A great SEO strategy is necessary for B2Bs (businesses that offer goods and services to other businesses).
Like many B2B businesses, you may wonder how your business can appear on top of search engine results to increase visibility and drive more traffic to your pages.
Luckily, you have come to this post. Having offered SEO services for many years, we have what it takes to help you understand how to create a winning B2B SEO strategy to ensure your business ranks higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Whether you want to increase awareness about your products or services, position your brand as an authority leader in the industry, or drive more qualified leads to your B2B, you need a systematic SEO strategy that can bring results.
This guide defines what B2B SEO is and what makes a solid B2B SEO strategy 2023.
Table of Contents
Understanding B2B SEO
In simple terms, B2B SEO refers to SEO efforts aimed at attaining the highest rankings on search in B2B markets. In other words, B2B SEO’s primary goal is to bring as much organic traffic to your B2B website as possible.
However, like B2C, you can’t expect to get instant results from B2B SEO. It requires time, usually about six to 12 months of search engine optimization efforts.
The secret to a great SEO strategy is identifying the activities that bring a huge improvement for your users.
One key thing that can make a big difference in your SEO efforts is improving the quality of content you deliver to your audience.
To better understand the importance of B2B SEO, look at these B2B SEO statistics:
- 77 percent of B2B buyers conduct a Google search first before speaking to a salesperson
- SEO and organic traffic are the top marketing priority for 61 percent of B2B marketers
- Online research makes up about 27 percent of the full B2B buying cycle
- More than 90% percent of people click on the search engine results on the first page
As you can see, B2B SEO is essential for B2B success. If your business is not found among the top search results, making the amount of sales you want will be challenging.
It will also be hard to convince prospects that your business can provide value and that your products or services are credible.
However, by following the best B2B SEO tips, you will build credibility for your business which will help increase the amount of organic traffic to your B2B website.
Basics of B2B SEO
When it comes to SEO, there are areas that you should focus on to get the best results. Here are the main areas of B2B SEO:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
These activities aim to optimize your individual pages to increase their chances of ranking on search engine results pages.
It involves optimizing your content for target keywords to ensure search engines can find it when providing results to related search queries.
However, to achieve this, you must ensure that your content is relevant and of high quality.
Here are things to focus on when doing on-page SEO:
- Create content that answers industry questions
- Optimize your page title and title tags
- Integrate your content subject into the URL
- Link your content back to the category page
Ultimately, on-page SEO ensures that users and search engines understand your content better. Search engines will show your page in SERPs for relevant search queries if your page is credible and trustworthy.
Off-page SEO involves activities outside your website that positively impact your search rankings.
One of the primary goals of B2B off-page SEO is to build quality backlinks—the backlinks should come from trusted and authoritative sources in your niche.
Getting high-quality backlinks in your industry increases your website’s authority from search engines, which will help boost your rankings.
These refer to technical processes that you perform to improve search engine rankings for your B2B website. While many people can create a site, not all understand the background aspects determining whether a site will rank on search engines.
Some questions to focus on when it comes to B2B technical SEO include:
- Is your website crawlable?
- What site pages should be crawled?
- Does your site have a sitemap and an image sitemap?
One way to check whether your website is optimized is by running it through Google PageSpeed Insights. Key aspects of B2B technical SEO to focus on include:
- Structured data
- Site structure
- Page speed
- Mobile and AMP implementations
- Site security (HTTPS)
As you can see, these aspects require knowledge and experience, so it’s best to let a qualified SEO specialist handle the technical B2B SEO stuff.
What is the Difference Between B2C and B2B SEO?
SEO basics are the same for both B2C and B2B. Whether you want to reach customers (consumers) or other businesses, these SEO principles should guide you:
- Discover what people are searching for
- Develop content with your target audience in mind
- Optimize your content so Google can show it in results for relevant queries
In addition, there are no separate ranking factors for B2B and B2C. In other words, Google uses the same ranking algorithm for B2C and B2B, meaning the best SEO practices for B2C apply to B2B.
Despite these similarities, there are ways that B2B SEO is different from B2C.
