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7 Tips for Building a Successful B2B SEO Strategy

google search engine optimization seo

Every brand needs SEO strategies in order to grow, but how are B2B SEO strategies different from those for B2C? 

In this post, we’ll help you understand how B2B SEO works and some of the most effective ways to use it in order to expand your business’s audience, grow your client list, and ultimately, increase profits. 

Here’s a list of the tips we’ll be going through: 

  1. Focus your SEO on keyword discovery for people, not businesses. 
  2. Invest heavily in original content, because without great content, B2B SEO is useless. 
  3. Coordinate B2B PR efforts with your SEO efforts. 
  4. Refine your B2B SEO approach to reach multiple decision-makers, with varied titles and interests.
  5. Incorporate low-volume, high-value keywords, which are more important in B2B than B2C. 
  6. Focus SEO resources more heavily on branding, research, and thought leadership-related pages. 
  7. Don’t neglect YouTube.

Let’s get started. 

Focus on keyword discovery for people, not businesses. 

Just like your content team knows to write for people, not Google’s robots, your SEO should be aimed at the individual people you’re trying to reach—not the industry or businesses. 

To do this well, you have to know who those people are and what they need. Presumably, this is something you already have a fairly good understanding of, from market research, your zero-party data, and/or buyer personas. 

Related post: The Death of Third-Party Cookies: What It Means for B2B Brands, And What to Do About It

So if your audience consists of CTOs who are looking for a cloud-based CRM with specific integrations, you’ll design your keyword research around those terms, along with the pain points that your audience has. This results in keywords like “fastest CRM,” or “CRM with Mailchimp integration.”  

This is different from focusing on a type of business or industry, like ecommerce or medical offices. If that’s what you were trying to do, your keywords would look entirely different (and they wouldn’t be nearly as effective). 

Invest heavily in original content, because without great content, B2B SEO is useless. 

Without great content, there is no SEO.

This is especially true in B2B, where clients and potential clients want high-quality answers to their questions, original research, and informed, relevant thought leadership. They want to work with industry leaders. 

Once you have that high-quality content, it’s much easier to build an effective B2B SEO strategy. 

Why? 

For one thing, the most content you have, the more opportunities you give yourself to incorporate keywords naturally into your copy. You can also expand your keyword focus if needed, creating a collection of content around one set of related keywords, and another collection around a different set of keywords. 

In addition, Google ranks pages based on quality, which includes everything from the authority of your domain, to the types of sites that are linking to your content. By writing researched, original content as often as possible, you’re showing Google that your brand has expertise in your industry, which will help push your site further up the search engine rankings. 

Coordinate B2B SEO and PR efforts. 

To give your B2B SEO strategy a boost, coordinate the keywords or themes you’re focusing on with your content and PR outreach. 

If one of your SEO goals for Q1 is getting ranked for “AI bias reduction” for instance, you could work with your content team to create blog posts, videos, thought leadership pieces,  and other collateral that is based around that topic. Likewise, your PR firm could craft pitches offering one of your tech executives or product developers as an expert on the topic. 

Coordinating these efforts will get you much better results than each department going it alone. 

Refine your SEO approach to reach multiple decision-makers, with varied titles and interests.

Since B2B buying groups are made up of multiple people, often from multiple departments, you’ll need your SEO strategy to help you reach all of them. 

For each person or persona you’re trying to reach, generate content and keywords that address: 

  • Pain points: what do they struggle with? 
  • Needs: what do they need from your product or service? Why are they searching online? 
  • Location: do buyers in different regions or countries have access to different types/groups of your products? 
  • Hopes and dreams: what would the ideal outcome from purchasing your product/service be for them? 
  • Frequently asked questions: each individual in a buying group will have different questions that they want answers to, and it’s your job to anticipate and answer them

Incorporate long-tail keywords, which are more important in B2B than B2C. 

For better or worse, B2B brands have a smaller field to pull from when it comes to keywords to rank for. 

While in B2C, ranking for certain short-tail, high-volume keywords may be necessary in order for a brand to achieve growth, in B2B, your market is smaller, which means that extremely high-value keywords may also be long-tail ones that have a lower search volume. 

The bottom line is that relevance is what attracts buyers in B2B, so that should be the principle guiding your keyword research. 

Related post: How COVID-19 Has Changed the B2B Buyer Behavior

Focus SEO resources more heavily on branding, research, and thought leadership-related pages.

Since relevance matters so much to B2B buyers, brands in this space should be investing heavily in thought leadership, research, and branding. 

This kind of content not only allows B2Bs to address the issues, trends, and concerns that are most important to potential clients, but it also helps the brand build trust with their audiences—also a top priority in the B2B space. 

SEO plays a role here in helping to position your brand as the go-to resource for information, opinions, and questions about your industry. By optimizing your thought leadership pieces, you can push your brand’s content higher up in the SERPs. 

Don’t neglect YouTube.

YouTube is a search engine too, so don’t forget to optimize your video descriptions and tags as well. 

According to research by Forbes, 75% of Fortune 500 company executives watch videos on YouTube, while the International Data Group found that 46% of B2B technology buyers made a purchase after watching a video about the product or service.

To optimize your B2B video content, make sure you’re doing each of these things for every single video you post: 

  • Include a relevant keyword in your video’s filename
  • Try to include a keyword in your video title
  • Make sure your descriptions are at least 200 words, and include a call-to-action
  • Add tags based around the keywords you’re trying to rank for (as long as they’re accurate in terms of what the video is about!) 
  • Choose your video’s category carefully.
  • If possible, create a custom thumbnail, as these have been shown to help a video rank higher in search results. 

Building up your B2B SEO should be a long-term, collaborative effort between the SEO, content, and PR teams. If you’re struggling, or just need a boost, get in touch with our team!

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    We work with clients around the globe and turn their brands into industry titans utilizing strategic marketing and PR initiatives. We’d love to help you next!

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    We work with clients around the globe and turn their brands into industry titans utilizing strategic marketing and PR initiatives. We’d love to help you next!