B2B SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Tools & Tactics
B2B SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the tactics you can deploy to generate more traffic from search. Organic traffic is the best form of traffic a website can receive. You don’t pay for every visitor that clicks through to your site, and the traffic you attract should be relevant to the product or service you offer. The result of good B2B search engine optimization is an increase in lead generation and a boost in ROI. Across the numerous sites I've worked on for B2B businesses, organic traffic has always been the highest quality traffic generating the most leads, at lowest cost.
Why does SEO matter for B2B sales and marketing success ?
- 89% of B2B buyer journeys start with a search. - B2B SEO helps your business be found.
- 57% of B2B marketers say B2B SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation - SEO generates more leads than any other channel.
- SEO is a scalable low cost channel. You don't pay per lead.
These tools will make B2B SEO easier
Make your SEO journey easier with these tools. How do they help? From knowing what your customer are searching (Keyword research tools) to running audits on your website (SEO audit tools) these take the guesswork out of B2B SEO.
Latest articles to help your B2B SEO journey
Take this test. Search for the challenge your product solves in Google (not your brand). Can you see your solution? If not then you are missing out on revenue.
Read Up: Learn more about B2B SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
B2B search engine optimization (B2B SEO)
SEO in invaluable in business-to-business (B2B) markets where information hungry buyers are doing their own research before contacting a vendor. B2B search engine optimization helps your future customers find you in the search engine results. Potential buyers are looking for solutions to their challenges, not knowing who can help. They'll use a broad range of terms that align with to their challenge and expected outcomes.
B2B search engine optimization isn't just about your website
When your prospect searches Google the results page will include ads, videos, pictures, local listings, and at least 10 organic results, one of which will hopefully be yours. Your B2B SEO strategy needs to be part of a broader B2B search marketing strategy. It's getting harder to rank organically, yes it's a priority to rank our own sites, but also consider your other options. Do you have a video you could optimize for YouTube that will also appear on the results pages? Can you get a link on a review site that appears in the search results? Do you have a Google Maps listing? B2B search engine optimization isn't just about what you change on your pages, it's about building your brand across the search results.
Does search optimization matter for B2B businesses?
I've supported a variety of B2B organization in their SEO efforts. Today, everyone understands the importance of SEO. Search is one of the few ways you can engage visitors who are just starting their buying journey. The search phrase "manage customer support requests" should be a signal to relevant businesses that this searcher is looking for customer support tools. There are similar searches happening everyday, by buyers who want to solve the challenges you can help with.
- Your buyers and decision makers are the digital natives who grew up with search and social media.
- The new B2B buyer prefers messenger to phone calls.
- The new B2B buyer connects with friends on social media to arrange their next meet up.
- The new B2B buyer orders all their groceries, online.
- The new B2B buyer can accomplish as much on their smart phone as they can on their desktop.
- When making a buying decision for their business they hit Google.
You could leave prospecting and engagement to your outbound sales team. However, the likelihood is that when your phone number comes up on caller ID as unknown, your buyer will not answer it.
95% of your future customers will never go beyond page 1 of Google.
Win B2B, Digitally.
Why is B2B search engine optimization important?
- A majority of B2B buyers begin the buying journey with a search.
- SEO will help your business be found, by the right audience.
- Prospects searching for a solution have an immediate need and are much more likely to convert.
- Ranking well, especially above your competitors, will boost your credibility.
B2B search engine optimization is an ongoing process for increasing organic traffic. Organic traffic is non-paid traffic generated from search engines. We already know a majority of online journeys begin with a search. A B2B buyer is likely to begin their customer journey with a search. With B2B SEO, digital marketers try to ensure that their websites have a prominent position in the search results when those first steps on the B2B buying journey are taken.
In any B2B purchase the buyer (often a team) are looking for the best solution and to minimize risk. Credibility in B2B is a major factor and SEO can help vendors establish credibility and brand awareness early in the buying journey. If your business appears highly ranked for a variety of relevant search terms, future buyers will regularly encounter your brand alongside other market leaders. If your competitors appear on page one and your business appears on page 3, that’s a significant blow to your credibility.
What's the difference between B2C and B2B search engine optimization?
Business-to-business search engine optimization is similar to optimizing consumer websites. However, some key differences need to be considered when developing a B2B search engine optimization strategy.
- The search is just the start of the journey - In B2B the goal is typically to generate leads that a sales team can follow up. Search terms are much more research orientated than transactional, resulting in complex searches. In B2B the buyer won't buy on their first visit it may take many visits over several months. The best a B2B vendor can hope for is to generate a lead, through data capture. This is the gateway to lead nurture and supporting the prospect through their decision-making process.
- B2B searchers are looking for reassurance - A B2B buyer starts by researching their challenge and wants to learn how to solve it. Eventually, they move towards looking at solution providers and short-listing them. At every stage, the buyer is looking for reassurance they are making the right decision on behalf of their businesses.
- B2B vendors operate in niche markets - B2B search engine optimization occurs within niche markets this means fewer searches are happening, but each search and each potential visitor is worth more. Search terms will be technical and industry-specific.
- Businesses buy-in teams - In the business-to-business market, you are dealing with a variety of experts which make up the procurement team. Having a wide audience means you can often go into much more detail on particular topics, giving you a wider range of search terms to target. In B2C SEO you are unlikely to be serving customers with a high level of subject expertise.
- The B2B sales cycle is long - Business-to-business purchases are much more considered, take longer and there are multiple points in journey where buyers will undertake research. This longer decision-making process gives B2B organizations plenty of opportunities to appear in the search results. The same B2B buyer will perform a variety of searches as they explore solutions and shortlist vendors.
Five tips for B2B search engine optimization success
- Understand the customer journey. Your prospects will need different information at different points in their journey. Consider how this may change the search terms they use.
- B2B buyers use more complex search terms. Target multi-phrase searches and problem statements. Keyword research tools can help you identify relevant search terms.
- Optimize different content not just web pages. PDFs, videos, slides, webinars can all be optimized and distributed so they are found in the search results
- Google shows pages in the search results, not sites. Optimize different pages for different terms, avoid multiple pages targeting the same terms.
- Ranking in search is part of the challenge, getting the visitor to click is another. Optimize the title and description of your pages so that they serve as a call to action to click.
If your potential customers can't find you, you aren't in consideration.
Win B2B, Digitally.
Kaya, Digital Marketing Consultant
B2B search engine optimization matters
The importance of B2B search engine optimization can't be understated. B2B buyers spend a long time researching their challenges and the eventual solution. Every part of the buying journey involves research and at least part of that is likely to happen on the search engines. The earlier your business can engage the prospect the more likely you are to build a relationship with them and get close to the shortlist. Waiting for the buyer to search for your brand is too late in the buying journey to influence it.