The Comprehensive B2B SEO Strategy (2022 Guide)

B2B SEO is not the same as B2C SEO.

B2B purchases take longer and are more complicated than B2C purchases. In order to enhance your organic search results, your B2B SEO approach must be designed for B2B. Trying to use B2C SEO techniques to B2B SEO will limit your results.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is changing at a breakneck speed, especially for B2B businesses. Yes, tried-and-true methods like keyword research are still important. However, in order to climb the rankings and stay on top, you'll need more innovative B2B SEO techniques. It's no longer enough to have a well-optimized website and a straightforward blog strategy.

What steps can you take to take things to the next level? You'll see great outcomes if you engage in larger, SEO-focused business growth initiatives.

Does it necessitate greater effort? But, yes. Furthermore, the admission hurdle is higher. As a result, your competitors will be hesitant to make the necessary investments and commitments to keep up.

Key Points

  • B2B SEO targets several decision-makers and necessitates a separate keyword approach for each decision-maker at each level of the funnel.
  • B2Bs have particular SEO issues due to gated content, spaghetti code, PDFs, splash pages, pop-ups, and live chats.
  • Deliver free tools and resources, undertake original research, publish subject clusters, and buy existing websites to improve your B2B SEO.
  • Run co-marketing initiatives and collaborate with journalists and influencers to boost your B2B SEO results even more.
  • Create a link-building approach that is very focused and individualized.

The following is a list of important distinctions between B2B and B2C SEO. Learning to take advantage of these distinctions will dramatically boost your SEO success.

Targeting various B2B buyers within a company

The number of potential clients involved in the purchase process is one of the most significant variations between B2C and B2B SEO. B2C SEO focuses on a single consumer at a time, taking them on a comprehensive journey that culminates in a purchase (ideally).

A single transaction in a B2B company may require clearance from numerous decision-makers. The economic buyer, the user buyer, the technical buyer, C-suite decision-makers, and the team that will be using your product or service the most are all possible players.

If you sell HR software, for example, the C-suite, a representative from IT (who will be integrating the software with the company's current system), the head of HR, and department managers who will be utilizing the software may all be involved in the purchase decision. And, if the software will be used by the company's employees as well, you can bet they'll want to hear some kind of employee feedback before making a decision.

That implies you'll need content for your B2B website strategy that addresses:

  • Questions regarding the bottom line from the C-Suite
  • Technical and integration inquiries from the IT team
  • Questions about efficiency from HR and questions about usability from the average employee

Regardless of their particular priorities, an integrated marketing approach ensures that each customer arrives at the same destination.

Keyword strategy for B2B SEO

All of these diverse decision-makers and what they're looking for will be reflected in your keyword research strategy. Stridec, a B2B SEO expert, can assist you in identifying each one's pain spots or specialised needs.

A CEO might want revenue-generating software, which means you can concentrate on keywords that emphasise SEO ROI. An HR director will strive to increase employee satisfaction and efficiency. A technical buyer, on the other hand, will hunt for software that connects with their company's ERP system.

Every single one of them, including the average employee, will want to hear how the programme makes their job easier. They'll also want to know why your programme is superior to what they have currently. As a result, you'll be able to target comparative search queries about your competitors. If they don't like their present system, they'll look for a replacement or alternative, giving you keyword options like "[Popular Competitor] alternative."

There's more to come. Every B2B buyer will be at one of three stages of the buying process: awareness, consideration, and decision. Each step has its own set of long-tail keywords to choose from. Some are wide and interest-based (Awareness), while others are laser-focused on a single brand (Branding) (Decision). An HR director in the Awareness phase, for example, might only be seeking for employee happiness recommendations and publications. A decision-making HR director, on the other hand, is searching for feedback on your product.

Because of the nature of B2B items and software, you'll most likely choose lower-volume keywords than B2C businesses. However, because of the lesser competition and lack of SEO saturation for B2B enterprises, clear-cut keyword prospects might yield a large payout.

SEO for B2B enterprises that is technical

Technical SEO tactics for B2B websites, like B2C SEO, are so site-specific that they can't be generalised. Perform a technical audit in the same way you would on any other website. Begin by crawling the site, then checking the boxes for the usual suspects:

  • Page loading time
  • Coding
  • Protocols for URLs
  • Navigation on the website
  • Indexing
  • Tags that are canonical
  • Security
  • Meta descriptions

Look for anything that could slow down a crawler's ability to navigate your site and grasp its information.

