In the world of digital marketing, there are a number of strategies for acquiring B2B leads. However, B2B SEO is distinctive among other techniques due to its efficiency and lasting impact.
Every business wants to stay on top of search results. It is the goal of every B2B company to rank on page one of Google to generate organic leads.
Do you feel the same way?
By doing it right, B2B SEO delivers more than traffic and conversions. It also increases your brand’s credibility.
In this article, you’ll discover what a B2B SEO strategy should look like in 2023.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- About B2B SEO
- Difference between B2B SEO & B2C SEO
- Top of funnel Vs bottom of funnel keywords
- The process of creating content
- And lot more
What Is B2B SEO?
B2B Search Engine Optimization involves optimizing web pages based on the search terms used by business decision-makers.
The objective of B2B SEO goes simply beyond reaching these decision-makers.
Keeping them engaged with your content and demonstrating your value as a resource is essential for a successful B2B relationship.
Is B2B SEO different from B2C SEO?
There are no differences in Google’s ranking factors for B2C and B2B SEO.
The Google search engine does not use a special algorithm to rank B2B websites.
B2B and B2C mainly differ in terms of the target market and content strategy.
Typically, B2B targets a narrow demographic group of business decision-makers. On the other hand, B2C brands target a broader audience.
In either case, the strategy broadly revolves around target keywords, on-page & off-page optimization, technical SEO, and content marketing.
Let’s take a closer look at them.
#1 Know Who You Want to Target
Identifying the target audience is the first step of SEO strategy.
B2B marketing typically targets business leaders, executives, and other decision-makers.
After identifying your target audience, try to put yourself in their shoes. Think from their perspective.
Think about their needs. Think about their business goals. Identify their most significant challenges, and figure out what frustrates them the most.
Semrush’s Persona Builder can be a handy tool for you. Creating a decision-maker persona can help you gain a deeper understanding of your potential clients and allow you to build empathy in your marketing strategies.
Personas are extremely helpful in getting a clear picture of the target audience’s needs, goals, and challenges.
As a result, you can refine your product or service development and marketing strategies to meet your target market’s preferences.
Knowing their struggles can help you predict what they search for on Google. It can help you with keyword research which we will cover in the next step.
#2 Target the Right Keywords
Have you defined the persona?
If so, that’s great!
With a persona in place, you’ll have a clearer picture of what your ideal clients search for on Google.
Now it’s time to visualize the customer journey.
In the funnel, there are two primary buckets of keywords:
- Top of the funnel keywords
- Bottom of the funnel keywords
Let’s see how each type can bring a conversion.
Top of Funnel VS Bottom of Funnel SEO Keywords
Driving traffic to the landing page is one thing, but getting targeted traffic that converts is quite another.
For this reason, the bottom-of-the-funnel keyword plays such a crucial role.
Are you wondering how?
It is because these types of keywords usually target those users who are in the final step of converting.
Let me give you an example.
The keyword “Content marketing software” is a bottom-of-the-funnel keyword. Users may search for this on Google to research options or sign up for a service. These are the types of keywords that we want to rank for to drive traffic on our product or service landing pages.
On the other hand, “What is content marketing?” is a top-of-the-funnel keyword. Users may search for this on Google to gain a deeper understanding of content marketing. These are the types of keywords that we want to rank for to drive traffic to our blog posts or other informational content.
In other words, the customer journey begins when they search “What is content marketing”. And they get close to the sales cycle when they search for “Content marketing software” or similar terms.
Having these types of targeted audiences on the landing page increases the likelihood of conversion.
Remember, a customer’s journey begins at the top. The majority of an organic audience will come to your site from top-of-the-funnel keywords.
And they won’t convert right away. Keeping them engaged from the beginning can effectively boost your sales in the long run.
You want to target top-of-the-funnel keywords to educate your target market. You want to give them free value.
Instead of a hard-selling approach, you can take the opportunity to educate your audience, send them to lead magnets, and collect their email addresses. As a result, you will be able to keep them engaged with your brand.
You can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry by contributing meaningful and credible content.
Consequently, you will be on their minds as they progress through the sales cycle.
Now it’s time to brainstorm keywords.
You can research B2B keywords with the following tools:
- Google’s Keyword Planner
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- And many more!
