In today’s digital landscape, cultivating a strong online presence is crucial for engaging and influencing B2B decision-makers.
SaaS is a really tough one because of what we call the “search intent” of what you really want to rank for. Say you want to rank for “lead generation tools”.
All the top results are going to be comparison/review sites with affiliate links. Literally, go Google the keyword now and see what kinds of sites rank.
Somebody searching for “Lead Generation Tools” is probably going to want to look at multiple tools or companies and compare features. You could write a “top 10 lead generation tools” type article where you give some info about competitors and don’t link to them, but good luck ranking.
I have found success in the past by writing informational posts that are problem / solution based. Rather than just trying to rank for “banking software” or something, try “How to Automate Loan Approval Processes for Banks” (just an example).
The drawback here is these tend to be low search volume, the plus side is it’s easier to rank and traffic tends to be more qualified. Just make sure there is a search volume behind those keywords.
Get ready to climb the search engine ladder and attract the B2B decision-makers you’ve been longing to reach.
What is B2B SEO? Definition and examples
Dominate the first page of relevant search results and watch targeted traffic and sales skyrocket for your B2B business. That’s the power of B2B SEO, a strategic approach to boosting your website’s visibility on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Imagine reaching key decision-makers actively seeking the solutions you offer. A B2B SEO strategy makes it a reality. Whether it’s an accounting software seeker, an HVAC-hungry facilities director, or an IT manager chasing asset management magic, B2B buyers rely on online research. In fact, a whopping 56% turned to web searches in 2021 while hunting for business solutions.
To conquer the B2B SEO world, three key areas demand your attention:
- On-page SEO: Craft website elements like title tags, meta descriptions, headers, images, URLs, and content itself to resonate with your target keywords. This optimization fuels high rankings.
- Off-page SEO: Venture beyond your site and build authority through link building, brand mentions, and social media engagement. These signals tell Google “Trust this website!”
- Technical SEO: Dive into the technical side of things. Create an XML sitemap, optimize loading speed, and implement structured data. These tweaks ensure your site runs like a well-oiled machine.
B2C vs. B2B SEO: What’s the difference?
While both B2C and B2B SEO ultimately seek to boost rankings and attract organic traffic, their paths diverge in key areas. Both share the goal of visibility, but the journey to achieving it, and the final destination, differ significantly.
While “window air conditioner” might rack up 135,000 monthly searches in the B2C world, B2B keywords typically draw a smaller crowd. This discrepancy boils down to audience size. B2C businesses cast a wider net, targeting potentially millions of individual consumers.
B2B firms, on the other hand, cater to a more niche market of businesses, naturally resulting in less frequent search terms for their specific products and services.
While searching for ‘HVAC system for commercial building’ yields around 110 monthly searches, understanding the specific needs of your building can unlock a wider range of relevant keywords.
Consider terms like ‘VRF systems for office buildings’ or ‘energy-efficient heating options for restaurants’ to target more precise audiences and optimise your SEO reach.
Forget generic B2B search terms, long-tail keywords are the hidden gems for reaching qualified prospects. While broad terms cast a wide net, they often attract an irrelevant audience.
Long-tail phrases, like “best CRM software for manufacturing,” pinpoint individuals actively seeking solutions to specific needs. This targeted approach may generate fewer leads overall, but each one holds significantly higher conversion potential.
The key takeaway? Precision beats volume in B2B SEO. Mastering keyword research becomes crucial to attract the right prospects and fuel your sales pipeline.
B2C impulse purchases often happen in a flash, like snagging that stylish coffee maker after a quick online comparison. But B2B decisions require a marathon, not a sprint. Why? Because typically, buying teams of 6-10 leaders weigh in, spending time like this:
This deeper deliberation can mean fewer conversions after initial contact, but the payoff is significantly higher average deal sizes compared to B2C purchases.
Let me tell you that creating content is just 20% of the task done. The remaining 80% is all about optimizing it until it builds value for your audience.
