Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most effective B2B SEO strategies for increasing leads and gaining customers. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term strategy, and you must properly implement it for your specific type of business for it to be successful.
Business-to-business search engine optimization, or B2B SEO, differs from business-to-consumer search engine optimization, also known as B2C SEO. When marketing your products and services to another business, your B2B SEO strategy should be an ongoing process as compared to B2C SEO where the marketing strategy is focused on short-term goals.
In 2021, the ideal B2B SEO strategy requires a more comprehensive approach to developing high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience.
In this article, we will discuss what B2B SEO entails, what makes a B2B marketing strategy and B2B SEO unique, and how to create an effective B2B SEO strategy to increase traffic to your website as well as increase sales revenue.
What is B2B search engine optimization (B2B SEO)?
Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of driving traffic to your website through search engine results. SEO involves making changes to your website to improve its rankings on the search engine results pages (SERP) when someone searches for terms related to your business. However, while rankings are important, the true objective of search engine optimization should be to get higher amounts of good quality organic traffic which will help to generate more leads, conversions, and sales.
While SEO has four main components—on-page SEO, off-page SEO, content, and technical SEO—the strategies and implementation differ when it comes to marketing for a B2B company versus a B2C company.
First of all, it is important to differentiate between a B2B company and a B2C company. In a B2B company, the products and services that the business provides are marketed toward other businesses. Some examples of B2B companies are office supply manufacturers, website design companies, and advertising agencies.
In a B2C company, the products and services that the business provides are marketed toward consumers directly. Some examples of B2B companies are websites that offer consumer products, restaurants, and retail stores.
What makes a B2B marketing strategy unique?
Business-to-business search engine optimization (B2B SEO) provides a unique set of challenges because, instead of reaching out to the general public or customers, you are selling your products or services to other businesses or people with higher positions within companies.
The core concept of SEO is to deliver high-value content to the target audience. In B2B SEO, the target audience is another company whereas, in B2C SEO, the target audience is the general public or direct consumer.
When marketing to a B2B company, it is important to recognize that the marketing strategy is dedicated to the needs, interests, and challenges of customers who are making purchases on behalf of their organization—rather than for themselves. There are several B2B marketing strategies that are successful. In B2C, on the other hand, customers are buying products and services directly for themselves. The final goal of the marketing strategy directly impacts the SEO strategy.
Some main ideas to consider when developing a B2B marketing strategy are:
Return on investment (ROI) is key
When it comes to business, time and money are investments you make to improve the company. The return is the profit you make as a result of your investments. Therefore, the return on investment or ROI is the ratio of net profit divided by the total cost of the investment. An important concept to keep in mind when marketing to a B2B company is that they’re looking for a good return on their investment into your product or service.
In general, B2B consumers are looking for efficiency and expertise, whereas a B2C consumer is looking for a good deal or to be entertained. Therefore, the B2B purchase process tends to focus on logic and financial incentive. When determining an effective B2B SEO strategy, the first step is to focus on your product’s return on investment. Ask yourself: How will other businesses profit from using this product or service? In the end, businesses want to invest in products and services that will make them money.
B2B marketing should be informative, educational, and detail-oriented
In order for B2B consumers to make good decisions for their company, they need to be fully informed about the products and services they are looking for. Therefore, relevant marketing content should help businesses think critically about their industry and help them to become more skilled professionals. When marketing for B2B consumers, delve deeper into the products and services you offer. Explain what your product or service can and cannot do for them as well as what the consumer needs to know in order to get the most success out of your product or service.
B2B buying cycles and contracts for purchases are long-term
B2C consumers tend to make quick, emotionally-driven purchases, whereas B2B consumers are looking to purchase products and services that benefit the company’s long-term goals. Because of this, an effective B2B marketing strategy should foster a nurturing relationship. A B2B consumer is not just purchasing a service or product. They’re entering into a lengthy contract and ongoing relationship with your company. As a result, B2B sales can take time and require patience.
What makes B2B SEO unique?
Because a B2B marketing strategy is focused on informing other businesses and developing a lasting relationship between the partners, effective B2B search engine optimization strategies need to be focused more on the needs of businesses overall rather than the needs of individual consumers.
Two unique challenges to keep in mind when considering a B2B SEO strategy are focusing on low-volume target keywords and recognizing lower click-to-sale conversion rates.
In general, more people search for keywords related to B2C every month rather than keywords specific to B2B. For example, more people search for “best Netflix shows” rather than “best POS software for small restaurants. This is because more consumers are in direct need of the service Netflix offers and because a B2B environment has a more complex and longer sales process. As a result, an effective B2B SEO strategy is to focus on the quality and intent of the search terms, rather than solely the search volume.
