Learning how to create an effective B2B SEO strategy that can help you drive traffic and leads to your website can be challenging.
Because unlike B2C, a B2B SEO strategy targets low-volume keywords, and requires tactical content that’s tailored for decision makers, plus B2B keywords have high CPCs.
The B2B sales funnel tends to be more complex and long.
So, how do you create an SEO strategy for a B2B business that works?
In this in-depth guide, you’re going to learn how to create an effective B2B SEO strategy to organic traffic, and leads to your website.
So, if you’re wondering how to use SEO for B2B then this guide is for you.
Let’s get started.
What is B2B SEO?
B2B search engine optimization is a long-term digital marketing strategy that focuses on optimizing web content to help B2B website pages to rank higher in Google search results.
The strategy involves various online practices aimed at satisfying Google’s ranking algorithms such as keyword research, website optimization, content optimization, link building, and more.
A successful B2B SEO strategy helps to make your company’s website visible to other businesses researching the product or service you offer.
B2B SEO consists of the following elements that play a significant role in your strategy:
- Technical SEO: This encompasses all the optimization tactics you implement at the backend of your website such as website speed, XML sitemap, site structure, and more.
- On-page SEO: This is the process of optimizing the content inside your website. It includes on-page optimization processes like meta description, alt text, image optimization, etc.
- B2B Content Marketing: This encompasses the strategies such as keyword research on user needs to create and promote content that satisfies search intent to build brand awareness, engage your audience; generate and nurture leads.
- Off-page SEO: This involves all the processes you conduct outside to get other company website pages and content to link to yours.
When learning how to create a successful B2B SEO strategy, you need to combine all these four vital elements for great results.
Why Learn How to Create an Effective B2B SEO Strategy?
Search engine optimization is critical to the success of your B2B business.
If you don’t optimize your company website, chances are that other businesses looking for the product or service you offer will find your competitors’ websites.
Google is the leading search engine commanding 84.08% of the search engine market share:
According to a 2022 Demand Gen B2B Buyer Behavior survey, 52% of B2B buyers say web search is their top resource that informs them about a solution they are looking for:
Search engine optimization is the primary approach to marketing for 40% of B2B organizations:
Organic search is responsible for 53% of all internet traffic:
Besides, Gartner research suggests that when B2B buyers are considering a purchase‚ they spend 27% of their time researching independently online:
According to a Twitter poll conducted by Search Engine Journal, organic search is the digital marketing channel with the highest ROI for 48.7% of marketers:
In a nutshell, learning how to create a B2B SEO strategy can be beneficial in many ways because:
- SEO Drives more website traffic.
- Is the primary source of web traffic.
- Good SEO can shorten the B2B sales cycle.
- A smart SEO strategy builds trust and credibility.
So what does this mean for your B2B business?
Establishing a strong online presence can help you improve your visibility; your marketing efforts and ultimately accelerate growth for your B2B business.
How to Create an Effective B2B SEO Strategy
Now that you know what B2B SEO is and why it matters for your business, let’s learn the techniques to develop an effective strategy.
1. Establish The Objectives for Creating a B2B SEO Strategy
Granted, B2B SEO entails all the processes and actions you undertake to optimize website pages to rank high for terms your target business decision-makers are searching for.
Even though the objective of developing an effective SEO strategy is to reach these decision-makers and show them that you’re a valuable resource for their business needs, the ultimate goal is to generate leads and convert them into sales.
Here, you need to establish SMART goals so that you can measure the success of your B2B SEO strategy in the end.
For instance, if you want to drive more traffic to your website, quantify the amount of traffic you want. The same applies to other metrics such as lead conversion and others.
2. Create Detailed B2B Buyer Personas
When learning how to create an effective B2B SEO strategy, the first thing to do is to create rockstar B2B buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer/ B2B decision maker/buyer.
There are many reasons why you need to create detailed buyer personas.
First of all, B2B marketing and advertising can be costly and ineffective without a clear understanding of what businesses you’re targeting with your marketing campaigns.
According to a report by Visitor Queue, the average cost per lead for SEO for B2B organizations is $31:
What does this mean?
You might end up marketing and advertising to the wrong business or people who aren’t interested in your products or services.
To avoid wasting time and large sums of money in marketing and advertising, you need to focus on a specific business instead of any business.
Besides, 93% of companies that segment their database by buyer persona have reported increased leads and revenue.
