It's no secret that search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the time-tested strategies for attracting traffic to your website and growing your business. However, many companies often overspend on SEO services they don't necessarily need to be successful. One such mistake for B2B startups in particular is keeping a technical SEO agency on retainer. This isn't to say their services aren't important – just that the potential benefits of an ongoing engagement with one are limited given how B2B websites typically function.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO refers to optimizing a website's technical aspects and structure. The goal is to ensure that search engines can effectively crawl and index a website, allowing it to appear on relevant search engine result pages. This includes improving site speed, fixing broken links, optimizing images, and correctly using header tags.
For more competitive spaces, technical SEO will also include adding schema markup (a form of structured data) that provides additional information for search engine crawlers.
These optimizations work in tandem with your content – your on-page SEO – to get your website ranked for the keywords you're targeting.
While a vital aspect of overall SEO strategy, the technical SEO needs of B2B companies– especially with startups with a straightforward web presence- differ from those of ecommerce companies or large established enterprises.
When Should B2B Startups Hire a Technical SEO Agency?
A technical SEO agency is good to have on hand when preparing your website for launch or making significant changes to its structure, such as performing a redesign or migrating to a different content management system (CMS). Without the proper structural foundation – for example, launching without optimized title tags or header tags – your new website will struggle to rank even if you have top-notch content. Waiting until after you launch to make technical optimizations is inefficient (and potentially costly) because it means you'll be duplicating effort. It will also take longer to get the rankings you want.
The SEO risk when performing a major overhaul to an existing website is the potential to lose rankings you already have because of a technical mistake. If your URL structure changes because of a CMS migration, it's essential to make sure all your existing URLs are mapped to new URLs and redirected to their new locations as part of the process. Otherwise, search engines will think those pages are gone, and any inbound links you have built to those old URLs will no longer work.
Similar risks exist with launching a new design, even if the URL structure stays the same. Depending on how your new design is coded, search engines may be unable to crawl it effectively. If there are fancy visual elements, they may negatively impact page speed and affect search engine rankings.
Involving a technical SEO agency in these major website projects will help mitigate these risks and help you avoid losing your hard-earned positions.
Additionally, because search engines frequently change their algorithms, it can also make sense to hire one for a periodic technical SEO audit (the way you go to a doctor for an annual checkup), or if you notice your rankings drop when your content and website haven't changed.
Content Strategy and On-Page SEO are More Important for B2B
Outside of these major projects, however, the value of the technical SEO agency's onging services is limited for a B2B startup. Unlike an e-commerce brand, you're not regularly changing your product lineup and don't need to manage URLs and structured data for hundreds of pages. In most cases, your website will be in a steady state aside from your blog posts and landing pages that will use templates that are already optimized. Getting your content strategy and on-page SEO right at launch will be far more critical.
If you’re a B2B startup that’s leveraging HubSpot and want to see if you're getting your content right and establish if you need an under-the-hood technical checkup, you've come to the right place. We’ve helped numerous companies like yours improve their content and successfully rank for important keywords that drive qualified leads. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!