B2B SEO Tips and Why it Differs from Traditional Search Optimization
Business-to-business (B2B) companies face distinct challenges when it comes to managing Search Engine Optimization (SEO). B2B SEO is different from its blog or retail B2C counterparts in numerous ways. Here are four tips every B2B website should follow to maximize organic traffic and lead generation.
B2B SEO and Low-Volume Keywords
The goal of SEO is to maximize organic website traffic. For B2B industries specifically, the goal is to generate leads (prospective buyers) from organic search traffic.
B2B and B2C SEO can use significantly different strategies to maximize the number of warm leads generated. B2C businesses often attract a wide range of customers from various demographics who have different needs. They create interesting, thought-provoking, emotionally-laced content that connects with consumers. So, B2C companies require a wide range of keywords and content to attract as many customers as possible.
B2B suppliers, on the other hand, have different SEO needs. One of the major differences is the type of keywords targeted. Whereas blogs and retail sites cast a wide content net, in B2B SEO, there is a much narrower and more niche path to success.
For example, an average consumer may simply search for “rubber gloves.” But, a knowledgeable business is more likely to search for “chemical resistant Nitrile gloves” when they need a new shipment of rubber gloves.
Businesses are more likely to know exactly what they need, and for good reason. If rubber gloves are a necessity, it’s because a material is being handled that can’t come into contact with the skin. For consumers, that’s usually a harsh cleaning product, but for a business, the need is much more specific. A business knows what employees will be handling and what level of protection is needed to maximize employee safety and adequately follow regulations.
When optimizing B2B websites for organic search results, don’t be afraid to optimize for keywords with low volumes of searches. B2B customers know what they want. They’re searching for specific products with specific components at specific sizes made with specific materials.
While “rubber gloves” may earn a business more organic Google impressions and clicks, those results are far less likely to result in sales. That’s because the people arriving from the search engine results page (SERP) for “rubber gloves” are unlikely to be buying for large-scale business needs, which is what B2B businesses are designed to supply.
Product-Based vs Content-Based B2B SEO
B2B content does not need to be designed to attract customers using traditional inbound marketing methods. So if you are that rubber glove B2B supplier, you probably don’t need to write a blog with a title like, “8 Things You Never Knew You Could Do With Rubber Gloves.” While that may be fun clickbait for consumer audiences, it has little value to hospitals, universities, manufacturing facilities, or other B2B buyers.
Unlike B2C marketing, which heavily utilizes emotionally charged language, B2B offerings should stay centered on the specific product details. Therefore, B2B SEO relies heavily on product pages. Each product should have it’s own page. Use a table to show different size or material options. Feature an image with a properly crafted alt tag for every size, style, color, and material available. Make the content as specific as possible and if you are a distributor, be sure to rewrite any descriptions that come from the manufacturers for further optimization. Always include model or product numbers to make searching for the products as easy as possible for potential buyers.
B2B and Product Categories
B2B websites should prioritize product categorization as an SEO tactic. Properly formulated categories help Google index sites and deliver better search results for potential customers. For our chemical resistant Nitrile gloves listed above, that navigation may look something like this:
Safety Gear -> Gloves -> Nitrile -> Product Page
The B2B Sales Process is Different
Product pages should accurately reflect the B2B buyers journey. Compared to B2C transactions, B2B purchases usually involve multiple levels of decision makers, much larger sums of money, and a much slower buying process. B2B buyers usually want to communicate with sales representatives before agreeing to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of your product, whether that’s rubber gloves or I-beams.
Every product page should feature a contact form, phone numbers, and email addresses to streamline communication as much as possible with potential buyers. A chatbot can further help usher the buying process forward by providing information, answering questions, or simply collecting contact information for someone to reach out later. All of these forms of communication should be used to collect contact information for follow-ups and email marketing.
B2B SEO cannot be ignored in competitive landscapes. Make sure your titles and descriptions are specific and use industry jargon that B2B professionals use everyday. Focus on building complete product pages instead of investing time in consumer-oriented blogs. Understand that the buyer’s journey is much longer in B2B than it is for B2C organizations. Follow up with the leads you generate, offer easy forms of communication to connect them to a sales representative, and be sure to collect emails so you can remain a top-of-mind solution via email marketing campaigns.
Ryan Black - Content and Digital Strategist | Producer
- Resident expert in all things digital.
- Joined Nichols in 2019
- Fluent in SEO, HTML, CSSS, SEM
- Produced both videos and social media posts for national political campaigns
- Dedicated to the daily crossword, the farmers’ market and downtown living