Optimizing search terms or words on a website to increase the quantity and quality of traffic and to retain this traffic has been a top priority for marketers for many years now. Since 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, companies have to constantly invest in SEO strategies to improve their search engine ranking, relevance, and credibility. However, given the relative recency of the B2B eCommerce space and the considerable complexity of the purchasing cycle - as compared to B2C - the efforts companies need to put to enable (and sustain) SEO are greater.
Why SEO matters
In today’s digital world, the saying “If it’s not on Google, it doesn’t exist” holds extremely true. With the #1 result in Google getting 31.7% CTR compared to all other positions, enabling SEO is no longer an option but a core business need. Great SEO allows businesses to:
- Increase traffic to website and boost conversions
- Generate a positive ROI
- Strengthen domain authority
- Drive up the time visitors spend on the website
- Decrease bounce rate
- Build brand awareness
- Improve customer trust and loyalty
- Keep up with the competition
However, SEO is not a magic wand for improving conversion rates; it is a sustained effort and needs to be tailor-made and adaptable. Instead of just stuffing in keywords to improve rankings, organizations must understand and improve their content, user experience, technical focus, and more to ensure sustained SEO advantage.
What makes SEO in B2B different
At a high level, B2B and B2C SEO might seem to aim for the same goals: find out what customers are searching for, create products/content/experiences that can satisfy their needs, and achieve decent ranking on search engines. However, there are several aspects that make B2B SEO different from B2C SEO:
- B2B SEO goals are different: In the B2C space, most businesses just want customers to visit their website to increase the probability of conversion. But in the B2B world, the goal of companies is usually not just to bring customers to the website to make a purchase immediately: it is to enable customers to get more information, request a demo, opt for a free trial, or even download a manual – to better capture qualified leads, drive the buyer journey forward, and eventually increase conversions.
- Investments are comparatively higher: The B2B purchasing cycle is extremely elaborate: products are more complex, investments are comparatively higher, and the time it takes to make a decision is rather significant. Therefore, the B2B SEO strategy needs to be developed very carefully and with thorough planning – so customers are presented with the right product data and information they need at the right time to enable accurate purchasing decisions.
- It’s not just about one person: Unlike the B2C space where customers single-handedly make purchasing decisions, more people may be involved in the decision-making process. Since different types of people look to make a decision with different approaches, B2B pages need to be optimized – keeping in mind the needs and requirements of all these different kinds of people.
- Low-volume keywords are key: When it comes to B2B SEO, low-volume keywords are key to get high-value results. Because customers are usually enterprise customers, they have very specific technical requirements while searching for products online. Instead of typing in generic keywords, they will make the effort to mention the specifics of the product they are looking for – which makes low-volume keywords a priority for B2B SEO.
- High-quality content matters: Fancy product names, attractive images, and lucrative offers might do the trick in the B2C space but in the B2B world, high-quality product content is what matters. Most B2B customers who search for products expect to be presented with content that is detailed, accurate, consistent, and constantly updated – at each stage of the sales funnel and buyer journey. Building an SEO strategy that is based on the product information is vital to improving customer experience and eCommerce performance.
Tips for driving successful modern-day B2B SEO
Ensuring successful SEO in the B2B world requires organizations to drive targeted efforts across various aspects. These include:
- Enabling accessibility driven by seamless mobile user experiences
- Using structured data and positioning content that allows for easy data extraction
- Presenting data in a quick and seamless manner and making sure the experience is gratifying for users and search engines
- Delivering targeted, optimized, and refined contextual content to build credibility and improve loyalty
- Optimizing content for keyword research infusion, snippet-friendliness, and images.
- Leveraging SERP features in the best way possible to drive higher traffic and conversion
- Ensuring on-page optimization for internal linking, on-site search, and UX design
- Optimizing activities across CNAME for CDN, caching, WAF, and ensuring proper use of schemas.
- Using techniques such as Brotli compression, image cache control, code order optimization, HTTP 2, and pre-browsing directives to improve website speed.
- Carrying out frequent page reviews, updating the FAQ pages, and ensuring constant improvements in social media activities.
- Leveraging tools like Google Optimize 360 for carrying out A/B testing and improving the efficacy of the site.
Irrespective of whether B2B organizations want to drive traffic, rankings, leads, sales volumes, conversions, ROI, or retention, SEO is a critical tool for B2B organizations. Understanding the importance of B2B SEO as well as the reasons that make it different is important to be able to drive the right efforts in building a robust, effective, and successful SEO strategy that ensures B2B digital success.