The term B2B encompasses all companies that create and sell products and services used by other businesses. B2B companies support other businesses, providing raw materials, finished products, services, or other consulting work that can help them operate, profit, and grow.
Depending on your company goals, your clients can be anywhere. And thanks to today’s technology, the easiest place to reach them is in the search engines.
SEO – search engine optimization – is all about getting your online content listed in the search engines, to be listed where your customers are searching.
By combining the two, B2B SEO means thinking like your customers, and being where they go, whether with a broad search or more local refinement. When you think like your customers, you’ll understand more about where you should be.
A word about the difference between B2B and B2C
There is a difference between the way consumers shop and the way businesses shop.
When you head to Google as a consumer, you have a goal in mind. If you’re hungry, you might type “best Mexican restaurant Seattle.” Your goal is food; you’re hungry. And as you scroll through the results, something will catch your eye. You’ll make a decision, and you’ll be on your way.
While B2B works in a similar manner, there are a few particulars you’ll have to keep in mind.
There may be multiple decision makers
With B2B searches, who is searching isn’t always the same person who is making the decision, or who will ultimately buy. B2B decisions often have a longer process between acknowledgment and purchasing.
Keep that in mind as you create content. Creating content that lists out features and benefits may be necessary, but you may also need additional talking points on how to present facts to the actual decision makers. Do you have downloadables? Do you offer free reports? Maybe a demo to share your best features? This isn’t just about selling your concept to the first person that reads it. It’s simplifying the data so that it’s sharable amongst a team.
The search results will be lower
Consumer goods are more searched than business concepts. That’s because you sell consumer goods one person at a time, compared with business applications that may be sold once to a large corporation with multiple thousands of individuals.
One consumer may search for the perfect set of golf clubs. And you can bet there are thousands of people searching around that keyword at any given point in time.
Now compare it to the keywords around creating the perfect putter. How do you manufacture the grip?
From an SEO standpoint, you have the opportunity of creating a wealth of content based around your subject matter. Because people look for similar concepts, only they search Google in slightly different ways. “Best putters” may show different results than “top putters.”
In the B2B environment, one thought-out and well-written guide may be easier to rank, and easier to promote. You can pinpoint your advice, and use the content in many different ways. B2B shouldn’t pay as close attention to how many people land on their pages – it can take one click to drive home a very large sale.
There will be less organic traffic
Consumers are driven by content. They want to see the products and services they love in an infinite number of ways. They are also more likely to buy. Imagine thousands of people landing on a page listing five of the top putters. Chances are a handful of them will buy.
But if your business consults with companies building a new golf course, how many do you think will buy after landing on a page? Yep, you guessed it – it’s most likely zero. More due-diligence is needed. It’s a much bigger commitment. A landing page is only meant to start up awareness. From there, you can drive the conversation to the next level.
Fewer people looking for what B2B has to offer means you’ll receive less organic traffic overall. But with bigger product and service price tags, even one can be a big deal.
It’s all about branding
If you are playing in the B2B atmosphere, you’ll learn quickly that your ultimate goal online is to push your branding. Strive for having the people looking for your products or services say: They’re everywhere.
This means paying attention to every channel you use. Have a Facebook page? An Instagram feed? A Twitter account? Do you use the same logo, images, and colors throughout? Does your content say similar things no matter where you post it? If you haven’t paid attention to the messages you send out to the world, maybe now is the time.
Let’s talk B2B SEO strategy
Are you ready to create your B2B SEO strategy? You can do so in an easy way, simply by asking three questions.
What do your customers want?
Any good SEO strategy starts by defining who your customers are and ultimately what they want. This involved diving deep, and really thinking about who your customers are.
In the B2B world, that means carefully analyzing the entire purchasing process. Who are the people most likely searching for what you do? What do they do with the information? Only then can you create a dynamic marketing piece that will get the job done.
How can we give them what they desire?
Only when you define your customers’ needs can you start creating online marketing to satisfy their desires. You can do this in a variety of ways:
- Landing pages
- Free reports
- How-to videos
- Regular updates in your newsfeed
- Demos for your product or service
- E-classes to help spread your message
As you create each piece of marketing, it’s crucial to understand how to market it online. To reach the search engines, you’ll have to focus on specific keywords. This is where our tools can help discover unknown key terms you may never have thought about.
How will we show up in the search engines?
This is where it pays to work with a firm that understands search engine optimization.
There are two ways to get high ranking results. You can pay to have your message there quickly. Or build organic results.
We feel both are important to creating a solid future for marketing your business. Because if you aren’t striving for organic results, you could disappear the moment you stop paying to have your message displayed.
There are a wide array of ways to find your way across platforms, and into the hearts of your customers. But the best place to start is by defining your goals and desires.
And when you’re ready, we can help.