Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital business-to-business (B2B) lead generation strategy for companies to acquire and retain customers.
Companies can easily maintain organic visibility with solid SEO strategies across the entire buying cycle. Thus, B2B SEO is an excellent way to accelerate growth and increase your customer base.
However, many businesses struggle to develop an effective B2B SEO strategy. So, where should you start?
Whether it’s B2B or B2C campaigns, driving organic growth always comes with challenges. While the primary purpose of both strategies is almost the same, there are significant differences in their execution.
This guide will help you understand what B2B SEO is, how it differs from B2C SEO and how you can launch an effective B2B SEO campaign for your business’s success.
What Is B2B SEO?
Business-to-business SEO or B2B SEO is a strategy that helps companies increase their organic traffic and search engine rankings. The success of a B2B strategy is determined by how well a business’s website is performing on the search engine. It should show up right in front of the people searching for similar services or products as that business.
B2B marketing involves one company doing business with another company. Meanwhile, B2C marketing (business-to-consumer) involves selling to consumers directly. But whether it’s B2C or B2B marketing, SEO basics remain the same.
The B2B SEO basics include the following main activities:
- Technical SEO: It includes the optimization of your website’s essential technical aspects. The main goal is to yield maximum results from the website when search engines crawl and index it.
- On-page SEO: It deals with optimizing your website’s pages to make them pop up at the top of the search engine results pages.
- Off-page SEO: It refers to activities happening off your website to help it rise to the top of the search engine result.
How Is B2B SEO Different from B2C SEO?
The significant difference between both B2B and B2C is the audience. The way a service or product is bought or sold between businesses is quite different when dealing with consumers.
Therefore, your SEO approach for B2B has to be different from the B2C strategy. B2B SEO comes with several challenges that a business must consider when formulating its strategy.
Here are a few challenges that come with B2B SEO that may not occur in B2C SEO:
Complex Sales Funnels
The sales funnel is a tool that helps businesses track the entire customer journey as they turn from prospects to returning customers. This way, you can optimize your sales and marketing efforts. In most cases, a B2B company faces a far more complex sales funnel than a B2C company.
Of course, the circumstances are different for both companies, so the sales funnel had to be different too.
For example, suppose a consumer has to buy a sofa, and on the other hand, a business professional is looking to invest in a cybersecurity system for their company.
By comparing both cases, we can easily see that the critical sales funnel stages, such as consideration, research and evaluation, are more complex in the latter scenario than in the former.
Therefore, to rank better and be more visible on the search engine results pages, a B2B marketer has to understand their audience. This may include putting in more effort than B2C marketers.
While a complex sales funnel may be challenging for some B2B marketers, it opens doors for more opportunities to gain organic visibility.
When it comes to B2C marketing, the conversion rate is relatively higher than in B2B marketing. However, the B2B conversions are worth way more than B2C conversions.
So, an effective B2B SEO strategy must attract those consumers who are specifically searching for the products or services the business offers.
Again, to tackle the low conversion rate challenge, B2B marketers have to understand the audience and convince prospects that their offerings are the only solutions to their problems. This is the key to increasing your conversion rate.
Low Volume Keywords
A complex sales funnel suggests that a business (prospect) searches through different terms to find the right business (seller). In most cases, such prospects use lower volume keywords than B2C consumers.
Therefore, B2B marketers must research the keywords deeper to adapt to the target audience’s behavior. This means they must enhance their keyword research skills and find queries similar to their audience’s intent across the sales funnel.
In simpler words, B2B marketers have to find specific keywords to target the right audience with content that takes them to the last stage of the funnel, i.e., converting into a customer.
How To Create a Successful B2B SEO Strategy
As you now know, the conditions for B2B marketing are way different than B2C marketing. So, how do you formulate a solid B2B lead generation strategy for your business? Here are six steps that can help you beat your competitors:
Step 1: Understand Your Buyers
Understanding your target audience is the base for every SEO strategy. If you don’t know what the buyers are looking for, you can’t sell to them. It’s as simple as that. So, creating comprehensive buyer personas about different businesses is vital in B2B SEO.
