Search engine optimization is an integral part of online marketing for most B2C companies – but how important is SEO for B2B? What role does the search engine play in an industry with an extremely demanding and often rather niche target group? What is special about SEO for B2B companies? And what is the difference to the B2C area? We will first clarify the basics and tell you what you need to consider when implementing it.
What Is SEO Again?
SEO (search engine optimization) includes – both in the B2C and in the B2B area – all measures that contribute to improving the visibility of your website in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) for a specific search term or keyword. There are on-page and off-page measures. To exploit the full potential of your website and enable you to rank at the top of search engines like Google, you should consider and carry out all search engine optimization measures.
The principle of SEO is the same for B2B and B2C: SEO ensures that your customers and target group find your company online quickly and easily at the top of the search engine results. But the implementation and addressing of the target group should be different: end consumers need fundamentally different content and information than corporate customers.
What Is The Difference between B2B SEO And B2C SEO?
Even if search engine optimization is a part of B2C and B2B, SEO differs in the areas.
The crucial difference between the two areas is the target group, their search intention, and the customer journey. B2C (Business to Consumer) is aimed directly at the end consumer. There are only one or a few decision-makers, the purchases are often spontaneous or pleasure purchases, and the customer journey is comparatively shorter. In contrast, B2B (Business to Business) is aimed at companies. There are several decision-makers here who need to be convinced. The products require more explanation and the B2B customer journey is longer.
The main differences between B2C and B2B SEO:
- Keywords in B2B usually have less search volume: The demand for the product or service is usually lower, but the traffic is much more valuable for lead generation.
- Smaller target groups in B2B: This, in turn, impacts the search volume for certain keywords.
- Content in B2B is mostly informative and less emotional: Content in B2B is more specific and deals more intensively with the product or service. A guide section deals with subject-specific problems and solutions.
- The CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) is usually significantly higher for B2B customers than for end consumers: This means that the willingness to spend more on acquisition is higher.
- The decision-making processes are significantly longer in B2B: Due to decision-making cycles of weeks to months, the customer journey is correspondingly longer than in B2C.
Also Read: 10 Useful SEO Tools For Web Positioning
The Most Important Thing About B2B SEO
The basic framework of SEO remains the same in B2B as in B2C. There are only differences between the steps and the implementation. We list the most important aspects of implementing B2B SEO marketing and the associated challenges for you:
Define Target Group
In B2B, the definition of the target group is particularly important since B2B companies want to reach a specific group of decision-makers with their content. Since only a few target groups need to be reached, they must be precisely identified, and this is best achieved by defining a buyer persona. The buyer persona represents the needs, interests, desires, goals, and behavior of a typical customer. With a buyer persona, it is possible to tailor the content even more precisely to the target group. So you can create content with the right information at the right touchpoints.
Determine Search Intention And Keyword Selection
The search intention and the associated selection of keywords are closely related to the target group analysis. With the buyer persona’s analysis, the target group’s intentions can be filtered out, why they are looking for a certain product, and what they expect. This is related to the keyword selection: what are the users looking for when they have a specific need or are looking for a solution to their problem and want to find out more about it?
Even if the search volume for keywords in the B2B area is usually lower, you should carefully analyze the search intention. If you know the search intention of the target group, you can better assess whether it is worthwhile to deliver suitable content despite the relatively low search volume. If the intention matches the solution approach that your company offers, the content creation is worthwhile because it will probably lead to more leads and conversions.
Now that you’ve defined the target group, filtered out the search intent, and selected keywords, it’s time to design the content. The goal should not only be the optimization of individual subpages for certain keywords. Put your focus on the wide-ranging editing of content. You can do this, for example, by mapping topics using topic silos.
To build these topic silos, you need to collect all the relevant keywords on a topic. You now create appropriate content for these search terms and integrate them into the website through logical structuring: internal links, meaningful URL structure, hub pages, etc. topic and assert yourself as an authority in this area.
When creating these silos, it is important that they are linked to each other in a meaningful way and that there is a logical directory structure on the website. Otherwise, it is not clear for both the users and Google and does not achieve the desired effect.
This broad and structured lineup within a subject area enables users to have an excellent user experience and increases the chance of better search engine rankings.
Tip : The content in the B2B area should be much more informative and in-depth than is necessary for the B2C area. The content should contain explanations and detailed knowledge. Because products and services are usually much more complex, decision-makers want to deal with them intensively before purchasing.
When preparing the various topics in a specific subject area, keep the following in mind:
- Only use one main keyword per subpage for which you optimize the page.
- Use internal links to connect the various subpages thematically. Pay attention to the appropriate anchor text, i.e., the text on which the page is linked. This should always contain the main keyword of the linked page.
- Use external links to show that the content can be technically proven. With links to studies, examples, and other contributions, you can support your content and make your content more trustworthy.
- Customize the meta title and meta description to match your content. Important here: do not forget to include the page’s main keyword.
- Use html tags and check that the order is correct (H1, H2, H3,…)
- Make content not only informative but also appealing and clear. Also, use visualization elements.
- With all that search engine optimization, don’t forget the most important thing: your target audience because the users’ signals to the search engine are ranking-relevant. If the user likes your content, it will also appear high up in the SERPs.
Data-oriented work is crucial for creating content. The content you produce should be based on collected data and not on intuition or a gut feeling. Based on the data, you can develop a suitable content marketing strategy.
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) provide you with valuable data that you can use to measure the success of search engine optimization measures and based on which you can build your content marketing strategy. The following KPIs are useful:
- Click rate
- Visibility of the entire domain
- Dwell time
- Bounce rate
- Returning or one-time visitors
To evaluate the data of the various KPIs, various analysis tools are available to you, such as Google Analytics or Sistrix.
It is important that you first define your business goals and that the various KPIs are tailored to the goals of your B2B company.
Another way to collect data for your content is through (personal) customer surveys. With the help of the surveys, you can find out the search intent of your website visitors and find out how good your content is.
Pertinent questions for the customer survey are, for example:
- What exactly were you looking for online?
- Did you find the information you were looking for on our website?
- How did you find out about our company or our website?
- Did you like the layout of the site?
- Did you find the site clear?
- How many clicks did it take you to find the information you were looking for?
With the help of the data, you can discover and repair weak points. You can also see what worked well and which B2B SEO marketing measures you should continue to use and expand. With these insights, you can meet visitors’ needs in a targeted manner and increase your rankings and conversions.
Success with B2B SEO
Good rankings have an impact on traffic and conversions and thus on the success of your company. The right content for your target group is the be-all and end-all so that you can stand out from your competitors and rank at the top of the search engine results. B2B SEO combined with a content strategy will help you increase your visibility and stand out from your competition, improve your KPIs and ensure the success of your business.
Also Read: SEA And SEO: What Are The Differences?