TopRank Marketing has worked with clients in both the B2B and B2C realms over the last two decades. In that time, we have definitely witnessed the much-discussed convergence of these two previously diametric categories; the so-called consumerization of B2B.

But we also fully recognize the enduring factors that distinguish successful marketing in B2B versus B2C. Even as brands rightfully embrace the humanity of professional audiences, it still must be acknowledged that buyers in B2B experience contrasting motivations, challenges and dynamics in their journeys compared to consumers. The information B2B buyers seek out in making decisions, and the ways they search for it, remain very different from the standard B2C purchase.

Crafting a B2B SEO content strategy that fully accounts for the unique intricacies of this buyer journey holds the key to long-term digital growth. 

Drawing the line between B2B and B2C SEO content

The defining difference between B2B and B2C is that one targets businesses and professionals, while the other targets individual consumers. A company’s SEO content strategy should be built around this core distinction. 

Compared to B2C strategies, B2B SEO focuses more on reaching specific audiences through niche keywords and topics. The approach is guided by personas, which often span verticals, functions, or buying committee roles. In B2B, marketing goals are often more granular and incremental compared to simply generating an instant sale, so measurement is nuanced.  

The content designed to fuel a B2B SEO strategy must then suit this purpose. It should be planned and crafted with these distinct priorities in mind.

5 critical cornerstones of a B2B SEO content strategy

Organic search traffic is immensely valuable to B2B companies, especially when their SEO strategy is designed to attract visitors based on search intent. These specialized B2B techniques will ensure you’re targeting the right keywords, attracting relevant traffic and driving valuable outcomes with your SEO content.

#1. Address the full funnel with your SEO content.

The 95-5 rule tells us that within any given B2B product category, only 5% of buyers are in-market and actively searching for a solution. That math may not be exact for every industry or niche, but the underlying premise is universal: No matter what you sell, a vast majority of your potential audience is not looking to buy at this moment.

Gaining visibility and familiarity with those who aren’t ready to make a purchase, but will be in the future, holds the key to sustainable long-term growth. Organic SEO content plays a powerful role in brand building, serving as perpetual magnets to attract visitors from the 95% out-market audience. 

Upper-funnel keywords tend to have higher volumes and broader reach, meaning more opportunities to get your brand and message in front of key audiences. This, in turn, will set up lower-funnel content to be more effective.

#2. Build topical authority to establish your expertise.

The complexity and stakes of making a B2B purchase means the research process tends to be lengthy and thorough. Each challenge you can help solve has many dimensions to be explored. Using a cluster-based approach to provide comprehensive topical coverage helps your website gain authority.

This approach offers many benefits, but chief among them is the ability to rank and dominate share of search for topics that matter to your business. “Many of Google’s algorithm updates and statements have reaffirmed its preference for trustworthy, knowledgeable, and experienced publishers,” explains Semrush. “In other words: It favors content creators with topical authority.”

#3. Target long-tail keywords to address specific search intent.

This goes part and parcel with a cluster-based SEO content approach. Long-tail keywords are characterized by specificity: They tend to include more words and detail, adding another layer of depth beyond the main keywords they branch out from. An example of this might look like:

  • Head KW: “SEO strategy”
  • Long-tail KW: “how to develop an SEO content strategy in B2B healthcare”

By nature, long-tail keywords have lower volume, but higher intent – people running these searches are filtering and qualifying themselves as more relevant to your brand based on the information they are seeking. 

A strong B2B SEO content strategy will feature a balance of head keywords and long-tail keywords to maximize both quantity and quality of organic search traffic.

#4. Focus on educational B2B SEO content and deliver value.

Google’s algorithm updates are openly intended to prioritize helpful content and provide satisfying experiences for users. Being too promotional or light on substance will impede your content’s ability to earn search rankings.

Because B2B purchases are so complex, there is ample room for education, and information is flowing at all times. Consider all the different roles and functions involved with a buying committee, and how much these stakeholders often have to educate one another. Your brand’s content can help greatly, building trust and relevance in the process. 

Put user value at the center of your B2B SEO content. Offer clear and compelling insights or takeaways to help your audience accomplish their goals.

#5. Optimize and measure for a diverse range of conversion outcomes.

Effective SEO isn’t just about generating web traffic. What really matters is driving valuable results with that traffic, which is why it pays to be thoughtful about your conversion and measurement strategies.

What are the desirable outcomes for visitors at different stages of your marketing funnel? These might range from signing up for a newsletter to downloading an asset to signing up for a demo. Make sure you’re always offering an action that aligns with the intent of their search. 

Strategic B2B marketing measurement accounts for all of the various conversion types, as part of the proven recipe for revenue and business growth. Marketing attribution can help you connect and weigh these different actions on the way to optimizing your efforts.

Organic SEO has a reputation for being difficult to connect to impact, but that’s only if you’re not taking the right steps to set up customized reporting and event tracking. 

Set your B2B SEO content strategy up for success

Through all the algorithm changes and technology shifts, the fundamental premise of B2B SEO (or B2C SEO, for that matter) remains the same: create quality content based on reliable data around your personas, keywords and industry.

From there, it’s all about optimizing around your buyer journey and meeting the unique needs of your audience. 

Learn about the many ways in which TopRank Marketing can help you step up your B2B SEO game.

About the author

Nick Nelson is our friendly neighborhood writer-man. As the Associate Content Director at TopRank Marketing, he is on a mission to energize brand narratives with smart, fun, sharp wordplay. In his free time, Nick enjoys basking in the misery of Minnesota sports fandom, making cringeworthy puns, and smothering all types of food in buffalo sauce.

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