Now let’s take a look at how content is the backbone of SEO strategy. In the next step, you will learn how to optimize content and discover what to do and what not to do.
#3 Content Will Always Be King
So far, we have defined the target audience, created a buyer persona, and brainstormed top-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel SEO keywords.
Now it’s time to start creating fresh content or optimizing the existing one.
Remember, there is no alternative to creating good content.
Ultimately, every SEO effort is centered around content creation and content optimization.
The following are some tips for creating effective B2B content.
1. Produce Original and Value Driven Content
You’re targeting the B2B market. You are reaching decision-makers. And therefore, you certainly don’t want to give them a negative impression by producing poor-quality, plagiarized content that won’t add value to them.
Be it a landing page or blog, the content has to be 100% unique, original, and authoritative.
Think about how you can add insight and value to your content beyond what your competitors can offer.
AI tools like ChatGPT are great, but they can’t clearly communicate your brand message. And Google’s machine learning algorithms are powerful enough to detect AI-generated content.
In line with Google’s guidelines, it is imperative to demonstrate E-A-T, also referred to as EEAT.
E-A-T refers to Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
E-A-T is not just Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, it is also a ranking factor. Using these factors, Google evaluates whether the content is valuable to readers and is worthy of high rankings.
2. Create Long-form Content
B2B landing pages and blogs should be comprehensive, insightful, and research-driven.
D you know why?
It’s because you’re targeting business owners or decision-makers. And they are typically more knowledgeable and sophisticated than other consumers.
It is likely that they anticipate detailed, well-researched content that addresses their specific concerns and needs.
Creating insightful, comprehensive, and authoritative content allows you to demonstrate your expertise and credibility.
In terms of SEO, a long-form article provides more information to Google about your topic.
According to Backlinko, the average result in the top 10 Google search results contains 1,447 words.
3. Keywords: How to Use Them and How Not to Use Them
According to Google, creating helpful, reliable, people-first content is the key to a high ranking.
Google claims that its ranking systems are designed to give users reliable information.
Creating content primarily for search engines is always a terrible idea. (In line with Google’s suggestion!)
User experience is Google’s top priority. Keyword stuffing negatively impacts the user experience. And so it results in a negative outcome.
You should certainly include primary and secondary keywords in your blogs and landing pages. However, overdoing them will only negatively affect your rankings. Ideally, keywords should appear naturally.
Add primary keywords at:
- Meta title & Meta description
- H1/H2 headlines
- In the first paragraph of the body
You may also include secondary keywords or synonyms in the body of your article. (As long as they weave naturally.)
4. Optimize Content For Search Intent
Search intent should be your top priority when optimizing content.
It is because search intent brings users to search engines in the first place.
Whenever we search on Google, we have a specific goal in mind.
Search intent helps to understand where the buyers are in their buying journey. As a result, it helps to determine where to use which keywords.
We can broadly segment search intent into three categories:
It is an early-stage search query demonstrating the customer’s interest in the topic. For instance, “What is digital marketing”.
In this stage, users typically evaluate products or services or compare them. For instance, “Ahref vs Semrush”.
It is at this stage that users are ready to be converted. For instance, “Ahref SEO tools“.
When we create content, it is crucial to align target keywords with search intent. As it helps determine whether our content is relevant to a particular keyword.
For instance, it is more challenging to rank a blog post with Transactional search intent or a sales page with Informational search intent.
The key to creating good content is to target keywords and create content that corresponds to the user’s intent.
Bringing It All Together
You’ve got it: a fundamental guide to B2B SEO.
Now it’s your turn to put these strategies into action.
It begins with identifying the target audience, creating a buyer persona, brainstorming keywords, understanding the user’s intent, and creating captivating content.
Remember, ultimately, it’s all about delivering users a top-of-the-line experience.
In every aspect of your website, be it the content, services, products, or user experience, your goal should be to win the audience’s heart, soul, and loyalty to remain competitive.
Austin Cline is the founder of Sitemap.io, an SEO content agency that works with B2B and eCommerce companies to grow their organic search traffic. Their clients include Stanley Black & Decker, CNC Masters, Kartra, Sherrilltree, and Ring’s End. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn and Twitter.Activate Social Media: