Do you target both B2B and B2C audiences? If so, you already know your B2B customers have different needs and buying cycles than your B2C customers, and maybe you’ve taken steps to address both customer types with your online presence. What you might not have realized is your SEO strategy will also need to be different for each group. All parts of your SEO plan should be optimized separately for B2B and B2C, including your keywords, landing pages and metrics.
While your likely goal for B2C customers is to get the buy in a single visit, the same is not true for B2B. B2B searchers will probably not buy during the first visit, and the searcher may not even be the final purchaser. The goal for a B2B customer is to get your product or service included in the initial consideration set or a short list to be looked at again later, and then provide the customer with resources to evaluate the product and eventually make a purchase. You must optimize your search queries for these three types:
- General research terms. The B2B customer is more likely to use non-branded, general terms in the preliminary search than B2C customers, and these terms are more likely to have industry lingo or jargon included in them.
- Product evaluation terms. These terms might include “comparison chart” or “features comparison.”
- Purchase-ready terms. These terms may include “pricing” or “agreement.”
On your landing pages, improve your lead generation by increasing user engagement, particularly for general or product evaluation terms. With B2B customers, it’s more important to highlight content-rich offers, like white papers and case studies.
Once you’ve taken steps to ensure your SEO strategy is the best it can be, there are many important metrics to consider. Search Engine Land suggests the following measurements to determine the success of your B2B SEO strategy:
- The amount of time visitors spend on your site. Compare the difference in visitors who searched for branded vs. non-branded keywords.
- The amount of returning visitors who used branded phrases in their second search queries.
- The number of visitors engaging with the site by viewing or downloading case studies and white papers.
- How the organic conversion funnel matches up with your goals.
As with any SEO strategy, be sure to follow Google’s guidelines and good incoming link practices to make sure all your optimization efforts are building toward a better online presence. What have you done to optimize differently for your B2B clients? We want to hear about it in our comments section below.