The main difference between B2C and B2B SEO is in the target audience—after all, one aims to sell professional services or products, while the other targets consumers.
Here are the key differences between B2C and B2B SEO strategies:
B2B Sales Funnel is More Complex
Marketing a product or service to professionals is different from consumers. In other words, professional investing involves more research and consideration than when buying as a consumer.
For example, more research is involved when looking for the best local SEO services in your niche than when buying the best designer cloth.
Due to the complexity of the B2B sales funnels, B2B companies should take measures that guarantee search engine visibility from the awareness phase to when the deal is closed.
As such, B2B marketers should go a step further than B2C marketers to understand the needs of their target audience for a more targeted reach.
B2B Targets Low Volume Keywords
Prospects in B2B can use many different terms to find a product or service they want. This can mean lower volume keywords than B2C.
B2B Should Demonstrate Expertise
B2B buyers want to work with a company that can demonstrate confidence and expertise. They want to ensure that the company they partner with can provide the right solution even before they start the inquiring process.
One of the ways you can demonstrate that you are a reputable expert in your industry is through thought leadership—providing content that answers some of the complex questions your audience is asking in a particular topic.
B2B SEO has Low Conversion than B2C
B2B SEO has a lower click-to-sale conversion rate than B2C. A successful B2B strategy is designed to attract site traffic interested in the products or services you provide.
It involves defining your niche, learning about your audience, and demonstrating that your product or service is the best solution to their needs.
Steps for an Effective B2B SEO Strategy
Knowing where to start when creating a successful B2B SEO strategy is essential. This section provides a step-by-step guide to creating an effective B2B SEO strategy.
While creating a B2B strategy may sound simple, it is easy to complicate it if you lack the necessary skills and experience.
At AlchemyLeads, we help our clients create a winning SEO strategy, so if you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you want to become a nerd, here is our guide to effective B2B marketing to help improve visibility on SERPs and outdo your competitors:
Build a Detailed Buyer Persona
Defining a buyer persona is crucial in creating an effective B2B SEO strategy.
To better understand buyer personas, think of the imagery friend you had as a kid. Usually, the imaginary friend involves a detailed description of someone who represents a potential friend.
In the same way, a buyer persona is simply a description of someone who represents your target audience.
But, unlike your imaginary friend, the buyer persona is founded on qualitative and quantitative data from market and competitor research.
A buyer persona, also called audience persona, customer persona, or marketing persona, helps generate important insights to help make informed decisions in marketing and sales.
In other words, the buyer persona represents your customer base, which gives a great insight into your ideal prospects.
However, since your prospects will buy your products or services for different reasons, you should create more than one buyer persona.
Each persona should represent a different demographic, behavioral traits, and interests. Doing this will help you understand their goals, challenges, and buying patterns.
Besides creating different buyer personas, give each of the buyer personas a name and put a face to the name.
Creating a buyer persona for your B2B is important as it helps ensure that the voice and direction of your marketing content are consistent and that you adequately address your prospect’s priorities.
To create a buyer persona, you need to:
- Conduct thorough audience research
- Define customer goals and pain points
- Think about how you can help
When conducting audience research and customer goals, group the ones with common characteristics together, as this forms the basis of your buyer personas.
Define Your Sales Funnel
After you create your buyer persona, the next thing should be to find out how they search for products or services you offer.
However, you need to understand your sales funnels before you research the keywords your buyer persona uses (that you should optimize for).
Here are steps to help you understand how your unique sales funnel works:
- Ask your sales team how the funnels work, including the most successful touch points and what needs improvement
- Analyze your sales and analytics data to understand how customers find your business
- Analyze and take advantage of key customer stats, including the average purchase time, customer lifetime value, and when and why customers leave.
Once you understand your sales funnel, you can choose your bottom-of-the-funnel keywords.
Conduct Persona Keyword Research
There’s no SEO without keyword research, and B2B SEO is no exception. To have a successful B2B organic strategy, you should perform detailed B2B keyword research.
