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22 October 2018

Should SEO Be Different for B2B Companies?

B2B businesses often approach their overall marketing strategies in much the same way as they would if they were selling directly to the consumer. They use the same tired, traditional tactics of a direct sales force, and word of mouth. All too often, SEO considerations simply fall by the wayside, easily forgotten. This notion that SEO is somehow less relevant in the world of B2B marketing is simply wrong. SEO is one of the most powerful tools that marketers have in their toolkits.

At least one piece of research suggests that 61% of all B2B decision makers will begin their process with a web search. This should bring into focus the importance of SEO in the B2B world for everyone. The icing on the cake is that 71% of those surveyed stated that they wouldn’t even consider speaking with a salesperson until they have undertaken their own online research. They will look for what products and services are available to satisfy their needs, as well as who the suppliers themselves are.

SEO is a term that encompasses a wide variety of tactics. It is only by using these tactics together and in the most appropriate manner that their full potential can be realized. The landscape of SEO is rife with copy, in the form of blog posts and articles mostly, that exists to guide the search engines rather than to cater to actual human users. But this is the old approach!

The new approach pays heed to the ultimate goal of SEO, to increase the website’s position in Google’s search engine results page (SERP). However, this is a very broad definition, one which doesn’t adequately capture the true value of SEO. Focusing purely on SERP reduces SEO to a numbers game, at the detriment of the business looking to expand their reach. Instead of numbers, the focus of an SEO strategy should be the thoughtful propositions and quality.

Let’s take a look at some of the best SEO strategy ideas for businesses who sell B2B.

Be a Thought Leader
If you want to get the most that you can out of your SEO campaign, becoming a thought leader is an important step. As a thought leader, you will become the “go-to” person. When someone needs a particular question answered that is relevant to your areas of expertise, you won’t just be able to help them answer it; you’ll also be able to educate them beyond that. Take every chance that comes your way to spread your experience and philosophy.

You can then use your day to day interactions from this role as the basis for a blog, A blog is yet another great way of sharing your knowledge and expertise with the rest of the world. Of course, a blog can also be an absolute goldmine as far as SEO goes.

Your blog is an excellent springboard from which to launch into the realms of public speaking, and even becoming an author. The more roles you can take on where you are able to influence the shape and tone of debate in your industry, the more of a name you can build for yourself. As your blog grows, so will its SEO potential. You can then use this to benefit other websites relevant to your business by linking to them.

Target the Big 5
There are numerous tools out there today for helping you to identify important keywords. These popular search terms are the ones that are most lucrative to target, and which will produce the greatest yields of traffic by far. You should focus the bulk of your SEO resources at raising your score for the top five keywords relevant to your business. There are many fine keyword research tools available out there. Find the one that is most intuitive to use. You can read more about potentially useful SEO tools here.

Utilize Long Copy
One of the most common mistakes made by businesses when they are looking to boost their SEO is that they do so by using large numbers of short-form articles and blogs. Short copy is appealing to businesses because it costs less. You can distribute it over a wider area and audiences are more likely to read the entirety of a shorter piece. However, there are also a number of very good reasons to opt for longer form content instead.

Longer content is also preferred by Google as far as its SEO algorithms go, so if you’re willing to put the extra words in, you can reap some extra rewards. Longer form content also gives you the room to say more, meaning that you can communicate information about your business, products, and services in a much more emotive and thoughtful way. Suddenly, you will have space to cover key facts about your business and products.

Bring in Professionals
If you, or someone on your team, already has extensive SEO experience then, by all means, utilize it. However, you shouldn’t be afraid of bringing in some big hitters from outside. If you can find some local businesses, especially if they have B2B SEO experience, it is always worth consulting with them.

We mentioned earlier how a blog attached to your website can provide an extremely effective means of raising your SEO score to dizzying new heights. Well, by inviting other local businesspeople, especially those who are well-known and loved in your local area, you will find it even easier to raise interest in your blog entries.

Having other figures who are recognizable within your industry appearing on your blog is clearly going to be a boon for your SEO. As a B2B business, you will have a level of familiarity with who’s who in the local business community that will allow you to more precisely target the guests you ask to appear on your blog.

For B2B enterprises, you often need to take a different approach to your SEO. Of course, some of the core principles and tactics will never change. They do, however, need to be adapted and reshaped for use on a very different battlefield.
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