As a B2B company, you know that a strong online presence is essential to reach decision-makers. Just as consumers use search engines like Google to inform their purchasing decisions, companies do the same when looking for solutions to their needs.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a key marketing channel that allows you to position your products or services in front of interested prospects. A B2B SEO strategy that covers the buyer’s journey can help move prospects down the sales funnel and closer to making a decision.
But putting together an effective SEO strategy is easier said than done. So how do you create a B2B SEO strategy that will help you achieve your business goals?
What Is B2B SEO?
B2B SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords that target buyers within companies. Unlike SEO for B2C companies, which typically focuses on keywords that consumers use when researching a purchase, B2B SEO looks at the keywords that decision-makers within companies use when looking for solutions to their business needs.
For instance, a B2C company that sells running shoes would want to rank for keywords like “running shoes” or “best running shoes.” On the other hand, a B2B company that provides software to help businesses manage their finances would want to rank for keywords like “accounting software” or “asset management software.”
According to a study by Forrester, decision-makers do most of their research online before they make a purchase. In fact, the study found that 67% of B2B buyers use search engines like Google to research potential solutions.
This means that if you want to reach decision-makers, you need to make sure your website is visible on search engine results pages. And the only way to do that is through SEO.
Main Aspects of B2B SEO
The first step to any successful B2B SEO strategy is on-page optimization. This is the process of ensuring that all the elements on your website (title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, images, URLs, and the actual content) are optimized for your target keywords.
It’s not enough to just optimize your website. You also need to ensure you are doing everything possible to earn high-quality backlinks from other websites. This is what’s known as off-page SEO.
Link building is one of the most important aspects of off-page SEO. There are several ways to build links, but the most effective method is creating high-quality content that other websites want to link to.
You can also earn links by being active on social media, participating in online forums, and leaving comments on other websites.
Technical SEO is all about ensuring your website is set up in a way that makes it easy for search engines to find and index your content. This includes creating an XML sitemap, improving load times, and ensuring your website is mobile-friendly.
Why Is B2B SEO Important?
B2B SEO is important for some reasons.
First, as we mentioned earlier, decision-makers do most of their research online before they make a purchase. This means that if you want to reach decision-makers, you need to make sure your website is visible on search engine results pages.
Second, SEO can help you generate more leads and close more sales. A study by HubSpot found that SEO is one of the most effective lead generation channels, with a 14.6% close rate. In comparison, outbound marketing techniques have a close rate of just 1.7%.
Finally, SEO is an important part of an effective inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is about attracting strangers to your website and converting them into leads and customers. And there’s no better way to attract strangers to your website than by ranking high in the search results.
B2B SEO vs. B2C SEO: How Does B2B SEO Differ From B2C SEO?
One of the biggest differences between B2B and B2C SEO is the search volume. Because B2B companies are targeting a smaller, more specific audience, they typically have less search volume than B2C companies.
This means that it can be more difficult to rank for competitive keywords. But it also means that there is less competition, which can make it easier to rank for long-tail keywords (keywords that are more specific and have less search volume).
Another difference between B2B and B2C SEO is keyword difficulty. Keyword difficulty measures how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword.
In general, B2B keywords are more difficult to rank than B2C keywords. This is because B2B keywords are usually more specific and have less search volume.
However, there are a few exceptions. For instance, if you are targeting a very specific niche within the B2B market, you may find that the keywords are actually easier to rank for than if you were targeting the general B2B market.
The content strategy for a B2B website is usually different from the content strategy for a B2C website.
Because B2B companies are targeting a smaller, more specific audience, they need to create content that is tailored to that audience. This means creating content that is educational and informative rather than content that is designed to sell.
B2B companies also need to focus on creating content that is targeted toward the decision-makers within their target market. This means creating content that is relevant to their needs and pain points.
Finally, one of the biggest differences between B2B and B2C SEO is the tools that are used.
B2B SEO requires using more sophisticated SEO tools, such as keyword research tools, competitor analysis tools, and rank tracking tools. This is because B2B SEO is more complex and competitive than B2C SEO.
Steps to Creating a Successful B2B SEO Strategy
Now that we’ve covered the basics of B2B SEO, let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to create a successful B2B SEO strategy.
1. Build Your Decision Maker Persona
The first step to putting together a successful B2B SEO strategy is to create a buyer persona — a detailed description of who your prospects are. To do this, you need to figure out whom you need to reach within the businesses that fit your ideal customer profile.
For example, if you offered IT management software, you’d create a buyer persona for an IT manager. This persona would include information about their needs, pain points, and goals.
2. Research Your Target Keywords
Once you’ve built your decision-maker persona, it’s time to start researching keywords. You need to find the keywords that your target market is using to search for the products or services that you offer.
There are a number of different ways to research keywords, but one of the best ways is to use a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner. This tool will help you find the most relevant keywords for your business.
For instance, if you sell CRM software, you might want to run a Google search for “CRM software.” This will help you understand the different keywords people use to search for CRM software.
Then, you can use the Keyword Planner to find related keywords, such as “customer relationship management software” or “CRM systems.”
3. Prioritize Your Keywords
Once you’ve identified a list of target keywords, it’s time to prioritize them. Not all keywords are created equal, and you need to focus your SEO efforts on the most relevant keywords to your business.
To do this, you can use a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find the average monthly search volume for each keyword. You can also use this tool to find the competition level for each keyword.
The keywords with the highest search volume and the lowest competition are the ones you should focus on first.
4. Create Targeted Content
Now that you know which keywords you should target, it’s time to start creating content. Content is the bread and butter of SEO, and you need to create content that is targeted toward your target keywords.
Remember, because you’re targeting a B2B audience, your content needs to be educational and informative. It should be designed to help your prospects make better purchasing decisions.
Some of the best types of content for B2B SEO include blog posts, infographics, eBooks, and whitepapers.
5. Optimize Your Content for SEO
Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to optimize it for SEO. This means including your target keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and throughout the body of your content.
You should also include relevant images and videos, which can help improve your SEO.
6. Promote Your Content
Finally, once your content is created and optimized, you need to promote it. The best way to do this is to share it on social media and other online platforms. You can also promote your content by guest posting on other blogs and websites.
By following these steps, you can create a successful B2B SEO strategy to help you reach your target market and generate more leads.
If you need help with your B2B SEO strategy, contact us today. We’re a leading SEO agency with years of experience helping businesses like yours succeed online.