In conjunction, there are fewer click-to-sale conversions in B2B settings when compared to their B2C counterparts. However, in B2B, the conversion rate is a typically higher value than selling a single B2C product. Again, this is a reason why it is crucial to understand your target audience and demonstrate that your product and service and your company are their best solution.
Create an effective B2B SEO strategy
Understand your B2B audience
Business-to-business keyword searches typically have lower search volume, lower organic, and lower click-to-sale conversion rates than business-to-consumer keyword searches. As a result, a key component of a B2B SEO strategy is to make sure that the right people are visiting the website.
The foundation of a successful B2B SEO strategy lies in identifying your target audience and truly understanding their needs, behaviors, and search intent. In a B2B environment, there can be multiple people who make decisions in the sales cycle. People who typically make buying decisions for large companies include the chief executive officer and chief marketing officer. However, other people who will use the product or service can also be buying influencers.
Depending on their role in the business and how they plan on using the product or service, different people will have different wants and needs which you will need to take into account when creating an effective B2B SEO strategy.
Analyze your sales funnel
After determining your target audience and their wants and needs, it is important to understand how the sales funnel of your B2B company works in relation to your target audience at each stage of the sales funnel. The goal is to develop specific and relevant content for each target audience at each B2B sales funnel stage.
A basic B2B sales funnel has four main components.
- Awareness: In the awareness phase, your goal is to attract your prospect’s attention so they know you exist. Broad, preliminary content is ideal for this stage.
- Research: In the research phase, the prospect is already aware of the problem that their company has and they are looking for a solution, but they may not know what solution they need or perhaps they are comparing different solutions. The focus of this stage is to establish that your company is the expert in the field. Do this by providing innovative, insightful information that speaks intelligently about issues within your industry.
- Decision: By this phase, your prospect is seriously considering purchasing what you have to offer. In this stage, they will be making calls and evaluating pricing. Your focus will be to help your prospect make the final decision and provide them with everything they need.
- Action: After the other three phases are complete, your prospect will purchase your product or service or they will decline your offer.
Keyword research is a crucial part of a successful B2B SEO strategy. A keyword is a word or phrase that someone uses to type into a search engine. Keywords are important for marketing because they help people find relatable content on the internet.
Consider the different stages of the sales funnel to help you understand your audience’s search intent. Then, determine keywords that match the search intent. Appropriate keywords follow three basic principles. First, target keywords should be relevant for the buyer at each stage of the sales funnel. Next, target keywords should be relevant to your business or product, or service. Finally, target keywords should have manageable competition.
Create content for different personas in various stages of the sales funnel
The main objective of your content is to prove that you are the expert in your field and to prove to potential buyers that you are the best solution to their problems. Your content should cover topics that are relevant and valuable to your customers while including targeted keywords. Blog posts are an excellent way to reach your target audience, but you can use various formats such as reports and studies, videos, and testimonials to diversify your content.
Optimize your landing page
A landing page is a web page that stands alone. It is specifically designed for a marketing or advertising campaign. The goal of a landing page is a call to action. In this case, encouraging a prospect to buy your product or service.
An SEO-optimized or dynamic landing page should provide relevant and valuable information about your product or service. It should allow visitors to accomplish the specific goal of purchasing your product or service.
Optimize your on-page and technical SEO
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing web page content for search engines and users. Some strategies for optimizing your on-page SEO include: optimizing keywords, increasing the page speed, making the website mobile-friendly, shortening URLs and including target keywords in them, and making sure all your links work properly.
Technical SEO is the practice of improving the technical aspects of a website to increase the ranking of its pages in search engines. The main components of technical SEO are making a website faster and easier for search engines to crawl and understand.
Promote content and build links
One of the most important factors for your B2B SEO strategy is to build a variety of high-quality backlinks. Backlinks are essential to increasing your ranking on a search engine results page (SERP). A backlink is a link from one website to another. If you want people to link to your website, you must provide high-quality, relevant content. You can encourage other websites to link to yours through outreach (sending emails, posting on social media, and commenting on blog posts, for example) broadcasting (putting your content on social media), or using paid channels such as Facebook Ads to promote your content.
Build a better B2B SEO strategy
Understanding the differences in marketing strategies between B2B and B2C is an essential part of creating a tailored search engine optimization strategy for your business-to-business website. To further enhance your B2B SEO strategy, monitor your SEO progress regularly and work with an agency that is an expert in search engine optimization. SEO Design Chicago has a team of experienced SEO professionals who can answer your questions and help with your B2B SEO needs.
- What does B2B search engine optimization or B2B SEO mean?
- Why is a B2B marketing strategy different from a B2C marketing strategy?
- How is B2B SEO different from B2C SEO?
- How do you create an effective B2B SEO strategy?
- What are six ways to create an effective B2B SEO strategy?
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