Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy that seeks to improve a page or site’s ranking on search engine results pages. While the basics may be similar, B2B SEO differs from B2C SEO in several key ways.
With B2C, the goal is more immediate – these SEO campaigns are geared toward getting visitors to make a purchase on the website quickly. B2B SEO is intended to increase brand exposure and brand recognition with the goal of generating quality leads that can turn into future sales.
Fundamentals of B2B SEO
B2B SEO is aimed at increasing organic search engine rankings for target keywords. These keywords are tied to influencers or decision-makers who can influence future partnerships or purchases on behalf of an organization.
Most B2B brands are built on long-term relationships with customers and high customer lifetime value, so the process of attracting prospects is more about the long game. SEO is one of the few sustainable strategies to create an audience, generate interest, attract prospects, and close customers in the future.
According to research from HubSpot, 61 percent of B2B marketers say SEO and organic traffic is the top inbound marketing focus. Like B2C consumers, B2B consumers research and discover potential suppliers and partnerships using searches, making SEO a potential game-changer for your organization.
Define the Target Audience
B2B brands are abundant in the market, and large, established brands have procurement teams and well-known names. Smaller B2B brands need to gain a foothold in the market by understanding their customers needs and providing value – offering generic information isn’t good enough anymore.
Buyers for B2B transactions may also involve a committee or suite of decision-makers, multigenerational decision-makers, or tech-savvy millennials. Understanding the difference between these audiences is important to target the content to their needs and help them make informed, intelligent decisions.
Perform Keyword Research
Whether B2B or B2C, keyword research is fundamental to any SEO strategy. Your chosen keywords should meet certain criteria to make them worth your while, such as reasonable difficulty, high relevance, and strong search volume.
Not every keyword will meet these criteria, so you may need to choose keywords that have low volume and low difficulty, high difficulty and low search volume, etc. Keep track of all your keywords with a spreadsheet and classify and review search intent for each one. Each keyword should be assigned with the stage of the purchase process to understand how they’re perceived by the search engine.
Plan Content Strategy
B2B content is important to establish your brand as a thought leader in the industry. Your website should have more than a blog – offer a resource center with content for each stage of the purchase process, including product demos, whitepapers, thought leadership pieces, use cases, infographics, webinars, case studies, and presentations.
All content should be updated properly to drive leads from the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel. With a resource center, you’ll have a convenient database of non-commercial content with informational keywords, as well as a source of linkable assets.
Attract Quality Leads with B2B SEO
B2B SEO is an effective way to attract leads for your brand and build lasting customer relationships. It does take time and patience, however. Over time, you’ll see that you’re getting higher rankings, driving more organic traffic to your site, and capturing high-quality prospects that you can convert into paying customers.