The Ultimate Guide to Successfully Launching A B2B SEO Campaign
Business owners and marketing experts use the term ‘SEO’ daily. Search Engine Optimization is a fundamental puzzle piece to the digital marketing efforts of a successful business.
With a solid SEO strategy, your website will rank higher in the search engine results page, (SERPs). With higher rankings come more traffic, meaning more clients and sales. But, some business owners or marketers think it’s a ‘one size fits all’ concept.
And, with that approach, their SEO strategy is unlikely to produce results.
There are different methods of optimization depending on whether their brand is classified as B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer).
The Difference Between B2B and B2C
When selling to consumers, the individual buyer makes the decision to make a purchase. However, businesses work differently. They generally need approval from several people or teams before a purchase is approved.
Usually, the price for a product sold to a consumer is lower than those aimed at businesses, so the sales funnel is typically expanded over a longer time frame and progresses in stages.
Think of it this way: picture a consumer who is searching for a new fridge on Google. She types in ‘refrigerator for sale near me’ and is met with 70 pages of results. She won’t waste her time scrolling through all of these, though. She likely clicks on one of the first three links in the SERPs. She finds the fridge she’s looking for, reads some reviews and makes the purchase within 20 minutes. Hey, presto. Sale made.
For business clientele, however, this will hardly ever happen. It’s not an immediate thing. Business customers require far more information and persuasion than the consumer. Their purchase goes toward their business, so it holds more weight and responsibility. It’s for that reason that the sales funnel will be drawn out and increase in increments.
How Does The Difference Between B2B And B2C Audiences Impact SEO?
Even though the buying behavior from both these demographics contrast, the inclusion of an SEO strategy holds its weight in gold. Both B2B and B2C businesses require strong SEO to pick up the traffic to their websites.
The strategy that the companies implement for SEO, though, will differ depending on whether they’re a B2B or B2C company.
This is where many businesses fall through the cracks, because they believe it’s the same method for both types of companies. B2B companies have to truly empathize and understand how their audience makes purchasing decisions before they can draw up a functioning SEO strategy.
What Is A ‘High-Quality’ B2B Page?
When we consider SEO, the best teachers are Google themselves.
They’ve coined an acronym E-A-T to summarize the success criteria of a high quality website.
If your content conveys all areas of E-A-T, it’s considered by Google to be a ‘high-quality’ site, and they’ll reward you by bumping you higher in the SERPs.
But, what do these 3 elements of the success criteria look like in practice?
The offers that B2B companies sell are usually more complicated than a B2C product. It’s sold as an investment to progress and better their business, and with that comes a higher price tag.
For the high ticket sales to be worth it, a business customer needs to feel that the brand knows what they’re talking about. In other words, there needs to be a solid sense of expertise.
This isn’t just strong subject knowledge about the product itself, but also about the demographic they’re targeting. It’s crucial that the B2B company oozes empathy of the audience’s problems, and provides expert knowledge as solutions.
With strong expertise usually follows authority. But, it’s not enough to know your stuff.
You need to be honored and mentioned by other industry leaders who are well known and credible. Brand awareness is important, but the comments others are making about the business plays a pivotal role in building high levels of authority.
As with any business, if you have not earned the trust of the prospect, you will not make the sale. It’s for this very reason that trustworthiness is, arguably, the most important piece of the puzzle for a B2B SEO strategy.
You have to remember that buyers who proceed to make the purchase are taking a higher risk than B2C customers. B2B buyers are risking their reputations and their income – especially if the investment requires a hefty amount of their budget.
As the price increases, the risk does, too. So, B2B companies have to appreciate the amount of weight this element carries.
How to Launch A Successful B2B SEO Campaign
Now that we understand the difference between B2C and B2B audiences, it’s time to follow some rules to successfully launch a B2B SEO campaign.
Aim Your Content At Multiple Buyers
There’s a big difference between a purchase and an investment.
Any offer put out by B2B companies will be sold as an investment, following the ‘you have to spend money to make money’ rule.
That’s what makes the buying decision that much harder, because the risk is far greater. For it to be a successful investment, the buyer needs to make the money back and profit from it.
When aiming your high-ticket products or services at other businesses, it’s likely that it’ll demand the approval of multiple decision makers within the company. Executives, managers and various teams will all have to nod their head and approve the purchase.
And, as each role demands different responsibilities and is run by different people, they’ll each have different objections, problems, and adequate solutions that need to be offered by the seller.
So, unlike B2C businesses who need to only satisfy one buyer, B2B companies need to persuade multiple people, and this needs to be clear in the copywriting and content writing on their sites.
Each page or blog post needs to be optimized for those specific people.
Use Low-Volume Keywords
Keyword research plays a large role in optimizing your webpages for SEO.
B2B companies will need to do their keyword research in a different way than B2C businesses.
Because of the multiple decision makers we mentioned before, the searches will vary from person to person, meaning your keyword research needs to zoom in on each individual and their search intent at those specific points in the sales funnel.
Each group of decision makers will have specific objections and desires, so it’s likely that the words they search for will be low-volume, (meaning they’re not search terms that’re Googled very often).
Focus On Building Brand Authority And Leadership
Trust is fundamental for B2B buyers. They require the reassurance that they will make their money back, whether that’s with time, effort, or money.
So, your content should be crafted in a way that positions your brand as a leader in the industry. The more your website crops up in the SERPs after searching for a query related to their field, the more they will trust your business, leading to making the purchase.
Understand And Implement The Three Pillars of SEO
Don’t forget about any of the three areas where you can optimize your content for higher search rankings:
On Page SEO
On-page SEO includes the exterior optimization of your site and the ‘behind-the-scenes’, more technical section.
You can optimize your on-page SEO by understanding the searcher’s intent. You need to know which keywords to target, but also deliver content that provides buckets of value to build trust.
The formula we follow for optimizing our content is:
- Do your own search with the keywords you’ve picked.
- Write down the pages that come up as the first result.
- Take notes and analyze what’s working with those pages, leading them to grab the number one spot on the SERPs.
- Create content that’s even better.
Off-page SEO is considered by many marketers to be the most challenging element, because it functions with backlinks.
Backlinks work by convincing other website owners to reference and link to your site in their own content.
This is what makes off-page SEO particularly tricky, as you have to persuade leading brands to link to your own site.
Plus, search engines are frequently changing and evaluating what defines a ‘good link’, so it takes time and effort to build a solid backlink strategy.
Finally, the technical SEO section requires technical understanding. Essentially, search engines want to ensure that using your website will be an all around positive experience.
You can boost your technical SEO by:
- Making sure your pages load without lagging
- Using the focus keyword in the title, meta-description and URL
- Crafting an internal linking model that makes it simple for crawlers to know what your site does
- Signalling to robots which links not to follow
- Checking and making sure there are no broken links on your site
- Avoiding duplicate content
- Building site security with HTTPS so that Google won’t identify your site as ‘unsecured’
- Making your content and website indexable by search engines.
- Using structured data – like HTML codes – to make it more accessible for search engines to describe your content
- Making your website mobile-friendly
B2B and B2C SEO have a congruent purpose: to increase search engine visibility and drive more website traffic. But, the B2B sales funnel is often longer and more complicated due to the nature of the purchase. Because of this, business owners must treat B2B strategies different than they would if launching a B2C campaign.
Through a complete understanding of your prospects’ wants and needs, and a comprehensive understanding of SEO, you will be able to create a search engine optimization strategy that caters specifically to B2B clients and converts at a more effective rate.