The Why and How of Glossary Pages for Your B2B Website

“Google it.”

This is a phrase we use with our family, friends, trivia teammates (just kidding!), and coworkers. “Googling it” has become a part of everyday life for most of us, and since we are all humans, it only makes sense to capitalize on it from a business perspective, including within the B2B space.

mobile google search

In fact, 90% of B2B buyers start their B2B purchases with a search. For this reason, it’s critical that your B2B website has all the answers they’re looking for, including the answers to common industry terminology. Enter, glossary pages.

What are Glossary Pages in Marketing?

Glossary pages in marketing serve as resources for website visitors that are looking to learn more about a specific term or phrase that’s common in your business or industry. While these pages are educational in nature, there are a number of benefits that might not be recognized at first glance.

The Benefits of Glossary Pages

Educate and Inform Site Visitors: Your B2B website is likely filled with case studies, white papers, product/service pages, blog posts, and more, all designed to drive conversions or nurture existing leads. Glossary pages are unique in the way they can bring new eyes to your website. While these site visitors may not convert on their first visit to the site, you have provided them with useful information about a term directly tied to your business and likely cemented your brand name into their minds.

Thought Leadership: If you are consistently creating glossary pages for your website, you will naturally be improving your business’ position as a thought leader in the industry. While you should always be providing definitions for the most popular terms in the space, also think about targeting new and emerging industry terminology. This will show that your organization is forward-thinking and it could help you get out ahead of the competition, especially in terms of search visibility.

Visibility in Search Engine Results: If you enter an industry term into Google, there’s a good chance you will see a number of educational pages appearing. For example, here’s what I see when I search for “software-defined networking.”

software defined networking search results

While the majority of the results are from websites that focus on networking, the top pages that are displayed are not homepages or even product pages. The pages at the top of the search results directly answer the question “what is software-defined networking” or simply provide a definition of the term.

Having your glossary page appear on the first page of results for a competitive term such as this will get a relevant visitor through the door and into your website. From there, you can optimize the page with CTAs and related content that will drive them further down the funnel.

How to Create and Format Glossary Pages

After reading about some of the benefits of glossary pages, you might be asking, “OK, so where do I start?” While I would advise you to cannonball into the glossary page water, your organization may have some hesitations, especially from the development team that would have to spend time and resources on building out a new website section. For this reason…

Dip Your Toe in the Water: You don’t need a designated section on your site for glossary pages to see their effectiveness and mine through the data before making a final decision. One of our clients recently had some reservations about posting this type of high-level content on their website and had real reservations about giving such content its own spot on their website.

For this reason, we started out with an educational series of blog posts on a weekly basis that was targeted towards common industry phrases. We saw a fairly immediate lift in organic website traffic, and after placing CTAs on the pages, we even saw some positive results in terms of conversions.

With these positive results, they bought in. We were then able to help them create a terminology section (think about the resources section as an option) on their website that still pulls in a great deal of traffic and conversions.

Identify Terms: When thinking about the terms to include in your glossary section, begin by reaching out beyond just the marketing team. Chat with PR, sales, and any other members of the organization that want to get involved. This will help you narrow down the list to the top terms and will allow you to pinpoint those that are most relevant to your business and products.

Once you have a list of terms, be sure to conduct keyword research. This research will allow you to see which terms on your list are the most popular in terms of search. These are the ones you will likely want to start with. Now, this doesn’t mean forget about the other lower volume terms. As mentioned before, you should pursue emerging phrases as well, as this will allow you to get your foot in the door before the competition floods the search results.

Create the Content: With your list of terms solidified, it’s time to start writing the content for the pages. Leverage existing assets on your site that relate to the theme. This information could come in the form of blog posts, product pages, webinars, case studies, infographics, etc. The benefits of doing this are two-fold:

  1. Your content team will have all the information they need to create a unique and informative page for site visitors.
  2. The terminology will be defined in one consistent voice.

In terms of formatting the layout of the page, begin with analyzing the pages that are ranking above the fold in search for the targeted term. Do these pages have a question in the title? Do they include the word “definition” or “define”? These clues should serve as a roadmap for your own page development. Of course, don’t be afraid to go above and beyond what you are seeing in the search results. This extra effort could put your page ahead of all the others.

Lastly, be sure to add relevant crosslinks to the page. Include a link to the core page for the focus phrase and other related pages that drive conversions on your website. Glossary pages will pull the new visitors through the door – it is then your job as the marketer to make sure they stay on the website and move further down the sales funnel.

Tracking Results

After you’ve created your first set of glossary pages, it’s time to track the results. Be sure to leverage the SEO tools that are available so you can see keyword, traffic, and conversion improvements. I’m confident you and your organization will be happy with the results once they start coming in.

Has your organization begun developing glossary pages for its website? Feel free to drop a comment below or connect with me on Twitter to keep this conversation going!

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