Specific technical challenges are common on business-to-business websites. If you don't know what to look for, it's advisable to deal with an experienced B2B SEO agency. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for

B2B sites face a number of technical SEO difficulties.

Resources or priority pages hosted on a subdomain

Because the B2B industry is so divided, it's typical to move different sorts of content to different subdomains. Make sure each subdomain adheres to the same B2B SEO best practices as your main domain. Sometimes SEO teams will focus just on the main domain, while subdomains operate under distinct guidelines and restrictions, leaving you open to subdomains that perform poorly in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Walled content that shouldn't have been gated

Login-only sections for clients are frequent on B2B websites, and they can include wholesale products, special tools and forums, and tailored services. Unfortunately, these can also contain useful information and articles for your entire potential search audience!

Determine which parts of your site are gated or unindexed, and whether or not gating the content is the right strategy for the firm. The inverse of this problem, ungated content that should be gated, can also have catastrophic effects.

Code for spaghetti

B2B organizations are thought to have cumbersome, unappealing websites, whereas B2C websites are thought to be more design- and user-friendly. This isn't the correct assumption to make any longer. B2B businesses may have created the first eCommerce websites (seriously!). However, the sites were created for usefulness rather than b2b marketing.

The game has evolved greatly over time.

But don't be fooled by a well-designed B2B website: if a company has a long history, its code may hold traces of the past.

As numerous systems and parts are integrated into the website, this form of "spaghetti code" emerges. And it has the potential to be your SEO strategy's quiet assassin. Crawlability, speed, and performance might be harmed by redirect loops, obsolete scripts, slow WordPress plugins, strange tags, shortcut solutions, and trash code. Collaborate with your developer to uncover and fix these issues using crawling and site speed tools.

Splash pages, live chats, and pop-ups with good intentions

B2B firms are slightly more likely than B2C firms to rely on these for generating qualifying leads or completing deals. They should, too! However, the improper ones or bad integration can result in crawlability issues. Splash pages can even prevent the sites they're on from obtaining any authority. Cross-reference your underlying web page code in Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Examine everything for outliers that could suggest a blocked page or a script that causes each visit to register twice.

Off-page SEO is important for B2B marketing.

For B2B enterprises, the decision-making process is frequently lengthy. As a result, different types (and many more types) of off-page SEO chances will exist at various points of the funnel.

Your content production plan will need to serve your prospects for several months (and often more than a year) throughout the customer journey in order to adequately support off-page SEO. You should also check out industry-specific platforms and websites, as well as professional social media sites like LinkedIn. These communities provide possibilities to communicate with your target demographic and consumer profiles while also generating organic backlinks to your website.

Below, we go over off-page SEO methods in further detail, with each tactic proving to be a good performer for B2B SEO marketing.

Best practises for B2B SEO

Let's take a look at some effective SEO tactics that you may use to increase market share.

Match search intent as it progresses down the funnel

Assume you're looking for a new project management system. You're only looking for a platform to compare right now, so you Google " top SEO project management systems." You're presumably hoping to locate third-party reviews and comparisons, right? You'd be dissatisfied if you instead saw blog postings on effective project management strategies from individual platforms. You aren't searching for advice on project management.

Let's imagine, on the other hand, you've done your homework on all of the platforms offered. Review sites have led you to Asana, a platform about which you'd like to learn more. So you look up " Asana characteristics" on Google. You're ready to take a closer look at everything Asana has to offer. You'd be perplexed if Asana's blog post, Diversity, and Inclusion at Asana, appeared in the SERPs. After all, you're seeking features. Why would Asana want to rank this blog for " Asana features"?

Answer: they wouldn't (if they're clever), because that blog article doesn't match the " Asana features" search intent.

Because B2B organizations' decision journeys are longer, it's critical to provide content that matches customers' search intent at every point of the conversion funnel.

Think ToFu MoFu BoFu 

Look for content and collaboration opportunities at the top of the funnel to promote broader, more instructive themes that satisfy research intent. Deeper subjects relating to your types of products and services, as well as more sophisticated solutions your audience is looking for, should be brainstormed in the center of the funnel. Your audience is at the bottom of the funnel, trying to make a final decision. Investigate options that might compel them to take action before reaching a final decision. This could include ROI calculators, product comparisons, and proof-of-concept data.

Here's where you can learn more about funnels: What is the difference between ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu?

Avoid being monotonous.

