Intrinsically, B2B (Business-to-Business) SEO will technically not vary greatly from B2C (Business-to-Consumer) SEO. You still require keyword research, on-page optimisation, content generation and a solid link building strategy. However, there are certain nuances unique to B2B SEO because the business client and the general consumer behave rather differently in the buying cycle and this purchase behaviour ultimately alters the SEO strategy.
The consumer buying cycle is generally more linear and faster than the business buying cycle. In business, there is usually more than one decision maker, a lot of research goes into the decision and there are two different audiences, the users and the buyers. This means that during the search process, the business buyer will be going through a more complex buying funnel. One could argue that the stakes are higher because there are fewer corporations looking to make high value purchases, in comparison to the multitudes of consumers who may be making the individual decision to buy an iPhone.
Search Engine Listings and Traffic Benefits from SEO
Thinking Like Your Audience
What this means for the SEO strategy is that your offering needs to be available to the searcher at each stage of the buying cycle from developing the consideration set to finding video demonstrations and pricing.
When developing your B2B SEO strategy, it is important to consider the keywords, which will need to be more diverse to cover the longer buying cycle. You need to cover keywords at each touchpoint of the cycle so that your potential clients can easily find the relevant information for which they are looking.
The SEO content strategy on your website needs to focus on relationship building rather than getting a quick sale or conversion as per in the B2C sales funnel. Strong call-to-actions to drive sales are not the key to converting the business audience. What you need is solid information, testimonials, demonstrations, case studies, white papers in various formats to engage the audience. Sales cycles in the B2B market can literally take months from identifying a need to making the final purchase decision.
Blended Search SEO will further assist your B2B SEO strategy because through blended search you can increase the visibility of your business in the search results. Instead of just appearing in the rankings for listings that drive the searcher to the company’s main website properties, having things like videos, images, press releases and blogs in the SERPs will build credibility and allow the company to capture more SERP real estate for a particular search term.