Pillar one of digital marketing: Getting your B2B SEO strategy on track 

Read our first blog in our pillars of digital marketing to learn more about how SEO can help your B2B business grow.

SEO is an essential strategy if you want to drive leads for your B2B business. 

In fact, research by Gartner shows that 27% of the B2B buying cycle is spent doing online research. And B2B buying cycles are quite long, which equates to a significant amount of time spent doing online research. 

Many B2B businesses know that SEO is valuable and something they should be implemented but never do due to time and budget constraints. 

However, SEO can greatly impact your business's lead generation and is a highly effective channel.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the differences between B2B and B2C SEO, why an SEO strategy is important and how to refine your SEO strategy.

Want to know more about the other pillars of digital marketing? Find out more in the rest of our series: 

Pillar two of digital marketing: Is a B2B content marketing strategy essential? 

Pillar three of digital marketing: Using a B2B social media strategy to drive results for your business 

Pillar four of digital marketing: Building an effective B2B paid search strategy for your business

What are the differences between SEO for B2B and B2C? 

It might seem obvious, but the biggest difference between B2B and B2C is the audience! When you’re marketing to consumers, you’re usually communicating with just one decision maker - unless it’s an expensive product or service.

On the other hand, when you’re marketing to other businesses, there is usually more than one decision-maker involved so you need to think carefully about how you communicate with them at every stage of the sales funnel. 

Other key differences include: 

  • A more complex sales funnel - the B2B sales cycle tends to be much longer than B2C, with more research and people involved. As a result, you need to make sure you’re visible in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) at each step of the funnel - from building awareness to closing the sale. 
  • Prospects spend more time in each sales stage - a B2B buyer cycles through the same process as a B2C buyer but spends more time in each. Remember that B2B buyers spend more time in the research stage, gathering information. So, you’ll need to produce enough content to keep them informed as they move through their journey. 
  • More informative content is required - B2B buyers need to build confidence and trust in your brand before they will speak to you. They want to know that you can offer the right solution to their problem before they engage with you. As a result, you’ll need to provide plenty of content to help them along with their research. 

Now you know the differences, let’s have a look at why SEO is so important for your B2B business. 

Reasons why SEO is important for B2B

The B2B buying cycle is longer than the B2C cycle, which means many B2B businesses can struggle to see where the return on investment comes from when it comes to an organic search strategy. But it’s so important.


  • 61% of B2B decision-makers start their decision-making process with an online search 
  • 77% of B2B buyers say they won’t even speak to a salesperson until they’ve done their own research 

Plus, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, which means there’s no better place to get your brand out there than through making sure your brand is visible when potential customers are searching! 

As a result, SEO is critical for success. If you don’t have an SEO strategy to make sure your site ranks, your potential customers will likely find your competitors before they find you. 

In addition, the B2B market tends to have less competition when it comes to search engines. This means you can target keywords with lower search volume, and more specific keywords to drive organic traffic to your website. 

By focusing on more specific terms, you’re more likely to generate high-quality leads and, in turn, conversions.

If you want to know more about how the B2B customer journey is changing, why not read our ebook? 

📖Digital Marketing and Today’s B2B Buyer: New Rules of Digital Marketing 

Top 5 tips for getting your B2B SEO strategy off the ground 

Want to know more about how to get your SEO strategy started? Read on for more…

1. Understand your target audience 

When you start your SEO strategy, you need to understand exactly who you’re targeting. For B2C marketing, this is simple because you’re targeting individual customers who may be interested in your products or services. 

On the other hand, when you sell to a B2B audience, you are selling to a business. So, you’ll need to consider who the decision-makers are and bear this in mind when forming your strategy. 

Start by making a list of the types of businesses you’re targeting. Then, have a look at which people are likely to be involved in the decision making process. There is likely to be more than one, so think about how you can use your SEO strategy to inform all of them. 

2. Understand your sales funnel 

When you’re building your SEO strategy, understanding how your sales funnel works and the steps customers take to purchase is essential.

You need to know more about how you can take searchers from complete unawareness about your brand through to becoming a client. 

Visualise how your sales funnel works and map out the content you’ll need to provide at every step and the search terms your customers are likely to be using. 

3. Perform keyword research around your target audience 

Keyword research is the backbone of your B2B SEO marketing strategy. These are the terms potential customers use to find your products and services online. 

Knowing what these are is the first step to ensuring customers can find you at every stage of the sales funnel. Make sure you focus on both informational and commercial keywords. Ranking for informational keywords will help you to appear when prospects are conducting their initial research. 

4. Map your keywords out to target buyers at all stages of the funnel 

Understanding your keywords' intent will help you target prospects at all stages of the funnel. 

From those who are looking for information about your products and services, to those who are searching for your brand because they want to get in touch with you, you need to make sure your website appears for all of these terms. 

A topic cluster approach to SEO is a great way to develop authority in your industry, demonstrate your expertise and dominate the SERPs for the topics relevant to your business. 

Once you do this, you’ll have a scalable content strategy you can build on monthly to continue updating and developing your SEO strategy. Topic clusters keep your content focused and organised and demonstrate the depth of knowledge you have around topics related to your business.

5. Create content 

The content you optimise on your website covers various page types to ensure you’re providing the right information at the right time.

These include: 

Product or service pages 

Make sure you build good product and service pages on your website. Optimise them for the right keywords. These are likely to be at the bottom of the funnel as customers searching for a specific product or service are likely to have done some research and are making comparisons. 

If you have multiple products or services, make sure you create different landing pages for them all and target the most relevant search queries for each one. 

Make sure these are easy to use and help to lead the customers towards their next action. 

Blog or informative content

Your content marketing strategy should be made up of longer-form content focused around providing answers or solutions to your customer's problems and demonstrating how your product or service could solve them. 

Use your long-tail keywords to decide on the content you need to write in order to appear when your potential customers are looking for you. This could be videos, blog posts, ebooks, infographics and more. However, the most beneficial content for SEO is blogs. 

Don’t write a blog, and then try to squeeze keywords in. Choose your keywords first and build your content around them. You will find that this provides much more natural content that answers users' intent when they land on your website. Always consider what customers are looking for when they visit a particular piece of content and make sure you answer their search intent

Key takeaways 

SEO is essential if you want to be found online during the long B2B sales cycle.

B2B buyers spend more time researching online before they contact the businesses they’re buying from. Therefore, thinking about the touchpoints they’re likely to have with your business and providing the information they need will help you to drive valuable traffic to your website and generate leads for your business. 

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Blog written by

Amy Ward