What is the most pernicious B2B SEO myth? It's a common misconception that B2B content marketing is dull. This must never be the case! And, fortunately for you, it is undeniably...not. The subject matter of B2B content may not be as universally appealing as that of B2C material. However, those who should be concerned will find the topic intriguing. That doesn't imply they'll be interested in every angle on the subject. So don't let your material fall flat due to a lack of creativity in your plan.

To make your content intriguing, you'll probably have to work twice as hard. Fashion may be a natural attraction for a B2C customer. An HR director, on the other hand, may not have the same enthusiasm for HR software. As a result, you'll have to dig a little harder to come up with material that will keep them engaged. Before people buy your goods, utilise narrative to stir emotions and create really valuable content that answers distinct audience demands.

Create free resources, templates, and tools.

Do you want to get a lot of backlinks? Make a better user experience for your target audience with free assets that are not only useful but also incredibly shareable.

Free tools, templates, or resources, to be more specific.

Campaign Monitor, for example, has built a collection of free email templates for businesses to utilise.

The page has around 330 backlinks and now ranks #2 for the search term "free email templates" (down from #1, which it held for months). For a single content push, that's a lot of mileage.

CoSchedule created a headline analyser that has accumulated over 23,800 backlinks. It has also resulted in a significant number of social encounters.

A free data visualisation tool is available from Tableau Software. Tableau has gained around 37,200 backlinks for its associated US web pages and more than 2.2 million backlinks globally as a result of the deployment of this product. Not bad at all!

People appreciate getting free stuff, especially if it's useful and helps them do their job better and faster. People will share a free, valuable product or template, such as our SEO checklist, which can result in an avalanche of incoming links and organic traffic.

Conduct your own investigation.

How many times have you come across an article that begins, " A new study by..."? These investigations can sometimes reveal that something we used to like eating is actually bad for us and causes premature mortality. But it isn't the point...

The point is that fresh studies and research frequently create a lot of buzzes. It is possible to generate a lot of buzz. People discuss the findings with their coworkers, news sites link to them, and bloggers reference them.

How much buzz is there? Original research, according to the aptly called BuzzSumo, is their most popular material. BuzzSumo's content strategy is strong, gaining and retaining some of the world's most prestigious businesses as customers. As a result, their most popular material has a lot of organic clouts.

Backlink acquisition was the subject of a study published by Ahrefs. They received roughly 200 backlinks and over 570 social shares in just two weeks.

A proprietary study on nurses and stress was produced by an organization that trains nurses to become legal nurse consultants for law firms. Another publicity opportunity arose as a result of the first. Following the study's release, the company's owner appeared on national television five times throughout the course of the year.

It takes time and effort to do original research. However, the benefits of publicizing the results through special reports, blog posts, SlideShares, infographics, outreach programs, and PR can be significant.

What is the story's moral? Original research attracts attention and natural backlinks like a magnet. That's a simple technique to improve your off-page SEO.

Use SEO pillar pages and topic clusters

Targeting concepts (rather than specific keywords) have become increasingly crucial for businesses since the launch of Google Hummingbird. Google isn't only interested in keywords. It also looks for context and examines how well a brand addresses a larger topic in its whole. This allows Google to spot webpages that aren't actual experts on the subject.

That's why, rather than attempting to add SEO as an afterthought, it's critical to build a content strategy centered on SEO.

Creating SEO topic clusters on your website is a particularly effective approach to getting organic traffic at the topic level. A topic cluster is a hub-and-spoke content arrangement in which a pillar page is surrounded by a group of pages. The pillar page covers a general concept, while the sub-pages go into greater detail regarding specific aspects of the topic.

The pillar page, for example, links to the sub-pages and vice versa:

Topic clusters give Google a clear picture of how all of the pages are related to one another and speak to the subject as a whole.

For B2B SEO, create in-depth content.

It's a prevalent assumption that all searchers prefer brief, surface-level blog entries. This isn't true. While this may be true in some circumstances, the majority of searchers want to get the most out of the information they consume. As a result, creating useful, in-depth information is an important part of becoming an industry authority.

That isn't to mean that every piece of content you create should be a Wikipedia entry. You'll need to assess the competition to decide the ideal length and format for each topic. You'll also need to make sure you're targeting the proper people. For additional information, look at these buyer persona examples.

Google the keywords you want to include in your writing and see what comes up in the SERPs. What kind of material is it? How long do you think it will take? What kind of resources and tools does it provide? What issues does it address? And what use does it serve?

Do you want to outperform your peers? Then your B2B content marketing must outperform the competition.

If you want to deviate from the SERPs' format, simply make sure you're improving it by making it more valuable to the person who's reading it.

