How B2B SEO Differs from B2C
Marketing to businesses is a little different from marketing to consumers. You’re looking at completely distinct sales funnel, content, and search engine optimization tactics. Today, we’re going to talk about the latter. There are a few things that are more important than anything else when it comes to B2B.
How successful is your B2B Search Engine Optimization strategy? I imagine that, for those of you reading this, your answers will fall into one of two camps. Either it’s unsuccessful and you want to figure out what you’re doing wrong, or it’s successful and you want to see if there are any other ways you can improve.
The most important thing to remember – and where I most frequently see businesses fall short in their approach to SEO – is that B2B is considerably different from B2C. Tactics that might work swimmingly with a consumer market aren’t necessarily going to resonate with a business audience. And certain things that have only moderate importance in B2C are foundational for B2B.
Let’s go over some of the most critical:
A Firm Grasp of Your Industry
When you’re targeting marketing towards consumers, they don’t necessarily care how much you know. Thought leadership can still be valuable, of course. Knowing you’re an authority in your field can go a long way towards inspiring confidence in your products and services.
With B2B, it’s about more than confidence. You aren’t just selling products – you’re selling expertise. If you cannot convey demonstrable knowledge and experience, your prospective clients will very likely seek someone else who can.
Publish regular content on your site that you know will be valuable to your audience – white papers, how-tos, walkthroughs, case studies, and so on. Participate in industry events such as seminars, think tanks, and conferences. Be visible, and make an active effort to be a leader both online and off.
Clearly-Defined Metrics and Goals
What do you want your SEO efforts to achieve, and how will you be certain that you’ve accomplished your goals? That’s an important question for B2C. In B2B, however, it’s critical.
B2B SEO targets a far narrower demographic. You know a lot more about who you’re marketing to and why they’re interested in your company, which means your efforts need to be significantly more focused. Presumably, there’s also a lot more capital floating around – which means you need a clear way of showing return on investment.
Devise clear-cut conversion goals for social, advertising, and on-site content for customers at every stage of the sales funnel. Research your target audience until you know them as well as your own family. And ensure you have a way of collecting, collating, cataloging, and analyzing the data generated from your efforts.
Who are you? Why should anyone trust that you have their best interests in mind? Even if you seem like you know what you’re talking about – even if you create content that fits your audience like a glove and become an active leader in your industry – people still need a way of learning about your business.
They still need to know how to contact you. They need to be able to locate your business online and find information about your organization in Google My Business and on LinkedIn. Make sure you maintain a curated web presence, and that there’s an easy way to get in touch with a representative from your organization across all channels, both social and web.
Your audience has less time than most, and they aren’t going to waste it trying to figure out how to get in touch if that’s not already clear.
Certainly, there are similarities between B2B and B2C. SEO is still SEO at the end of the day, after all. At the same time, it’s important that you understand the differences in audience, approach, tactics, and the overall market.
Terry Cane is the COO at SEOHost.net, a reliable and supportive SEO hosting partner.