Is SEO in B2B business worthwhile at all? If so, how do B2B companies achieve a strong organic performance that pays off for the company’s success? Find out in this article.
Do you have an online store for business customers and want to achieve better organic search engine rankings? Or do you want your company website to generate more inquiries and orders in the B2B sector? Then it’s time for B2B SEO. We show you what to look for in search engine optimization for business customers.
Before you rack your brains over which SEO strategy is best for B2B, you can be sure of one thing: The SEO basics apply to B2B just as they do to B2C. So keep in mind:
If you take these three aspects into account, you have already done a lot of things right in B2B SEO.
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For the technical SEO of your B2B website this means in particular:
In short: The basic SEO rules for your B2B website are the same as for any other website. However, there are differences between B2B and B2C in terms of SEO, which we will now show and explain.
Private customers usually have different requirements than business customers. This simple insight leads to significant differences to B2C, especially in the content field and in the focus of your B2B content.
As in B2C, the aspect of “trust” plays an important role in B2B. Trustworthiness” is a part of the so-called E-A-T criteria, which are decisive for Google for high-quality content.
1. Your B2B content usually focuses on information and appeals less to emotions.
For example, if you run an online fashion store, you will not just optimize content about pants and tops based on keyword research, but also address your target group in the appropriate tone of voice. In B2B, content is more fact-oriented. A B2B online store for fashion will therefore focus more on material properties or specials such as graduated prices and delivery times.
Figure 1: The B2B product page contains product data sheets, information about the warehouse, etc.
2. B2B content is usually aimed at decision-makers and not at a broad audience.
For example, if you offer your services to private customers, you want to convince as many people as possible with your content and may have to be longer with descriptions or definitions. Decision-makers, on the other hand, are already familiar with the subject matter. They need less background information and more straightforward facts instead.
3. Keywords in the B2B area often have a low search volume.
This point cannot be transferred 1:1 to all B2B websites. Nevertheless, it is more likely that you optimize your content in a keyword niche anyway. Therefore, content optimization in B2B, for example, should be less oriented towards search volume and instead focus more on user intent. As a result, you should increasingly consider what questions a B2B customer has about your offer. Answer these questions in your content, without only paying attention to the search volume of keywords.
An example: You are a medium-sized machine manufacturer and produce components for drawers. In this case, you will hardly want to rank for “desk” or “shelf”, nor is there sufficient search volume for the combination “components for shelves” or similar. If you focus your content on solving the problems of your target group instead, you can reach exactly the users you need in Google search via the long tail. If only ten potential customers come to you via Google search per month and only two orders are generated per half year, the optimization has paid off. In contrast to B2C websites, the B2B sector usually involves higher order volumes or “shopping baskets”.
As already mentioned, B2B is about trust and reliability. Therefore, it is all the more important that your website is technically flawless. At the same time, decision-makers usually only have a limited amount of time. Unlike private customers, who simply “browse” the web and let themselves float around, business customers want to reach their goal quickly.
Therefore, make user experience a priority in your B2B SEO strategy. The goal should be for your target group to find the information or content they need as quickly as possible and without long detours.
Which means in practice:
Keep it simple for your customers, potential customers and interested parties. From an SEO point of view, this also includes offering quick and simple contact options.
At this point you will surely realize that B2B SEO as well as sustainable search engine optimization in general is very much about user-friendliness. For example, offer your visitors simple inquiry forms on your B2B page or set up a chat where questions about offers or prices can be answered quickly.
We already mentioned the E-A-T criteria. In addition to the trustworthiness of a website, the areas of “expertise” and “authority” also play an important role for Google.
For your B2B content, this means that you should demonstrate your expertise, for example, through expert articles in a corporate blog or by carefully explaining your product portfolio. This is especially important for products or innovations that require extensive explanation. Create your content in a way that leaves no questions unanswered.
Of course you can also work with a glossary or wiki. However, at this point you should always ask yourself about the economic efficiency and the actual benefit for your target group.
An example: You produce screws for the industry. In this case, a glossary about the different types of screws would rather lead in the wrong direction. After all, you want to reach professional end customers and not provide valuable input for an upcoming student presentation.
However, a glossary can be helpful if, for example, you use a kind of “vocabulary” of your own for your products and these terms are in need of explanation.
By the way, you can also get ideas for your B2B content by talking to your customers or through their suggestions. Your target group usually knows their problems very well and is looking for solutions. For example, take up some of these problems on your website and give possible solutions. These can then become a starting point for an inquiry or a sales pitch if someone has come to your site via this content.
An important question you have to ask yourself in B2B: What is the reach of your offer? Do you want to address target groups across regions or countries?
If it is “only” about regionality, local SEO plays a role for your B2B SEO.
Which factors are important in this context?
Figure 2: For B2B companies with a regional focus optimization for the Local Pack can be an additional lever
Local SEO offers the advantage for locally operating companies in the B2B sector of having smaller competition and thus a greater chance of achieving good rankings in the local search results.
As you may have noticed, in B2B SEO, dealing with the target group plays an even more important role than in B2C. This is because you are addressing a much smaller group of people with your content, and these people usually already have some prior knowledge.
So it’s more important than ever to gain trust. And in B2B, you accomplish that first and foremost with expertise. In addition to a technically excellent, fast website and perfect usability with short click paths, you should place great value on your content, keeping less focus on keywords and more on open questions that your potential customers might have about your products or services.
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Published on 11/17/2022 by Philipp Roos.
Philipp is an extended member of the Ryte family and supports Ryte with the latest SEO know-how and digital marketing news.
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