What exactly do we mean when we say "in-depth content"?

This changes depending on the persona, issue, and sector. It may mean a 3,000-word piece in certain circumstances, and a 5,000-word one in others. Alternatively, depth could be defined as a 20-minute movie or a survey-based report.

However, as a general rule, assume that in-depth material isn't something that a beginner to your field could create.Stridec, for example, created the following in-depth pieces:

  • Why Do Marketers Need Enterprise Search Optimization? Enterprise SEO - Why Do Marketers Need Enterprise Search Optimization?

  • What is the definition of digital marketing? Everything You Need to Win

The organic search ranks are fiercely contested. Your competitors are pushing you down the page and lowering your click-through rate if they are ahead of you in the SERPs. You'll knock them down the ranks if you overtake them. As a result, not only do you get more traffic, but they get less. It's a win-win situation. However, in order to achieve this for high-priority themes, your material must be in-depth and superior to the competition.

Give them all the information, data, photographs, tools, and expert advice they need. Allow for all of the hours and resources it takes to get a big piece of content off the ground.

Improve your visual and interaction skills

Providing relevant content in the format that best serves the content is an important component of the process. Graphics, charts, visual or video walk-throughs, and anything else that makes the content more accessible, moving, or entertaining can be added to your textual content. Visuals are a terrific method to get vital information through to all of your stakeholders, from high-quality photography that tells the story of your consumers to infographics that feature your original research.

Furthermore, visual content aids in the retention of information by site visitors. When reading material, the average person remembers only 10% of what they read 72 hours later. When you include images, you have a 65 percent retention rate.

Visuals aren't always required to accompany written content. They could even be the content. You can publish the recording in video format, the slides via SlideShare, or reuse them for a slideshow-style blog post if you conduct webinars. Without written content, infographics, data visualizations, interactive tools, surveys, podcasts, and films may all stand alone. However, if you do wind up with predominantly visual material, keep these video SEO best practices in mind. Find a means to transcribe crucial information so that it may be crawled by search engines and accessible to visually impaired users.

Check out our piece on the value of visual content marketing for more inspiration. The concepts and examples in this essay are just as applicable to B2B as they are to B2C.

Buy already-existing websites

Yes, this strategy necessitates financial investment. However, it has the potential to significantly speed up your approach to higher ranks for specific terms.

The great organic search exposure of the online pet store Chewy.com was one of the primary reasons for PetSmart's $3.35 billion acquisition of the online pet supplies business. On the B2B side of things, Arrow Electronics, a Fortune 500 firm, purchased a number of periodicals in the electronics component parts market. UBM's complete electronics media portfolio, including EE Times, EDN, and DataSheets.com, was purchased for $23.5 million.

Arrow established itself as the industry's largest publisher in under two years. For an 80-year-old corporation in an analogue industry, this is a significant shift. However, this demonstrates the effectiveness of a content and SEO strategy like this.

Buying an existing website, blog, or content hub has a number of advantages, including inheriting the existing:

  • Traffic that is organic

  • Rankings obtained using natural means

  • Backlinks pointing to the website

  • Content

  • Gaining access to a new or niche market

  • Social media accounts that are linked (if this is part of the acquisition)

Then, to your main website, you can add extremely relevant links. Of course, don't be spammy. However, adding a few truly relevant links in contextually appropriate places will help your SEO rankings.

Events 

For B2B companies, hosting events is a highly successful marketing vehicle. When done correctly, it can help your organic search results. Old, tried-and-true B2B relationship-building strategies are combined with the amplifying power of social media, word-of-mouth, and link-building at events. When these elements come together, the effects can be magnificent.

Events in and of themselves present a plethora of content production chances. It's a fantastic contender for social sharing and backlinks because the content might be highly instructional (or intriguing if just promotional).

Recruit your speakers to be an army of promoters to take your event's results to the next level. This expands your audience, boosting the chances of more sharing and linking. Don't leave anything to chance. Define your speakers' expectations. Make it easy for them to spread the word by giving them a promotional kit. Include films, images, and messaging, among other things.

Take it a step further and ask your speakers to produce blog content in the weeks preceding up to the event. You can also offer a series of " teaser webinars" in the lead-up to the event, in which you interview a speaker or group of speakers. This helps you expand your content library while also promoting the event. A two-for-one deal!

Inviting the press and encouraging them to cover your event in their magazines is a good idea if your event is significant enough. For your B2B search engine optimization plan, the resulting press would be a major gain. You'll get positive press coverage as well as high-quality backlinks from trustworthy publications.

