Why an SEO Strategy is Important for B2B Companies

lady explaining the importance of seo strategy to her team

The main aim of a B2B SEO strategy is getting your business website seen by your target audience of decision makers in a company. These people are actively looking for the products and services that your business offers, making you and them a perfect match.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) forms a vital part of your B2B marketing strategy. It’s arguably the most important customer acquisition channel that you have. It’s a proven technique for lead generation and improving sales conversion rates. Strong organic search visibility amongst your target audience of B2B buyers is a powerful position for driving business growth.

Here, we’ll look at the process of developing a successful B2B SEO strategy and the initiatives to put in place to engage with your target audience at all stages of the sales funnel.

What is a B2B SEO strategy?

This first thing to remember is that you’re talking business to business. Whilst you’re still talking to a person, they’re in work mode rather than personal. They’re buying for their business which is a marked difference to buying for themselves (B2C).

An effective B2B SEO strategy focuses on improving your organic search ranking and increasing organic traffic to your business websites. It’ll identify the keywords that the decision-makers within companies search for whilst at work.

Whilst there are many similarities between B2B and B2C SEO, a significant difference is the target audience. In B2B marketing, you’re focussing on a much smaller, more niche demographic – the decision-makers at a relevant company. Those decision-makers could be the CEO, the marketing manager, CFO or maybe a small business owner.

As with B2C SEO, the main aspects for B2B are on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO and high quality content.

How do you develop an effective B2B SEO content strategy?

Probably the most important factor in a B2B SEO content strategy is understanding your target audience. Think like them when you define and create a piece of content. What are they searching for? Which problems can you solve for them? What type of content would be useful to them and help them in their role?

The aim is to produce content that meets the needs of your target audience, makes them aware of your business and its services, and builds trust. Ensure it’s high quality content so that your business appears credible, knowledgeable and trustworthy.

Build trust and position yourself as a subject matter expert with in-depth thought leadership articles and white papers. In blogs, you can address pain points faced by your target market and show how you can solve them. These are ideal pieces of content to promote on LinkedIn to reach the decision-makers in your industry.

6 steps to an effective B2B SEO strategy

Follow our step by step guide to create an SEO strategy that will help you to reach potential customers, engage them with your brand and generate sales.

1. Build your decision-maker persona

Work out which businesses and which people within them that you want to target. Do your market research. Build a buyer persona that really helps you to picture them and understand their motivations. This will inform your keyword research – what’s the searcher looking for on Google (their search intent)? How can you answer their question or provide the information that they need?

There are various SEO tools to help with this (like SEMrush or Hubspot). But you can also form a persona through your own visualisations and research.

2. Create your sales funnel

Now you know who you’re talking to (your target audience), next you need to work out their customer journey. How can you get them to the top of the funnel and progress them to the bottom? Take a look at your existing customer data, in particular your Google analytics metrics, to get a deeper understanding of how people are using and finding your website.

At the top of the sales funnel, searchers will be looking for information around a topic. At the bottom, they’re looking to buy, so their search intent and search keywords are quite different.

3. Conduct keyword research

The aim here is to discover the search queries people are using to find businesses like yours at every stage of the funnel. Don’t underestimate the importance of this process of detailed keyword research. It’s fundamental to your B2B SEO strategy.

You need to determine the target keywords used when people are looking for general information on the topic as well as when they’re ready to buy.

For B2B SEO efforts, long tail keywords work particularly well. Long-tail keywords have a lower search volume but higher relevance to the products or services you offer. These low volume keywords are often niche terms used in your industry. A good way to identify long tail keywords is with Google autocomplete. Start to type a potential search term into Google and see the suggested terms that come up.

For example, if you type in the search term ‘accounting software’ then Google suggests terms including ‘accounting software for small businesses’ and ‘accounting software for self employed.’ You may be surprised by some of the autocomplete terms, and that can be super insightful for your B2B keyword planning.

It’s also useful to know the search terms that you’re ranking for already. Take a look at Google Search Console and Google Analytics to check the volume of traffic your webpages receive and the search terms involved.

4. Plan your content

Plotting content to target people at every stage of the buyer journey is time well spent. As part of an overall content strategy, we use the hub and spoke model of topic clusters and pillar pages. A pillar page of long form content is the hub for a topic, then spoke pages (or clusters) will be pieces of content that answer questions or go into an aspect of that topic in-depth. Internal linking between these pages is great for SEO as well as encouraging users to move between your webpages.

Take the target keywords that you identified in step 3, and plan your content creation to incorporate them effectively. B2B content marketing involves various types of content from blogging and social media posts to white papers, videos, case studies, podcasts and newsletters.

5. Create optimised landing pages

Landing pages are the web pages that promote your products and services – your key offering. These are pages that you want potential customers to find on search engine results pages (SERPs) when they’re ready to purchase (bottom of the funnel keywords). Make sure they’re cleverly optimised with relevant keywords in the headings, title tags, descriptions and in the webpage copy. And make sure it’s unique, rather than duplicate, content to comply with the Google algorithm.

6. Build backlinks

A link building initiative can reap dividends for your business website. Gaining quality backlinks from trusted domains will boost your search engine ranking. Guest posting is a great tactic, sharing your expertise to potential customers on other relevant websites and offering a reciprocal opportunity. Building relationships with industry influencers, like trade journalists, can help and should form part of your wider PR and content marketing strategy.

Find out more about SEO for B2B companies

Case study: Hubspot

The absolute star at content strategy aimed at businesses is Hubspot, the customer platform for sales, marketing and customer service. They provide really useful and informative content for their audience of professionals. Their website’s updated regularly, and positions Hubspot as the go-to expert in their field. What do they do so well?

Quality content – optimised, relevant, informative articles, e-books and downloadable resources are created on a regular basis.

Audience-focussed – the team at Hubspot know their target audience, regularly research their needs and concerns, and create content that they’re looking for.

Free stuff – Hubspot creates lots of really useful content, courses and downloads for free. It positions them as an expert, and a reliable source of trusted information which helps to build customer relationships.

Optimised landing pages – Hubspot pages rank well on SERPS so it attracts organic traffic. Being a trusted brand, increases the likelihood of users clicking through to their content from the search engine.

Hubspot’s in-depth understanding of their target audience, coupled with an effective, consistent content strategy are the key factors in their success. Take a look at Hubspot’s content to see how they do it.

Ready to start your B2B SEO campaign?

SEO should be a key part of your ongoing marketing strategy and campaigns. It’s a cost effective and proven way to reach your target audience of business decision-makers and generate sales. Effective SEO ensures your site is visible to the right people – the people who want to work with you or buy from your business.

“The team at MGX Digital have been pivotal at transforming our lead generation and increasing our businesses awareness (and SEO rankings). They continually impress me with their ideas and consistent approach to looking for new ways to improve rankings through content creation and other areas. I highly recommend the team at MGX Digital to anyone who needs a guiding, supportive and friendly team who will get real results.” Michelle Noel, Founder & Director, Studio Noel.

If you’re ready to start your B2B SEO campaign, we’re here to help.

Get in touch with the MGX Digital team today to discuss your business needs.

Email hello@mgx.digital