Creating actionable B2B buyer personas will help you:
- Identify your decision makers’ pain points.
- Understand their buying journey.
- Uncover where your ideal customers spend most of their time online to understand how to better reach out to them, promote your product or service and distribute your content.
- Personalize the customer experience.
- Create more specific and successful B2B marketing campaigns.
- Find out what personas you shouldn’t focus your marketing to.
Note that unlike in B2C where you’re marketing to an individual, B2B is marketing to other businesses.
Thus, you need to identify the persons within the businesses you need to target with your marketing campaigns. This will help you uncover what they search for in Google.
Depending on your type of business, the person could be a CFO, product manager, the primary decision maker, etc.
According to the Demand Gen B2B Buyer Behavior survey mentioned above, the primary decision maker is usually the person to target.
Here are tips to develop great buyer personas:
- Identify your ideal/best buyers. Figure out the roles of the role and decision-makers involved in the buying process.
- Determine the pain points of the participants involved in the buying process and how your product or service can help them.
- Figure out how buyers want to engage and buy.
- Determine what information you need.
3. Familiarize Yourself With the B2B Marketing Funnel
Now you’re probably wondering why you should understand the B2B marketing funnel when learning how to create an effective B2B marketing strategy.
What is a B2B marketing funnel?
Well, a B2B marketing funnel encompasses a series of stages or steps designed to attract prospective visitors to your website and convert them into qualified leads.
The main goal of a B2B marketing funnel is to build brand awareness, drive loyalty, and convert website visitors into real buyers.
B2B SEO comes in to help in the attraction of potential customers to your website.
Understanding the B2B marketing funnel will give you insights into what your target businesses want, helping you to target them with the right keywords.
You will also understand what type of content to create at different stages to keep the prospective businesses interested until they become actual buyers.
A typical B2B marketing funnel has five stages as below:
Utilizing a B2B marketing funnel can help you maximize the conversion rate for your business as well.
4. Conduct B2B Keyword Research Around Your Personas
Conducting detailed keyword research is crucial when understanding how to create an effective B2B SEO strategy.
Figure out this:
According to a 2021 TrustRadius B2B Buying Disconnect report, 51% of B2B tech buyers use vendor product websites as one of their top 5 information sources when looking for tech products to purchase:
Besides, according to the same report, 33% of B2B buyers spend more time researching products than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic:
What do these statistics mean for B2B marketers?
You must find opportunities to target your buyer personas to boost organic growth by attracting B2B buyers who are researching products or services online.
In other words, you need to uncover search queries these people are using to find products or services you’re offering at every stage of the B2B marketing and sales funnel.
Here is how to uncover keywords around your B2B buyer personas:
I. Use Google Autocomplete
Google Autocomplete is the goldmine for uncovering long-tail keywords your target businesses are possibly using to find B2B brands, suppliers, or products to purchase.
We’ll use “best email signature generator” to find more long-tail keywords.
When you enter the keyword on Google search bar, here are the suggestions you get:
Simple and effective!
II. Look at the Related Searches box
This is the next section after Google autocomplete.
The ‘Related searches’ box is where Google displays a list of keywords relevant to your current search term.
You can refer to this section to improve your list of keywords.
When we use our search term, here are the related/alternative keywords shown in this section:
This section is usually at the bottom of the search engine results page.
Adding these search terms naturally throughout your content can help to improve your search rankings.
III. Use Ranktracker’s Keyword Finder Tool
One of the fastest and easiest ways to find keywords related to your product, service or website is to use a keyword finder tool.
In this case, you will never go wrong with the Ranktracker’s Keyword Finder.
With our Keyword Finder, you can uncover a wealth of B2B keyword data including:
- Long-tail keywords: The tool helps you discover long-tail keywords that have great ranking potentials that you can use as your secondary keywords.
- Keyword difficulty: The tool uses multiple factors to calculate how difficult it is to rank for certain keywords and lists them on a scale of 1-100. Here, you’ll need to target keywords with a score of 1-30. These are easy to rank for.
Trending status: You will also discover trend patterns of your specific keyword which enables you to stay on top of keyword trends.
Location-specific data for keywords: This is a great feature for brands looking to target multi-national communities. It can help you conduct global keyword research based on data from specific countries.
What you’ll love the most about the Keyword Finder is that you can view the average cost-per-click for a keyword you’re looking to target.