Ideally, when performing B2B keyword research, you are looking for terms that clients use to find products or services like yours at every stage of the sales funnel.
However, being in B2B doesn’t mean focusing only on commercial terms—you should also include informational queries in your B2B strategy.
When a person types a keyword into Google, they are trying to find a solution to something.
The problem can be as simple as finding information on something or looking for a product or service to buy. This is called search intent, and you should keep this in mind when finding the bottom-of-the-funnel keywords.
When searching for B2B persona keywords, ask yourself these questions:
- What problems are the decision makers in your target industries facing?
- What terms are your decision makers using to find your product or service?
- How can you help them solve their pain points?
- What features make your product or service the best solution?
- What keywords are your competitors using that drive the highest organic search traffic?
One of the tools that can help search the terms decision makers are using to search for your product or service is the free Seed Keywords Engine Tool.
You can also use Google autocomplete to find long-tail keywords for your marketing campaign. You surely have used this tactic before, where you start typing a term on Google, and Google provides autocomplete suggestions.
If you need more advanced keyword results, use competitor keyword analysis tools like SEMrush.
For example, SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool helps find terms that different buying personas use to find answers on Google. Also, Organic Research Tool can help find keywords that drive your competitors the highest amount of organic traffic.
Use Topic Clusters to Target Buyers at Different Stages of Your Funnel
Next, develop a keyword strategy and top-of-the-funnel topics to target buyers at different stages of your funnel.
You can use topic clusters to demonstrate that you are an expert on specific topics.
Topic cluster refers to a group of content around a certain topic and usually links to and from a pillar page.
In other words, a topic cluster revolves around a specific topic. It provides great internal linking opportunities (including links to all related pages) that provide more insight into the main topic and link back to the main pillar page.
Finding top-of-the-funnel keywords and topics not only provides insights into the terms to create content around but also helps create a scalable content strategy. It also provides a great way to target prospects at every stage of the buying cycle.
The truth is prospects using top-of-the-funnel keywords are not ready to buy just yet. However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore them altogether.
People use top-of-the-funnel keywords more than bottom-of-the-funnel terms when searching for information online. As such, targeting the bottom-of-the-funnel keywords only will significantly limit the amount of Google traffic you get.
Focusing on top-of-the-funnel keywords will help build expertise and keep your brand on top of your prospects.
In fact, you can turn top-of-the-funnel searches into customers with time. You only need to be patient and focus on providing value to your target audience.
For example, instead of trying to sell, try to get those visitors into your email list for your B2B email marketing. Afterward, share valuable content with your email subscribers to convert them into buyers.
Optimize Your Product and Service Pages
The main goal of B2B marketing is to drive a sale or make a conversion. Of course, using content to drive traffic and earn rankings is great, but it won’t make sense if you don’t drive a sale.
When optimizing your service and product pages for SEO, focus on the bottom-of-the-funnel keywords you found during keyword research. Here are tips to help optimize your landing pages:
Ensure Your Content is 100% Unique
Duplicate content is a serious issue that can negatively impact your ranking capabilities. Google and other search engines will only rank the content on your landing pages if it’s 100% unique.
Of course, creating unique content can be challenging, especially if you want to create different pages for similar services or need unique pages for different cities. Regardless, you should ensure that your landing page content is 100% unique to rank higher in SERPs.
Create Long-Form Content
Search engines want to rank pages that are valuable and rich in information. If your landing page content is super thin (50 – 100 words), ranking those pages is challenging.
Why? Because there is not enough information for search engines to understand what the page is all about.
To ensure that Google understands your content, ensure your landing pages have at least 500 words. According to Backlinko, the average Google first page result contains 1,447 words. Of course, the content should be valuable, relevant, and compelling.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
There’s no SEO without keywords. Keyword usage helps Google understand your content so it can show it on SERPs when users perform related searches.
That means you should include target keywords on your landing pages to give Google an idea of what the pages involve. However, be smart enough to avoid keyword stuffing because this will hurt your B2B SEO efforts.