When it comes to SEO, content and distribution channels take distinct paths for B2C and B2B audiences.
Fun and even outlandish content can capture B2C attention, like Blinds.com’s Facebook video showcasing their indestructible blinds through hilarious torture tests (car crush, anyone?).
While entertaining, such tactics wouldn’t resonate with B2B decision-makers.
Their focus? Informative content that builds trust and expertise. Think white papers, case studies, and insightful articles like FreshBooks’ case study targeting small business owners.
Ensure you strategically incorporate targeted keywords into content, meta titles, meta tags, and meta descriptions. Optimize existing content to enhance its relevance and value. You can refer to Google’s SEO guidelines to follow the best best practices.
Make sure every piece of your content is adding value to your audience.
Also, once you’re done with optimizing, make sure you monitor the performance for the same using the content optimization tracker we use internally.
When you have everything in place, you can get amazing results, even with just your on-page SEO efforts.
How to create a B2B SEO strategy
B2B SEO success demands more than a keyword confetti toss. While publishing content is crucial, simply peppering it with your target terms won’t guarantee top billing in Google’s search results.
- Create A Buyer Persona
Building a solid B2B SEO strategy starts with understanding your ideal audience. This is where buyer personas come in – detailed profiles of your target prospects, the very people you want to attract.
While B2C companies might have a clearer target (think “gamers” for video games), B2B requires deeper exploration. You need to pinpoint the key decision-makers within your ideal customer businesses. For example, IT management software would target IT directors or relevant stakeholders.
To craft impactful personas, gather intel on your prospects: demographics, pain points, preferred platforms, and information sources. This comprehensive data allows you to build several customer avatars, representing different segments within your target audience.
This detailed understanding becomes invaluable when you embark on keyword research and content creation, ensuring your SEO efforts resonate directly with the decision-makers you aim to reach.
- Conduct Keyword Research
Unlocking B2B SEO success starts with uncovering the golden keys: relevant keywords. These search terms, used by your target audience on Google, hold the power to inform their buying decisions and guide them straight to your door. So, how do you unearth these SEO gems?
Dive deeper with these key prospecting techniques:
- Seed Your Search: Start with broad industry terms or product names, then branch out using keyword research tools. Think of it like planting a seed and watching it blossom into a vibrant keyword tree.
- Listen in on Buyer Conversations: Tap into industry forums, social media groups, and business publications to eavesdrop on your ideal customers’ language. What questions do they ask? What problems do they seek to solve? These real-world insights are pure keyword gold.
- Competitor Spy Game: Analyse your competitors’ websites and SEO strategies. See what keywords they’re targeting and how they’re ranking. Learn from their successes and adapt their strategies to fit your unique brand voice.
- Long-Tail Treasures: Don’t underestimate the power of long-tail keywords, more specific search phrases with lower competition. They attract highly qualified leads, laser-focused on your offerings.
I wouldn’t go deep into saying keywords are not what you feel are right for your product; it’s about what your target audience searches for.
I don’t want to repeat how you should be going behind identifying the seed keywords and using the permutation and combination of your product and their features to research and analyze the right and relevant keywords.
But, the basic thing that can be done is for all of those identified keywords, execute the keyword clustering to determine the best place to group semantic keywords logically.
Uncover SEO gold with Google’s hidden treasure trove – Autocomplete! Simply start typing your seed keyword, and watch a cascade of relevant suggestions unfold.
Want even more inspiration? Alphabet soup to the rescue! Search for each letter individually to unearth a hidden gem: long-tail keywords waiting to be discovered.
Dive deeper by deciphering the “People also ask” section on SERPs. These questions hold the key to understanding searcher intent and crafting content that truly resonates.
Don’t stop there! Scroll down to the “Related searches” section for a buffet of additional keyword options, all hungry for your website’s embrace.
