4 Tips for Making Your Content Accessible to Search Engine Bots

We often talk about creation and promotion in B2B content marketing, but the accessibility of content can often be overlooked by digital marketers.

So what do we mean by accessible content?

  • Accessible content can be easily crawled by search engine bots. What? Is that even English? Here is what you need to know: accessible content = good SEO.
  • It also refers to B2B content that has additional features and aspects to accommodate internet users with disabilities, such as low vision or hearing impairments.

In the interest of brevity and clarity, we are going to focus on the content accessibility as it relates to SEO. (We will dedicate another, longer and more detailed blog post to address web content accessibility in terms of users in the very near future.)

How to Make Content Accessible (It’s Good for SEO!)

Now, let’s take a look at what makes your B2B website content accessible to those little search engine bots that are crawling around the internet-sphere.

4 Tips to Make Your Website Content Crawlable

1. Use Headlines and Sub-Headlines

In the code for your website or in your Content Management System (CMS), use H tags (H1, H2, H3, etc) to categorize your titles and subtitles according to their importance (The H in H tag stands for “Heading”). Search engine crawlers look at these header tags for clues on what the content is about and the overall structure of the page.

Here is an example of H2 and H3 tags used in the HTML of a blog post:

from a ton of different places.

<h2>Here are 10 ideas for your next blog:</h2>

<h3>Share How-To Tips</h3>

<h3>Give the Highlights</h3>

If you use WordPress or a similar CMS, there is typically a drop down option in the WYSIWYG editor that looks like this:

WYSIWYG Header Tags

2. Provide a Map with Schema Markup

First, let’s answer the question: What Is Schema?

According to Schema.org, “Schema.org provides a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to market up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, Yandes, and Yahoo.”

Schema markup is essentially microdata that provides additional information to search engines that people reading the web page would normally understand. This microdata labels different items on a web page, such as “name,” “address,” “person,” “review,” etc.


Why Use Schema on Your Website?

A person looking at a web page can typically identify these things easily, but a search engine cannot. The microdata labels the things in the code so search engines can understand what they are and improve the accuracy of search engine results. At the basic level, it makes your B2B website easier to crawl and provides better information to the search engines regarding your content, which is good for your SEO.

3. Provide Transcripts for Video and Audio Media

Search engine bots can identify video and audio files on a website, but they can’t crawl them for content like they can text.

In order to get the maximum SEO value of all the B2B content marketing on your website, create and provide written text transcripts of the videos and audio files you host on your website. (On a side note – these also enhance the accessibility of your website for users with disabilities as well.)

4. Make PDFs Accessible with OCR

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. In terms of accessibility and your B2B website, OCR technology is helpful for converting uncrawlable files, like PDFs, into crawlable text. The benefit here is that if you have a lot of information in PDFs, since that makes them easy for users to download, you can now make them easy for search engines to view and understand as well.

Making the content available to search engines ensures that you are getting SEO value out of the files, even though they are not traditionally crawlable. The only caveat here is to make sure your PDFs aren’t duplicate content of any of your web pages or blogs.

There is a lot your business can do in terms of a solid web design and B2B content marketing strategy to impact SEO. However, it’s always ideal to start on-site and to hone the things you can control (as opposed to offsite efforts like links, guest blogs, and social media which you don’t own). By following these steps to make your content accessible to search engine bots, you will improve the overall SEO of your B2B website.


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