You can also find keywords your website is already ranking for.
Besides, the tool allows you to find keywords your competitors are ranking for.
It’s easy to use, fast (shows a full keyword analysis report in less than 30 seconds), and allows you to save your research keywords right away.
This means you don’t need to copy-paste the keywords to another document.
Best of all you can try Ranktracker for FREE.
Note: This is just the tip of the iceberg, but you can do more with the Keyword Tool than what we’ve mentioned above.
As mentioned above, B2B keywords have a high CPC so you need to filter out any keywords with a low CPC. These have no chance of driving conversions for your business.
IV. Focus on Low-Volume Keywords
Keywords, especially at the bottom of the funnel(BOFU) don’t get a high search volume.
This means that most of the real money keywords have low monthly search volume.
Note that different people search using different terms thus, you need to focus on both the CPC and search volume.
For instance, a keyword might have a low monthly search volume yet a low CPC. In this case, you should base your keyword choice on the amount people are bidding in Google Ads for the keyword as you consider the search volume.
5. Figure Out the B2B Search Intent Behind Your Keywords
Over the years, Google’s algorithms have become smarter and want to display the best results based on the exact queries searchers are typing when looking for information online.
Thus, to stay on top of search engine algorithms, you need to understand the search intent behind the keywords you researched.
B2B search intent is simply the reason someone types a certain keyword into Google’s search box.
Search intent is a huge part when learning how to create a B2B SEO strategy.
Understanding search intent will help you better understand what your target businesses actually want. This way, you will create content that resonates with them.
Ideally, there are four primary types of search intent:
- Informational intent: Searchers use informational keywords when researching information about a brand, product, or service. An example of a search term could be “How to choose the best email generator.”
- Navigational intent: The searcher is looking for a company-specific website or wants to navigate to a specific page within a website. An example of keywords used could be “HubSpot pricing page.”
- Commercial intent: Here, the searcher is nearing the purchase stage and is considering his options. Commercial keywords show a searcher’s interest around a product or service. Examples of keywords to target include “Best email signature generator.”
- Transactional intent: The searcher has evaluated the different types of email signature generator solutions and is ready to buy. Examples of keywords searchers may use are “HubSpot pricing plans.” or “pickup trucks for sale.”
Here are useful tips to understand a user’s true intent for a B2B audience:
- Review top-ranking websites on Google that are optimized for the keywords you’re targeting.
- Research your target audience.
- Look at your Google Analytics to see how your website is performing compared to your competitors.
- Use the insights you obtained during keyword research.
- Create surveys and interactive polls on social media platforms and websites to know what your target businesses want.
6. Create Topic Clusters
Creating topic clusters is a great idea when learning how to create an effective B2B SEO strategy.
It’s one of the ways HubSpot uses to demonstrate expertise and dominate the SERPs for topics.
Clicking on any of these topics will open up plenty of other posts related to the topic:
What are topic clusters?
Topic clusters are multiple pieces of content categorized into a shared topic and related subtopics.
Topic clusters are pieces of content created around a single topic that start with a robust pillar page with multiple links to all related topics and subtopics.
Here is an illustration of a topic cluster:
Topic clusters often cover a subject or topic comprehensively and are beneficial in many ways including:
- Help to organize your B2B content.
- Improve B2B SEO.
- Boosted EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness)
- Increase engagement rate.
- Enhance internal link building.
Here is how to create topic clusters:
- Audit your existing content.
- Determine your core topic and subtopic.
- Conduct keyword research on your core topic.
- Organize your subtopics by intent.
- Create a structure for the core topic.
- Create content.
- Publish content and add internal links to respective topic clusters.
7. Create a Solid B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing should be at the top of your mind when learning how to create an effective B2B SEO strategy.
Content marketing can help you in many ways.
According to a Content Marketing Institute survey, 83% of marketers say content marketing has helped them create brand awareness and 77% to build credibility:
If you’re not blogging, then you are missing out on a lot of opportunities for your B2B SEO strategy.
When you publish high-value content, other sites will link to it. The more quality links you get the better your landing pages will rank higher in search engines.
Besides, creating a B2B blog will help to establish you as a useful information resource in your industry.
Wondering what types of content you should create?
Here are some of the B2B content assets that produce the best results according to the Content Marketing Institute mentioned above:
You also need to create different pieces of content because 41% of B2B buyers say they consume 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a salesperson when in the process of making a purchase decision:
Evernote, Trello, Stord, and Square are some of the B2B websites with great blogs.
