Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for B2B
SEO is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) such as Google, Bing, and Yandex. B2B (business-to-business) SEO is an important aspect of driving customers through the sales funnel. B2B SEO has its own unique set of challenges to drive organic traffic and growth. Building a B2B SEO strategy differs greatly from a B2C (business-to-consumer) SEO strategy. This article will focus on the key differences between the two strategies and how to build a formula for success.
Table of Contents
- What is B2B SEO?
- The Differences Between B2B SEO & B2C SEO
- B2B SEO Keyword Research Practices
- What B2B SEO Tools To Use?
- How to Promote B2B Content
What is B2B SEO?
The goal of a B2B SEO strategy is to increase organic traffic and visitors to a business website where users or visitors can make a purchase, download a PDF guide, or call the company. The benefits of a strong B2B SEO strategy become more effective over time compared to a tactic like paid search. With paid search, your business needs to keep spending money over time to continue to see results, leads, and sales. A B2B SEO strategy requires you to produce quality keyword-based content that naturally attracts high-quality backlinks. Over time, your audience and authority will grow to earn more organic traffic and qualified leads.
SEO return on investment (ROI) continues long after the peak of pay-per-click (PPC).
PPC garners instant visitors and results after a website has launched.
B2B SEO vs B2C SEO
The main difference between B2B and B2C is the audience. B2B is businesses buying from other businesses. B2C is consumers buying from a business. Whether it is B2B or B2C, the SEO basics remain the same. Those basics are the four main pillars of SEO success:
How well your website and content can be indexed and crawled by search engines. Look at the following:
Crawl. Can a search engine explore your site?
Index. Is the sitemap clear which pages the search engine should index and return?
Mobile. Does your site adapt to the plethora of different-sized mobile devices?
Speed. Fast page load time (known as Core Web Vitals) is a crucial aspect in providing an awesome UX.
Tech. Are you using search engine friendly tech or CMS like WordPress or Webflow for your website?
Hierarchy. How is the content structured on your website? Do you have an interlinking strategy?
Producing high-quality content that Google views as the best answer to user search queries. For B2B businesses content can be broken down into three categories:
Service content. What you do and where you do it.
Credibility content. Why a prospective customer should engage with your business.
Marketing content. High-quality content helps position you as an authoritative source and puts your business in front of prospective customers earlier in the buyer’s journey.
On-page SEO consists of the optimization of a website in its entirety and individual pages. The main areas of optimization are:
Keyword research. Understand the language and search intent of your target audience.
Descriptive URLs. Ensure each URL is simple, descriptive, and no more than four words (I.E – service-name or product-name).
Page titles. Use keywords that focus on your service or product naturally within the page title. (I.E. – Service Name | Company Name)
Meta descriptions. Craft meta descriptions like they were ad copy to drive clicks.
Content optimization. Sensibly use keywords and variations in your page copy.
Good user experience (UX). Ensure your site is a joy to use and navigate.
Strong calls to action. Make it easy for your users to know what to do next.
Structured data markup. Google’s guidelines follow schema.org.
Off-page SEO consists of increasing authority with natural backlinks to ensure Google trusts your website. Define your strategy before you start. Links from relevant sources should be at the top of your strategy tactics. You want to provide the right content to the right people in the right places. If you are a B2B commercial construction company you don’t want to provide content for youth sports associations. You want to have links where it makes sense for you to have links. Create great content that deserves to be shared and natural links (the best kind) will happen.
B2B SEO Keyword Research Practices
At the core of every successful SEO strategy is keyword research. As search engine algorithms evolve it’s important to evolve your keyword research and content strategy. When researching keywords and content, think in terms of topic clusters (known as pillar and cluster or hub and spoke) versus individual keywords. Topic clusters allow you to have one overarching topic (pillar or hub) and multiple related content pieces (clusters or spokes) that all interlink. Interlinking is a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes. Interlinking accomplishes several things:
- Helps in website navigation
- Defines website hierarchy and architecture
- Helps distribute page authority and ranking power throughout the website
- Creates content to target “adjacent” keyword terms
- SEO keyword research practices
- Best practices for SEO keyword research
- Creating SEO keyword research strategy
Keyword or topic cluster research can be simple or complex. It’s an ongoing, repeatable and scalable process that will help achieve an uptick in SEO efforts and generate high-quality B2B SEO leads.
B2B SEO Tools
Driving organic growth and high-quality B2B leads isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are several tools to add to your toolbelt to help make more informed decisions when starting keyword or topic cluster research.
Audit tool to determine overall site health and prioritize technical SEO issues or updates.
Competitive analysis tool to determine organic keyword or topic cluster research and performance.
Advanced metrics in keyword difficulty to help you choose the right keyword or topic clusters.
Google Search Console
Monitor search performance and improve organic visibility.
Analyze and report on organic traffic performance.
Visualizes the relative search popularity of a keyword over time.
Search topics for real questions that people are asking about.
Promote B2B content
Now that you have created pillar & cluster or hub & spoke content, it’s time to promote it.
For your content to be effective, rank, and be visible around the world, it needs to be linked to other sites, known as backlinking.
As you start publishing more content, organic traffic will grow. Promoting content and earning backlinks will be an ongoing process that needs to be refined. Here are a few strategies to think about:
- Encouraging a journalist to write a case study about your most recent content piece
- Using email outreach to encourage others to share your content
- Using broken link building strategies to find opportunities to link and promote your content
A B2B SEO strategy is a complex process with several moving parts geared toward increasing organic traffic and leads. We have defined the difference between B2B and B2C SEO, the four SEO main pillars; technical SEO, content creation, on-site SEO, and off-site SEO, the B2B SEO keyword research practices, what B2B SEO tools to use, and how to promote your content.