of algorithm updates from presentation "Coming Out on Top: Discover the 1,000 Ranking Factors Google Uses" by Manick Bhan

Of course, not all content is the same. Google reacts particularly well to topic clusters, which combine similar topics and clearly show the expertise of the B2B company behind the website.

As already mentioned with Page Authority, internal links are also very important here to show the user where he can find further information.

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Besides a clear topic structure, the length of the texts plays a role. Longer texts are preferred by Google. Similarly, it looks for content that in addition to text on images, videos, graphics or the like.

The most important criterion for the content is the added value it offers the user.

The content must clearly target the needs of the readers and pick them up with the help of the right terms (keywords). These keywords should also be mentioned within the meta texts (title tag, meta description), so that Google clearly recognizes which need or topic it is about here.

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Factor 4: Keywords

As already indicated in factor 3, keywords and industry-specific terms play an important role in ranking. Google recognizes the expertise of the B2B company behind the online presence when the right terms are used and the user finds exactly what he is looking for.

With the help of a keyword research, the appropriate terms can be found. This way you know what your target group is looking for and can prepare the appropriate content.

Keywords with low competition and moderate to high search volume are particularly favorable.

The search volume guarantees that there is actually a demand for this topic and the low competition increases the chance of being able to build up a good ranking in the shortest possible time and thus being found by the target group.

Conclusion

If you want to be found by your target group, you have to be present on Google. In order for B2B companies with limited online marketing resources to succeed, they need a clear strategy on where to focus their few resources.

Manick Bhan presented at Ad World 2021 four factors that have been proven to influence Google rankings the most: Page Authority, Page Experience, Content and Keywords.

If you as a B2B company focus your SEO efforts on these four factors, you can secure a clear digital advantage over the competition even with few resources.