Here are tips to ensure smart keyword usage:
- Include your target keyword in the H1 title and title tag
- Use your target keyword in the page’s URL
- If possible, include your target keyword high on the page (within the first paragraph or first 100 words)
- Include the target keyword’s synonyms and variations in your page’s content
- Create a unique meta description
These and other best practices can help ensure B2B SEO success.
However, since on-page SEO is a massive topic requiring great expertise, you may want to check our on-page SEO service page if you need help optimizing your product and service pages.
Create an Effective Content Strategy
We cannot overstate the need for a scalable content strategy for your B2B SEO. Part of an effective content marketing strategy is having a B2B blog where you publish high-quality, link-worthy content.
In other words, when you publish valuable content on your landing pages that people can link to, your pages are likely to rank higher in SERPs.
Besides gaining quality backlinks, publishing high-quality blog content will establish your company as an authority in your industry or niche.
The idea is to create rank-worthy content that answers your prospect’s questions. Solving prospects’ pain points gets you stuck in their minds and makes them eager to hear your business story.
But your content should not focus only on the bottom of the funnel keywords—focus on terms that can help build awareness at a much earlier stage than your competitors.
Always remember that to achieve B2B success, you should focus on the long-term SEO game. For instance, a person searching “what is B2B SEO” today may become an SEO client in a few months.
B2B content marketing strategies and formats you can use to target the right audience include:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Research studies
- White papers and eBooks
A scalable B2B content strategy is about creating content your audience wants to read or is constantly searching for. This is key in creating content that ranks on top of SERPs, drives engagement, earns links, and drives sales.
Build High-Quality Backlinks for Your B2B Site
Link building is one of Google’s key ranking factors and crucial to B2B SEO strategy success.
One of the effective tactics you can use to get high-quality backlinks for your B2B website is creating high-quality and relevant content.
But creating content isn’t enough; you should promote it. You can achieve this through email outreach—telling other industry blogs about your new content and encouraging them to link to it.
You can promote your content and get backlinking opportunities through digital PR. But don’t only focus on mainstream media; instead, focus your PR efforts on industry blogs and news.
Some of the strategies you can use to encourage other websites to link to your page include:
- Encourage journalists to write about your latest study
- Find broken links to get backlinking opportunities
- Ask other websites to reference your content as a resource guide in existing content
Those are some of the strategies you can use to earn quality backlinks.
However, since link building is a continuous process, you need to improve your site content (create content with your visitors in mind) to build authority and earn more backlinking opportunities.
B2B Marketing Examples
Having seen the best B2B SEO strategy, let’s look at examples of B2B SEO success stories.
By analyzing websites that have experienced B2B SEO success, you will gain a great insight into what’s working and what’s not.
Examples of sites with great B2B SEO success stories include Canva and HubSpot.
Canva is a great design platform used by millions of marketers worldwide. This platform ranks at position one on SERPs for terms like “template,” “brochure,” and “YouTube banner.” Canva gets more than 70+ million monthly organic traffic.
Prospects searching for any of these terms that Canva ranks for are likely looking for these services. The best part is that Canva doesn’t only rank for these terms but also provides a solution to these problems.
The catch is understanding your audience and creating content that solves their pain points. This way, it will be easier to achieve B2B SEO success.
This site is a good example of SEO for B2B SaaS success stories. The site ranks on the first page of Google for search terms like “market research,” “branding,” “webinars,” etc.
Our B2B marketing site is also a great example of a site that employs the best B2B SEO practices. The site ranks on the first page of Google for terms like “CBD marketing,” “marketing CBD brands,” and many other terms.
B2B SEO—Wrapping Up
As you can see, a lot goes into creating a successful B2B SEO strategy. The most crucial aspect is consistency in optimization and link building to attain SEO success.
Brand awareness and clarity are key when creating an effective B2B SEO strategy.
Also, your audience should inform your B2B SEO strategy and form the basis of your content strategy and earning backlinks, which are key for raising brand awareness, increasing visibility, and boosting organic traffic and sales.
Do you need help with your B2B SEO strategy? Contact us today, and our winning SEO team will help you out.