In this post you’ll learn:
- What is B2B SEO?
- How B2B SEO works
- How SEO for B2B is different than B2C SEO
- How to create content that turns into leads
- B2B SEO Best Practices
- And more…
What is B2B SEO?
B2B SEO is about driving professionals to your website via organic traffic.
It doesn’t matter what professional industry you’re in. If you’re in a B2B business and have a website, you can and should take advantage of SEO. By effectively implementing these SEO best practices, B2B organizations can improve lead quality, build valuable relationships, and drive organic sales.
Some examples of B2B SEO search terms are:
“enterprise cybersecurity software”
“YouTube ads agency”
Assuming the person searching these keywords is a business professional, this is an example of B2B SEO.
How B2B SEO works
SEO is SEO. Whether we’re talking about YouTube SEO, B2C SEO, or B2B, we typically follow the same best practices and break SEO down into three categories.
- Technical SEO is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Technical SEO ensures that your website is functioning properly and is SEO-optimized for your target audience.
- Onpage SEO is typically what B2B companies will focus on most when it comes to SEO. This may include landing pages, white papers, blog posts, case studies, and more.
- Offpage SEO is tough no matter whether you’re a B2B or B2C company and involves getting other websites in your industry to link to you.
How SEO for B2B is different than B2C
Where B2B SEO really differs is in the keyword and topic research. B2B companies typically have a narrower target audience than B2C companies and we want to make sure that we’re properly targeting that audience of professionals correctly. We do that by choosing the correct keywords and using content to lead the user through the buyer journey.
Generally, B2B companies that focus on SEO face less competition than B2C companies. From my experience, most B2B companies focus their resources on paid advertising, causing paid advertising to be more competitive, CPCs to skyrocket, and organic search to be less competitive.
One reason for this is because B2B companies put their most valuable content in white paper downloads, PDFs, and behind paywalls. This makes it difficult for this content to rank in SERP because it is not easily accessible to search engines.
This offers an advantage to most B2B companies, depending on what industry you’re in. The SaaS industry is super competitive and SEO is no exception, but I still find that most SaaS companies have a ton of room for improvement when it comes to SEO.
One SEO ‘hack’ that a lot of B2C companies don’t have the opportunity to take advantage of is optimizing your support and knowledge base content.
DigitalOcean is an example of a company that does this very well. They blend their tutorials, guides, and knowledgebase content very seamlessly and optimize it so that it is generating a ton of organic traffic.
SEO keyword research & how to create content that turns into leads
When conducting B2B SEO, we want to make sure that we have a clear sales funnel in place and that our keywords fit within that sales funnel. We also need a clear buyer persona to truly understand the target customer and to understand where they’re in the buying cycle. I won’t dive into how to create a buyer persona in this article but it’s certainly one of the first steps to consider when building a content strategy.
What I mean by this is that we need to be aware of where in the funnel our keywords fit and that is going to dictate what type of content we create. For instance, is it a top of funnel keyword or is it a keyword with direct buyer intent?
After finding 5 or 10 target keywords that we want to rank for, we need to know where in the buyer journey these keywords belong. Is this keyword going to be for an introductory informational blog post or is it going to be on the landing page where we are collecting leads? The difference is super important.
Whenever creating content that is top of the funnel, we want to have another piece of content that follows it up. That way we can lead the user through the buyer journey using content. For that reason, it’s important to understand the whole buyer journey before creating the first piece of content.
Unlike B2C SEO where you can target high-volume keywords that don’t necessarily have buyer intent, B2B content is a lot more strategical and focused on low-volume keywords with real benefits to the business.
B2B buyers want personalized content so it’s important to think from the buyer’s perspective when building an SEO strategy.
B2B SEO Best Practices
Let’s take a look at some of the top B2B SEO best practices that all B2B companies should be aware of. Following these best practices will certainly improve your SEO strategy in 2020 and beyond.
- Publish content strategically that targets decision-makers.
- Target low-volume keywords that have buyer intent.
- Utilize CTAs within the content to convert that organic traffic to leads.
- Optimize technical SEO before focusing on content.
- SEO-optimize your support and knowledgebase content if you have it.
- Publish high-quality landing pages that target different decision-makers.
- Create a buyer persona.
For the most part, SEO is SEO and for that reason, the same SEO best practices that work for B2C companies will also work for B2B corporations. With that being said, there are a lot of differences between B2C and B2B SEO when it comes to content and SEO strategy.
B2B SEO focuses more heavily on the target customer than B2C SEO does. It makes sense considering that a B2B customer typically pays a lot more than a B2C customer and the sales process is considerably longer.
When it comes to B2B, your target market isn’t typically a broad audience such as “newlyweds” or “college athletes” and for this reason, your content and SEO strategy needs to be significantly more targeted and thought out.
Derek is a digital marketer based in Boston, Massachusetts with almost a decade of hands-on SEO experience. He finds it meaningful, challenging, and exciting to develop, test, and implement new SEO strategies. When he’s not auditing websites and optimizing content he’s usually backpacking and exploring new cultures.