A buyer persona is like a detailed customer profile. It gives you insights into your target buyers’ needs, wants and demands based on the data collected through qualitative and quantitative market research.
Every business has different buyer personas. So, the more you know about these professionals and their problems, the better you can address them and convince them to buy your product or service.
By doing so, you can formulate your strategy to target all the buyers’ pain points, allowing you to make more informed decisions.
Step 2: Analyze Your Sales Funnel
The next step is understanding your sales funnel and seeing how it works. To do that, B2B marketers should:
- Conduct a meeting with their sales team and ask those professionals to explain the sales funnel. This should be a detailed discussion, including the working process, pain points of the buyers and essential touchpoints.
- Analyze the sales and analytics data to understand the consumer behavior, such as their likes and dislikes, popular products and reviews or opinions about your offerings.
- Make a list of important statistics about the customers. This includes the average customer retention period, time taken to purchase a product and the factors that make the customers leave your website.
Step 3: Find High-Performing Keywords
Comprehensive keyword research is essential for a successful B2B lead generation campaign.
B2B marketers have to dig to the root and find opportunities to reach out to their target buyers.
They need to search queries or keywords that people generally use to find products or services related to your business. This applies to every stage of the business’ sales funnel. B2B SEO strategies also have to address informational problems as well.
You can align the keywords by their importance in each sales funnel phase. Consider these things to start your B2B keywords research:
• Buyers’ problems
• Ways buyers are finding solutions
• The ability of your product or service to solve buyers’ problems
• Keywords used by your competitors for high organic traffic. You can use SEO tools for that.
Step 4: Create Landing Pages
While your B2B SEO strategies focus mainly on creating visibility and earning rankings, the end goal of your business is to make a sale. For that, you need to create engaging and well-pitched service or product landing pages.
The content of these landing pages should revolve around your sales funnel. For example, include the topics your prospects are interested in and answer their questions. This way, they will come to your website repeatedly, earning you more traffic across the entire sales funnel.
Landing pages that sell your offerings and provide an overview of your business are crucial for the success of a B2B lead generation campaign.
Step 5: Develop an Effective Content Strategy
Typically, sales landing pages show their magic at the final action stage of a B2B sales funnel. Thus, B2B marketers have to develop an effective and scalable content strategy that ensures visibility in every funnel stage.
Most content strategies rely on your blog posts section. So, you must create content on topics that rank higher in the “people may also ask” section. Such blog posts or articles answer the buyer’s queries, make your website more visible and introduce your business to them.
Creating awareness about your brand is the primary essence of building a content strategy. This results in more consumer engagement that pushes the visitors across the funnel.
You can opt for various content tactics to put your website upfront, such as:
- Blog posts and articles
- Research papers
- Case studies
- Videos, podcasts, webinars
- Templates and checklists
Lastly, backlinking your content with credible links is essential for your B2B lead generation strategy’s success. In fact, Google ranks it in the top three factors.
Therefore, marketers must put extra time into promoting their content besides using social media for B2B promotions. Instead, they should link it to other websites and use email outreach to promote their content.
You can link your content to resource pages, get it linked to other websites’ content or ask a journalist to feature your content.
B2B SEO: An Important Part of Successful B2B Strategy
B2B SEO campaigns are an ongoing thing. Marketers have to keep striving, find new ways to stay relevant and update their strategies according to the latest trends. To make your B2B lead generation campaign successful, you need to keep looking for opportunities to improve your website’s content.
The most important steps for a successful B2B SEO campaign are creating and understanding your buyer’s persona, conducting thorough keyword research, developing content and promoting it via authoritative backlinking.
Remember to address your target audience’s problems and put your business upfront as a solution to all of them.