SEO is valuable for all companies, but it’s one of the most important customer acquisition channels for B2B companies. Organic traffic across the buying cycle accelerates growth and boosts brand recognition.
Developing an SEO strategy for B2B is different than for B2C companies, however. The key to driving success is identifying these differences and approaching the strategy with the right mindset.
Understanding B2B SEO
B2B SEO is a marketing strategy that aims to boost the search engine ranking and increase organic search engine traffic. Unlike B2C, B2B connects businesses to other businesses for purchases, but the basic SEO strategy is similar.
So, the primary difference between B2C and B2B SEO strategies is the audience. Consumers buying for themselves behave differently than consumers purchasing on behalf of a business.
B2B vs. B2C SEO
As mentioned, the audience is the primary difference between these two business models and the approach to SEO. Professional services and products are purchased differently than consumer products.
There are several challenges to approaching this audience, including:
- A complex sales funnel
- Low-volume keywords
- Lower conversion rates (but generally higher-value purchases)
- The need for thought leadership
With all this in mind, here is a basic, step-by-step B2B SEO strategy process:
Develop Buyer Personas
Detailed buyer personas are necessary for B2B SEO. Typically, B2B companies need more in-depth and granular information about buyers than a B2C company ever would.
Most businesses have multiple buyer personas, each with its pain points, favorite channels, and more. You should drill down as far as possible to understand your personas inside and out.
Understand the Sales Funnel
B2B sales funnels are different than B2C, so you need to dive into your sales funnel to understand what keywords you should be targeting.
Here are some ways to learn more about your sales funnel:
- Talk to your sales team and ask about the most successful touchpoints.
- Get insights from sales data to see how most customers find your company.
- Make note of key metrics like the average time to purchase, retention rate, and lifetime value.
Perform Keyword Research Around Buyer Personas
Keyword research is a fundamental component of SEO strategy. Companies that find unique opportunities to target buyer personas are more successful with their SEO strategies.
This is where B2B diverges from B2C – consumers search by commercial terms, but B2B SEO strategy should consider commercial and informational searches. Consider keywords for searchers looking for answers to questions or more in-depth information, not just direct-purchase language.
Optimize Product Landing Pages
Rankings go a long way to driving traffic to your website, but the end goal is still the same – closing the sale.
So, you need excellent product landing pages to make the deal. B2B companies typically build landing pages around content to add depth, provide value to customers, and earn traffic.
Build a Solid Content Strategy
Sales landing pages are usually reserved for the action stage of the buyer journey, so having a scalable content strategy that drives visibility higher up the funnel is vital.
Build your content around answers to common questions or information about commonly searched topics to bring people into your business. Don’t focus all your efforts on the awareness stage – B2B is all about the long game.
Consider content like:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- How-to videos
- Case studies
- Product demos
Create a Linkbuilding Strategy
Backlinks are essential to any effective SEO strategy and go a long way toward boosting search engine ranking. Content marketing is the most effective way to build quality links.
You can earn links in many ways, including:
- Reaching out to journalists to write an article about your case study
- Sending pitches to industry publications for thought leadership pieces
- Offering guest blogs or online interviews
Even if you have a rock-solid B2B SEO strategy, it needs nurturing and continued optimization through link-building practices. Keep looking for ways to earn links from authoritative websites to see your organic traffic and search engine visibility improve.
SEO for B2B may be a bit different than B2C SEO, but by focusing on your audience and addressing their needs, you can position yourself for success!
—————-Author Bio Below
Jason started freelancing in SEO back in college, sold his first agency, and now is founder of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long-term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends, catching up on reading, and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.