Considering that you know your product, business, and market in detail, the first thing you need to do to set your SEO project’s foundation is to conduct competitor analysis.
Direct competitors are the ones who offer exactly the same product features as yours, and indirect competitors are the ones who are either the market leaders of your industry or the ones who offer only a few features similar to yours.
Thoroughly research the features and benefits of all the relative products in the market to get a detailed bird-eye view of the industry. Carefully consider your competitors’ digital footprint, strategies, strengths, and vulnerabilities to plan your marketing actions.
With this analysis, you’ll be able to know how you can create your SEO and content strategy that would work wonders for you.
Google Keyword Planner tool
Now you’ve got a pool of promising keywords, but how do you prioritize the most impactful ones?
The key lies in understanding search intent and potential traffic. Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner come to the rescue.
Simply feed your list of terms into this free service to gain valuable insights like search volume, competition level (represented by number of search results), and even estimated cost-per-click (CPC).
Let’s take “commercial freezer” as an example. Plugging this into the tool might reveal surprising data. Sure, it has decent search volume, but the real eye-opener might be the high CPC.
Why’s that important? A high CPC tells us advertisers are willing to pay big bucks to target this term, signaling strong buyer intent. These are the searchers actively looking to purchase, making them prime targets for your website content and SEO optimization.
- Optimize Your Product Or Service Pages
While planning your SaaS SEO strategy, don’t overlook the critical aspect of technical SEO. To get the maximum results for your SEO efforts, ensure your website loads in less than 5 seconds, your pages are responsive on all devices, and you have well-designed UI/UX.
- Create Content For The Entire Buyer’s Journey
In 2021, a whopping 79% of B2B buyers admitted that valuable content played a crucial role in their final vendor choice.
But with complex B2B sales cycles, simply creating great content isn’t enough. To truly drive results with your B2B SEO, you need a strategic approach that caters to every stage of the buyer’s journey.
While working with B2B SaaS businesses since GREAT Guest Posts’ inception, we have seen one thing set as the base: documentation of buyers’ journey.
Because that’s what defines how and when the user will sign up for a free trial and eventually become a paid subscriber.
Here is a sample customer journey for a B2B product, which is yet to turn into a SaaS model but is almost similar:
So, if you’re new to the SaaS journey, never underestimate the power of documenting your buyers’ journey.
Guide your buyers through various funnel stages to increase conversion rates with effective lead-generation strategies.
Once documented, it becomes easy for the entire marketing team to be on the same page for the target audience, why they would trust your product, and when they will buy.
Planting Seeds of Awareness:
When prospects first recognize a problem, they’re actively seeking information. This is where insightful blog posts, white papers, and ebooks can shine.
Think of them as educational tools that introduce your brand and expertise without pushing your solution immediately.
A prime example is this guide on coil thread inserts, effectively targeting early-stage prospects with relevant knowledge.
Guiding the Consideration Phase:
As prospects narrow down their options, they need deeper dives into potential solutions.
Webinars, reports, and compelling videos like Slack’s, step in to provide detailed information and address their specific concerns.
Closing the Deal:
When it’s decision time, prospects demand concrete proof.
Case studies showcasing your success stories and comprehensive vendor comparisons like Pingboard’s chart, become invaluable tools.
Landing pages with clear calls to action, like free trials or demos, further nudge them towards a purchase.
Creating content that resonates with each stage of the B2B buyer’s journey is key to winning their trust and driving conversions.
- Promote and build backlinks to your content
Despite Google saying link building is not among the top 3 ranking factors, we cannot ignore the importance it brings to building the brand’s authority in Organic Search.
Even though it may look very easy and straightforward, link-building and PR strategies take more time and effort than ever! While reaching out to bloggers and media houses, have an approach of collaboration rather than self-promotion to add an authoritative value.
Ensure you have an appropriate ratio of do-follow and no-follow links to align with SEO’s best practices. Analyzing the backlinks of your competitor’s websites, you can strategize your link-building and PR strategies accordingly.
