How SEO is Different for B2B Companies
September 23, 2020
Written By: Ceara Hickerson
…And how to optimize SEO to drive leads and make conversions in your funnel
Every company with a website that monetizes their goods and services is looking for the coveted organic search engine result. In plain English, the goal of your online presence is for customers to find you at the top of the list when they search a targeted phrase on Google.
As the chart below shows, when done correctly, SEO produces almost 70% ROI from leads generated by clicks.
In short, SEO helps users discover your content through various routes: optimized keywords and phrases, simplified URLs and clean, organized content. These are only a few of the MANY ways to improve your content to reach your target audience.
Face-off: SEO for B2B vs B2C
SEO on its own can be tedious and confusing, especially if you are not familiar with analytics, website audits or how Google crawls pages for content relevant to a search criteria.
On top of that, you must consider your market – are you a B2B or B2C company? SEO for each of these types of business models is different. Here’s the break-down:
Due to these basic factors, B2B and B2C write SEO copy differently. Take a look at the examples below of a B2C ad and B2B webpage.
Note how the B2C advertisement is based on immediacy and price deals on products. The CTA “Shop Now” is a command to the customer to buy at this moment before the deal ends.
In contrast, the B2B webpage is more informational, speaks to the buyer’s pain points and the CTA is an invitation to calculate the potential savings the customer could make with the product. It does not demand that they buy the product right at this very second.
These and other nuances in content and SEO make all the difference in the world for reaching buyers in the B2C vs B2B sectors.
In B2B marketing it is important to write copy that does the following:
1. Increases brand exposure
2. Generates quality leads to convert into sales through
- demo requests
- free quotes
- whitepaper downloads
- and more
So, you want to know where to start with your SEO strategies for your B2B company? Here are 3 tried and true B2B SEO tips that work effectively.
Focus on long tail keywords
There was a time when a single keyword would get you a first page ranking in 30 days on Google. However, those days are gone. Modern SEO is about purpose – specifically, the intent of the user or potential buyer.
Single keywords are not only an inefficient way to rank, they are also expensive to bid on because everybody wants to rank for them on Google. The real competitive edge is in long-tail keyword queries.
So, stop trying to compete and look for opportunities to complement; utilize long-tail keywords that haven’t been targeted by other authority sites.
Also, Google does not rank only the exact match to long-tail keywords. Instead, it ranks pages that are relevant to the search criteria; after all, the searchers may not have the same exact terms in mind.
Some examples of long-tail keywords that rank the highest in B2B buyer intent are often “best + keyword,” “top + keyword,” or even “keyword + reviews.” Keep this in mind as you construct and craft your website content.
Share of SERP
Is a tactic B2B companies use to take more market share around their most profitable keywords. It starts with a careful analysis of the SERP (search engine results pages) for your most valuable long-tail keywords. When you do this, you can start to understand what types of results Google is focusing on for that long-tail keyword.
The majority of B2C purchases are made by a single individual. The search criteria, SEO and keywords speak to the individual, their needs, wants, buying habits and so on.
In contrast, B2B purchasing is influenced by several decision makers along the way to “the buy button”. These various decision makers also have different intents based on their specific responsibilities, past experiences or concerns, how they are affected by the challenge at hand, etc.
This is why it is important to write SEO for each step of the B2B buying cycle. Not only do you ask where your buyer is in the funnel, but who are you interacting with in the funnel.
Utilize Buyer Personas
How can you better understand the various decision makers in your funnel? We have spoken to this before, but you need to build out and utilize your buyer personas. Your buyer personas will allow you to: 1) target your ideal audience and 2) know how to best craft content that speaks to the right decision maker in the buyer’s journey.
More technical from the top of the funnel
A key difference in B2B marketing vs B2C marketing is the verbiage. It is rare to see a “Buy Now” CTA button on a B2B website, where they are ubiquitous on any B2C website.
The reason lies in how B2B buyers decide on whether to purchase or not. There are three key factors:
1. Logic and reasoning
a. B2B buyers are looking at every single detail, description and use of the product or service. They are asking, “Will this service or item solve my particular issue or integrate with my existing system?
b. Does the data match or show them how the product will help them?
2. Focus on time, money and resources saved
a. What are the pain points of this buyer or business? Are you saving them time, money and/or resources? They want to know what they are getting in return because B2B purchases are usually large and the relationship can be lasting if you are able to create a loyalty loop.
3. Favours in-depth promotion
a. B2B buyers do not make a purchase immediately, they do homework instead. They research extensively, ask many questions, get quotes and so on before they commit to a purchase.
b. Some of the ways to promote your products and services include, but are not limited to:
ii. Product and service reviews
iii. Company longevity and legacy
iv. White papers
v. Case studies
vi. Video tutorials
viii. Longer form submittals for proposals
Become a thought leader in your field
As stated above, B2B buyers are looking for all the promotional material that they can consume before making a purchase decision. Drive users to your website with whitepaper downloadables, case studies, video tutorials, webinars and quality blogs that speak to your niche audience, etc.
Client Case Study Sample
See on example of a case study from one of our clients in the plastics machining industry. This particular case study targets medical device OEMs or those interested in creating high-performance medical devices from thermoplastic materials.
Complexity is your biggest pay off
Think about B2B marketing in the sense of long-term and complex. Ask yourself what phase of the buying process your leads are in. Remember that you are not always speaking to only one decision maker (it could be 5+). Therefore, you need to use your buyer personas to speak to all of these people along the road to purchase and their specific needs.
Optimize your SEO by creating and re-purposing informative and educational content on your website (blogs, white papers, case studies, etc). The more relevance you show to the Google search phrase, the higher you will rank and drive leads to your website.
Bottom line: Make content that appeals to both people and search engines. The entire point of SEO has never been to rank websites. It has been to drive revenue from a marketing channel that has no ongoing cost per acquisition.
Interested in learning more about your website’s SEO?
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