Develop a solid SEO strategy for B2B companies in 7 steps
It's hard to imagine B2B without the Internet as a marketing channel. But some of the approaches to online marketing in B2B are very different from those in B2C SEO. In this article you will learn how to develop your SEO strategy for B2B companies in 7 uncomplicated steps!
Step 1: Understand your target audience with the help of buyer personas
The first step of a successful marketing campaign is to target the right audience.
Or in simpler terms, before you want to sell anything, you should know who your buyers are. The more you know what your target audience is interested, the more targeted you can be with your potential buyers.
To get a comprehensive picture of the target group, buyer personas are created in digital marketing.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is the abstract representation of the ideal customer. For this purpose, data from market and competition research is combined with data from existing customer profiles and evaluated. It is not only a description of potential buyer groups. Rather, the Buyer Persona generates insights that can then be used for marketing, sales and production strategies.
There is not just one buyer persona. Most B2B companies address several target groups and therefore also organize several campaigns for one Buyer Persona each.
How do you create a Buyer Persona?
To develop a Buyer Persona, the first step is to use and compare the data in your customer database. You can also evaluate data from your website or social media channels. Tools like Google Analytics help with this. Map out all of your customers' data in a mind map. This includes demographic data, but also interests, occupation and income, browsing and buying behavior online, etc. You can also include your products and the buying process in your considerations.
Based on the chart, you can see which data may be of interest for the creation of the buyer persona. Such a mind map can help you to divide the strategy into individual phases, which can be aimed at different personas. Especially in B2B, this approach is very effective, as a blanket approach usually does not bring success. Which brings us to the next step of the strategy:
Step 2: Analyze your sales channels.
Before you can start active SEO work, it's important to understand how your company's individual sales funnel works.
Have your sales team explain each step of the customer journey. At what points in the sales process does customer contact occur? What sales strategies are most effective? At what point in the sales process do customers drop out and why?
Evaluate sales and analytics data to see how customers become aware of the company. From which channels do most inquiries come? Through which sales channels are most sales made? What questions or ambiguities do customers have?
Collect data on the lifetime value of the customer, the average length of customer engagement, the average time to purchase decision, and the reasons for purchase abandonment. Web analytics tools can help with this.
Step 3: Target your campaign to the right keywords
Now that you know who your potential customers are, the next step is to figure out what your customers are searching for online. That's what keyword research is for. In B2C, keyword research is usually focused on commercial search terms. However, for a successful B2B SEO strategy, you should also include informational search terms. Numerous keyword tools help to determine the right search terms for the SEO campaign.
It's important not to optimize for promotional terms (what do we offer?), but to ask yourself how you can meet the needs of the buyer persona (how can we help?).
Ask yourself the following questions during keyword research:
What problem does my persona want to solve?
How does the persona search for solutions to the problem?
What are the key features of my product/service?
For which keywords are my competitors getting the most organic traffic?
Step 4: Develop a keyword strategy that targets your customers at different funnel stages.
One practical way to develop an effective B2B SEO strategy is to use topic clusters. Clusters allow you to demonstrate your expertise to achieve ranking success for entire topic clusters, not just individual keywords.
What are topic clusters and how are they used in B2B SEO?
In a topic cluster, you create groups of content that deal with one main central topic. These are linked together on your website via a pillar page. Start with a meaningful pillar page that represents the main topic well. From this page, there are links to related topic cluster pages that delve into a subtopic. These pages are in turn connected by links to the pillar page and other relevant topics. With this comprehensive content strategy, you can reach your potential customers at every stage of the buying cycle.
With such a topic cluster, you will always have an overview of your B2B SEO strategy. Another advantage of the topic cluster is its scalability. Content and editorial plans can be created based on the topic clusters.
Step 5: Create optimized landing pages for your top-selling products
Ranking is not everything! Optimized sales pages are necessary to turn users into customers. After potential customers find your website through Google search, you want them to stay on your website and, in the best case scenario, buy your product. Therefore, you should definitely put some work into creating meaningful landing pages.
To elaborate on the topic, cluster content around these pages should not be missed. They generate traffic and answer users' unanswered questions about your product or service. However, in B2B, the successful sales pages are usually the pillar pages. Therefore, always offer an overview of the product or service on the landing pages, which move the user to the sale.
Design your landing pages with the utmost care. Call-to-actions prompt the user to get more information or buy the product directly. Intuitive use of the page ensures a low abandonment rate in the sales process. Gather all the important information about the product/service but do not overload the landing page. Link to the topic cluster pages for more information.
Step 6: Develop a measurable content strategy.
Landing pages for sales are at the end of the B2B customer journey, in the action phase. But it's also important to pick up potential customers in the earlier stages of the sales funnel.
In B2B, the sales process often takes longer than in B2C. A person researching about your product may not become a customer until months later. It is therefore advisable to convince users of your expertise and brand early on. You can achieve this with a scalable content strategy. High-quality content not only boosts the ranking of the website, it also generates relevant links, promotes user interaction with the website and the company and thus increases interest in your offer. Depending on the product/ service, the following formats are suitable for this:
Templates and Checklists
Step 7: Promote your own content and build backlinks
Even if the backlink structure no longer plays the biggest role in SEO, the effect of high-quality backlinks should not be underestimated. Therefore, they should not be missing in any SEO strategy. The most effective way to generate backlinks is successful content marketing. If you provide high-quality content, it will automatically be shared and recommended by users. To drive link building a little more, you can actively reach out to other businesses and industry-relevant bloggers and influencers. If they are convinced by your brand and content, they will recommend your website to others, increasing its reach. Make a name for yourself as a guest writer in relevant online magazines or promote your company milestones, product developments or events through press releases. With high-quality backlinks, you can gain new potential customers in the B2B sector at an early stage of the sales funnel.
Conclusion: Position your B2B company successfully on Google
The path to the right SEO strategy for B2B companies is not that complicated. At the outset, make a detailed plan of how you want to proceed. Get to know your target audience and your sales funnel and base the strategy on that. Find out what your Buyer Persona is looking for and offer solutions to their problems. Communicate with your users, readers and customers at all stages of the sales funnel. Measure the success of the campaign regularly and adjust the strategy if necessary. This way, nothing stands in the way of your B2B company's online success!