While filtering the sites for collaboration, ensure they are popular in your industry and have higher domain authority (DA) with good traffic.
When you build your links on the right websites and platforms, you double the chances of your online visibility. However, one thing you need to remember while executing a building strategy is following white hat backlink practices.
- Conduct outreach
Gather links from your valued suppliers and partners, showcasing their expertise. Similar to the impressive partners page of IT consulting firm Video, this can solidify relationships and unlock potential collaboration opportunities.
- Guest blog
Sharing your expertise on other websites through guest blogging lets you tap into their established audience.While building backlinks this way takes work, it can be a potent strategy. High-quality guest posts on relevant, authoritative sites can elevate your search rankings and attract qualified traffic back to your own domain.
- Social media
I could have easily covered social media and email content distribution in the above point. Still, we have seen that the content created for SEO is hardly promoted on social media by B2B SaaS companies. Focus on professional platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook for B2B link building, as platforms like TikTok and Snapchat may not be the best fit.
- Build a resource
Want to attract high-quality backlinks? Craft a valuable resource that your target audience craves. Interactive tools and calculators are goldmines!
Take Freightos’s handy freight calculator, for instance. It empowers businesses with instant shipping estimates, making it a go-to resource for anyone juggling international logistics.
- Optimize Technical SEO Factors
Think Google can’t find your B2B website in the search maze? Technical SEO can be your trusty map.
It ensures Google bots effortlessly crawl and index your site, while delivering a smooth ride for human visitors. Here’s a quick pit stop for optimizing your website’s technical side:
- Speed Demon: Shave off those loading times – nobody wants to wait in a digital traffic jam.
- Mobile Magic: Make your site mobile-friendly; smartphones are the keys to modern navigation.
- Sitemap Savvy: Create an XML sitemap, basically a roadmap for Google to explore your website’s every corner.
- Crawl Control: Squash any crawling errors like a bug zapper – they block Google’s path to your valuable content.
- Structured Data Superstar: Add structured data markup, like breadcrumbs on a digital bakery shelf, to help Google understand your content and display it clearly in search results.
- Broken Link Buster: Fix or remove broken links – dead ends aren’t helpful for anyone.
- Duplicate Content Detective: Eliminate duplicate content – Google frowns on plagiarism, even unintentional website doubles.
- Canonical King: Use canonical tags to declare the “master” version of duplicate content, helping Google choose the right one to show.
Don’t just focus on your own content, reverse engineer (not copy) your B2B competitors’ top-performing pillar pages! Identify their pillar pages and dissect their structure, topics, and keyword targeting.
By reverse engineering their successes, you can gain valuable insights and fine-tune your own strategy and apply it to your topic clusters and pillar pages, you can elevate your large enterprise’s SEO game and drive sustainable growth.
Most importantly, deep dive into their lowest-performing content you can learn a lot from their mistakes, and use those learnings to improve your ongoing B2B SEO approach.
Imagine achieving a 160% increase in search traffic and a staggering 314% boost in conversions within just one year!
Well, that’s precisely what happened to this technology B2B client.
Before partnering with us, they were heavily reliant on paid ads, struggling to capture quality leads and experiencing erratic results from social media efforts.
Their marketing director was determined to find a solution to these challenges.
As we began working together, we revamped their SEO strategy from the ground up. We optimized their website, researched and targeted high-value keywords, created a content plan that resonated with their audience and built quality backlinks to build their authority.
The results were nothing short of astonishing:
- 160% increase in organic search traffic.
- 314% surge in conversion rates.
- Explosive growth in their online presence.
What’s more, these improvements were not just immediate but also sustainable, since we finished working with them, their rankings have continued to climb.
If you find yourself in a similar situation—relying too heavily on paid ads, not harnessing the full potential of organic search, or struggling to find a reliable SEO partner.
Your business deserves to thrive.