Partner with publishers

Empowering others to sell your company is pure gold in the world of digital marketing. Influencers can help you spread the word because they have a large following and a high level of credibility. However, many B2B organizations have a myopic view of influencer marketing. They only communicate with a few web publishers, and it's mostly hit-or-miss and transactional.

Here's what a lot of companies overlook. Influencers are looking for something new and intriguing. Something that will excite their target market. Influencers are unlikely to be enthusiastic about lead generation landing sites.

Bring something exciting to the table to obtain actual results. Come up with a unique topic for them to write about, share proprietary information, or offer them something special.

When Stridec worked with a well-known business software company, it adopted the same method. We reached out to business bloggers, leveraging our current web marketing strategy, and asked them to write about their favorite business tools and why they're important.

More than 3,500 targeted emails were sent to internet publishers, resulting in 226 unique domain postings. The posts included natural backlinks to key pages on the software company's website, as well as legitimate material written by the publishers.

Do you want to hit the ball out of the park using this strategy?

The sheer force of hundreds or thousands of influencers working for a business can provide incredible B2B SEO results.

We told you to think big, right?

Co-marketing campaigns should be run.

Running combined content marketing initiatives with key partners or complementary firms is another excellent B2B SEO technique. This is one of those " hidden in plain sight" methods that may be used by almost any B2B organization. It's very possible that you already have the necessary partnerships and/or network.

Do you have any white papers, webinars, SlideShares, blog entries, videos, or events in the works? Why not collaborate with other organizations to share information and generate fresh content ideas?

When Hubspot and Chatfuel collaborated to assist organizations to deploy chatbots with the joint publishing of The Beginner's Guide to Building Your First Chatbot, for example, they were able to combine their skills to create an entertaining, unique piece of content. Both companies were able to reach out to a fresh (but not out-of-the-box) demographic and expand their reach with a shareable item.

Follow suit by discussing areas where you and your partners' expertise/audience intersect and what you can bring to the table. If you're collaborating on a webinar, create a whitepaper based on the material of the webinar and promote it on both firms' websites, blogs, emails, and social media accounts. If you're hosting a combined event, make sure to promote it to both databases.

It's a simple technique to double your audience while also introducing yourself to new people. It also allows you to create interesting content that attracts new visitors, shares, opt-ins, and backlinks.

Take a look at these fantastic content marketing examples that have had a huge impact on businesses.

Creation of links

Many smaller B2B SEO firms provide standalone link-building services. However, before you sign the contract, make sure you understand the services provided by such firms. They frequently place a premium on number above quality, which is ineffective.

Higher quality links, on the other hand, are significantly more useful to an Enterprise SEO business like Stridec.

If you follow the B2B industry's relationship-first philosophy, you'll find plenty of possibilities to develop links from within your own network. Within your industry network, there are blogs, publications, podcasts, associations, partners, and friends-of-friends. These are all excellent areas to begin your blogger outreach.

When you've exhausted that avenue, look for other high-profile journals to target. Make an extra effort to research the magazine, to locate the proper content match, and to make the right request. If you're dealing with a B2B SEO firm, make sure their emails are tailored to the publication in order to demonstrate that they understand the industry. It's also beneficial to recommend themes that have yet to be covered by publishers. Guest authoring blogs or being interviewed can help you establish thought leadership.

You may even offer to write a monthly column to increase brand identification and familiarity.

Aim for the right demographic.

Do you recall all of the main decision-makers? Find out what they read and who they trust. Hold regular meetings with the appropriate decision-makers inside your organization. Inquire about what they want to learn more about or what they're thrilled to teach.

If you provide HR software, for example, the directors of HR at target firms will be one of the major decision-makers. If you talk to your own HR director, you might discover that everyone in HR is concerned about how forthcoming legislative changes will affect labor regulations. Perhaps your director is an expert in disability benefits and would be ready to contribute to the creation of a thorough handbook on reasonable accommodations. The guide can also assist workers to stay on top of sick days or take care of specific activities from home by emphasizing how transparent timekeeping and workflow tools can help them stay on top of things.

With your B2B SEO strategy, swing for the fences, flex your creative muscles, and be brave and courageous! Whether you're making tools, buying domains, or enlisting the help of hundreds of influencers for a campaign, get to work on creating so much buzz that backlinks and visitors pour in. And keep in mind that you're establishing connections with people who will use your products, services, or knowledge to make a living. That is far from dull!