B2B marketing is a completely different animal than B2C. The way in which a B2B business presents itself and looks for business is much different to one that deals with consumers. Businesses that work in both sectors will often have separate marketing teams that deal with each individual avenue.
As with general marketing, SEO strategies for a B2B company are likely to be different, too. Of course, there aren’t a separate set of search algorithms for B2B businesses to work to, but the differences will generally come from the way in which a B2B site is set up differently to one looking to convert consumers.
With that in mind, there are a lot of B2B SEO mistakes and traps that are easy to make and fall into. Here are some of the most common, and ideas around what you can do to avoid them.
Getting Keywords Wrong
B2C businesses have become much better in the last year to 18 months at using the keyword research tools available to identify how their audience is finding them. In contrast, B2B’s are still focussing far too much on the keywords they want to use. Rather than looking at the research and putting themselves in the best position to be found, they’re looking at how they want people to find them.
Trying to control your target market has never been a good business idea, and it isn’t about to catch on in 2013. It’s also professional suicide so far as SEO is concerned, particularly if your website is your main revenue driver.
Using Gated Content
Gated content is one of the most controversial talking points when it comes to website development. What we do know is that this content stops search spiders picking up the content much like it locks out human visitors. If all of your best content is hidden behind a pay wall or in a client work platform, it isn’t going to thrust you to the top of the search engines.
You don’t have to give everything away free; it is only natural that you’d want to have some carrot for businesses, but there’s nothing to stop you having a feature rich resources section or some free online tools.
Forgetting About Everyone Involved
The biggest difference with B2B selling versus B2C selling is that a B2B has to sell to maybe a dozen people. It is unlikely there is just one person in a business with the ultimate power to make a decision; your product is going to be analysed, discussed, and held up against others on numerous occasions before a decision is taken to invest.
You also need to think about whom in a business will be responsible for finding you. As a result, you’ll need to use a range of tools to help you select the most wide-ranging keywords, and also develop your content marketing strategy so that you’re accounting for everyone within the business buying cycle.
Don’t Give Up
B2B success can often be harder to come by than with a B2C venture, as there are more variables to consider and more obstacles that you may need to tackle. However, persistence, learning from the data you collect from your SEO software tools, and continuing to adopt to the ever changing SEO landscape will see you find success.
About the Author
Nick is an SEO enthusiast currently studying the similarities and differences between B2C and B2B SEO strategies, and how businesses with interests in both areas can develop the strongest possible campaign.