Here is how to create a B2B content marketing strategy:
- Establish your content goals.
- Identify your audience and their needs.
- Decide the content types for different stages of the funnel.
- Spy on your competitor’s content.
- Come up with awesome topics.
- Promote your content across different platforms.
8. Optimize Your Landing Pages for SEO
Attracting traffic to your website is one thing. Getting those visitors to actually take the desired step is another.
However, with a well-optimized landing page, you can easily convert your website visitors into paying customers.
Since your website visitors have shown some kind of interest in your product or service by clicking through to your content, all you need to do is to convince them to take the next step.
This is where you need to spend some time on landing page optimization to prevent them from clicking back.
Generally, optimizing your landing page can help to:
- Reduce bounce rate.
- Improve conversions.
- Reduce your lead acquisition costs.
- Boost the ROI of your B2B marketing campaigns.
Here is a great landing page example to inspire you:
Here are handy landing page optimization tips:
- Keep your landing page forms simple with a clear CTA.
- Optimize for a Keyword.
- Add your target keyword naturally in your landing page copy.
- Display social proof.
- Keep the landing page design simple.
- Monitor page speed.
- A/B test your landing page.
9. Up Your Internal Linking Game
Adding internal links to your B2B content is as important as getting other sites in your niche to link to yours.
Here are the reasons you should create internal links:
- Internal linking helps visitors to navigate your website easily.
- Building internal links can help to spread link juice to related web pages and content.
- They help Google discover more of your content which helps to get them indexed properly.
- Internal linking can also help to decrease the bounce of your website.
- Systematic internal linking is great for your B2B SEO strategy.
Here are internal linking best practices you can follow:
- Create as much content as possible.
- Create a spreadsheet of the content you have based on specific categories and topic clusters.
- Link high authority pages and content to new ones.
- Add links to older content with every new piece of content you publish.
- Make your internal links contextual.
- Link to relevant content with anchor texts you want to rank for.
10. Generate Backlinks to Your B2B Website
Link building is probably one of the oldest strategies used by marketers when learning how to create an effective B2B strategy, yet very powerful.
Here is why.
First, it’s one of the most efficient SEO practices.
When done successfully, B2B link building can be beneficial in many ways including:
- Improved online visibility.
- Increased website traffic.
- Great website metrics such as domain authority, page rank, etc.
- Enhanced customer engagement.
- Improved lead generation and conversions.
Here are effective B2B link-building strategies for marketers:
- Leverage digital PR.
- Write high-quality guest blogs.
- Create helpful tools and linkable assets like calculators, eBooks, data-driven infographics, etc.
- Create expert round-up articles and blog posts.
- Fix broken links.
- Get interviewed on podcasts.
- Get your B2B business on business listings.
- Build social media links.
11. Improve Your Overall Website User Experience
Another essential step for learning how to create an effective B2B SEO strategy is to improve the user experience.
Creating a beautiful B2B website is half the battle. You also need to ensure it helps other businesses to understand what you do and use it without a problem.
When prospective buyers land on your website, they want to find crucial information that can help them determine whether your solution is a great fit as fast as possible.
For that reason, you need to give users the best experience ever when interacting with your website.
Improving website user experience can greatly benefit your business in many ways including:
- Decreased bounce rates.
- Improved buyer’s journey.
- Higher conversion rates.
- Shorter sales cycles.
- Increased traffic.
- Increased customer retention.
- Improved customer satisfaction.
On the other hand, a website with poor user experience can result in the opposite of all the above and damage your brand reputation.
In fact, according to Google, a website that takes 1 to 3 seconds to load on a mobile device can lead to a bounce rate of 32%.
What does this mean?
You need to improve your website load speed.
Here are practical tips to improve your B2B website user experience:
- Improve page load speed.
- Figure out how people are navigating and clicking and then create a simple navigation structure.
- Add breadcrumbs.
- Publish helpful content.
- Break elements into separate parts.
- Use white spaces.
- Give people multiple channels to contact you.
That’s How to Create an Effective B2B SEO Strategy!
Learning how to create an effective B2B SEO strategy can be daunting for marketers without experience. However, it doesn’t have to be.
With the right guidance, you can develop a winning B2B SEO strategy in no time.
We hope this comprehensive will help you get started with ease.