Every good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy begins with one key question: who is the target audience? Knowing who you are trying to reach will shape every aspect of your digital marketing campaign, and it’s also the reason why B2B and B2C businesses require different approaches. A business-to-consumer (B2C) business is focused on quicker conversions, a shorter sales cycle, and higher volume keywords. Conversely, a B2B SEO plan should take into account fewer conversions but with higher earnings per conversion, a longer sales cycle, fewer customers, and lower volume keywords.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the basic SEO strategies proven to increase traffic and conversions for B2B companies.
5 B2B SEO Strategies
There are countless ways to approach a digital marketing strategy for B2B. However, these 5 techniques will provide a strong foundation on which to build your SEO campaign:
Thought Leadership Content
Quality content is an important part of any digital marketing campaign, but as a B2B business, you need to remember that your audience is made up of busy professionals with high standards. This means going the extra mile to ensure every piece of content is well written and delivers clear value. Having writers who are subject matter experts is quite helpful here, as you could easily dissuade a potential customer from working with you if they feel your content is too basic for their needs. You need someone who can really dig into the nitty gritty of the industry and speak to the specific pain points of your audience. Think about ways to make your content stand out so you can position your business as the foremost authority in your industry. Original research, expertly crafted charts and other useful graphics, and highly specific whitepapers are all some ways to provide unique value as a B2B business.
As a B2B business, you can expect to target lower volume keywords than you would as a B2C business. Long-tail keywords are your friends here, as these longer variants of keywords are both more likely to have lower volume and more likely to provide the specificity that your audience desires. After all, your audience doesn’t want a Wikipedia article on their industry. What they want is content only industry experts would know or care about, information that speaks to the heart of their business needs.
Don’t skimp on the technical aspects of B2B SEO. Again, you are targeting busy professionals who won’t want to slog through a slow or poorly optimized website when they have a million better things to do with their time. Your site doesn’t necessarily need to be flashy (though, depending on your business, it doesn’t hurt), but it does need to be intuitive to navigate and technically sound. Remember also that audiences are unlikely to convert on their first visit to your site, so you want to make a good first impression that will jog their memory when they’re considering which places to revisit.
Take a Comprehensive Approach
Because of the nature of B2B, there will be a longer sales cycle. While consumers may impulsively buy, say, a shirt the first time they visit an ecommerce site, your audience is making a big decision that will affect many other people. As such, the decision-maker is going to take their time and very carefully weigh all the pros and cons. They may visit your site and then convert later down the road after they have had time to investigate all the options. Multiple people may judge your business as the decision is considered. That means that you want content that targets all these different people at all these different stages of the sales funnel. Think about everyone who will be involved in the decision making process and what unique concerns they will have, then create pages and posts that target these roles. And keeping in mind the long sales funnel, make sure all the relevant information is readily available and thorough.
It may take time for results to come in. That is perfectly normal and expected. After all, your audience will take their time in deciding to convert, so an overnight jump in goal completions is unlikely. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a slow burn means you need to completely overhaul your strategy, though. Doing so could lead to your business missing out on a highly successful campaign. Instead, give it time and keep a close eye on analytics as time passes.
Putting It All Together
I’m not going to sugar coat it: B2B SEO is a lot of work. But if you put in all this work and do it well, the returns will be well worth it. It’s a smart idea to put together a focused marketing team (whether the team is in-house or you are working with a B2B SEO agency) who can handle all aspects of your digital marketing journey. And always, always keep in mind the most important people in the equation: your audience. These people are looking for genuine value, so show them why your business provides the best solutions to their unique concerns in the market.