Whether you’re targeting individuals or businesses, they all have one thing in common, people are doing the searches. An individual may be searching on behalf of a business, but at the end of the day, a person is still the other side of the screen.
With this in mind, the actual SEO is pretty similar. The main differences are volume and intent. Most of the difference is the search terms and how you position yourself as a business to the searcher.
What Is B2B SEO?
It is getting your website/content in front of the right people (decision-makers), here are a couple of examples of people making B2B searches:
- Limited company accountant
- B2B SEO 😉
- Corporate Lawyer
Typically the search volume is far smaller, but the value for the business can be far greater.
Here is a B2C search term:
Here is a B2B search term:
What do you think has the biggest value per customer? Targeting businesses doesn’t always mean higher value, last time I checked they don’t sell Ferraris to businesses for example. But for this guide, let’s keep it simple.
Where To Start?
Now that we know what B2B SEO is, where do you actually start?
So with all campaigns, we have to do our proper keyword research. Without doing the research into what our potential customers are looking for we’re setting ourselves up to fail. If you’ve had a website up for some time is to start with looking at what you’re already ranking for.
In the above example, we’re looking at a solicitors website located in Bristol, you can see they’re already ranking for some nice keywords already, but there is certainly room for improvement. Now that we have somewhere to start, we need to separate the keywords into topics, people searching for employment solicitors are generally going to be wanting something different than if they were just searching for ‘Bristol solicitors’.
So do we have pages on our website to cater to both searchers? The one in the example doesn’t, so we would then create a plan of what content they need to satisfy the searcher’s intent. The business in question would benefit from both terms, some, for example, will specialise in employment law only so that also needs to be taken into account, not all keywords are worth going for.
If you don’t already have a somewhat established website, the next easiest way to look for opportunities would be to look at a competitor, look at how they have built their content out and how they’re fulfilling the searcher’s intent with the content on the page.
Do they have gaps in their content? Could you service the searcher’s needs better than what they’re currently doing?
Once you’ve got yourself a website to go off go ahead and export the keywords to start grouping them into topics. The next step in the B2B SEO process is to sort the on-page SEO.
On-Page B2B SEO
So at this point, you have created your content that we found you needed from keyword research, and you’re now creating the pages. Without going too in-depth I’m now going to cover what you need to have on your pages for it to rank, I’m also going to touch on how we can do it without over optimising for our keywords.
What are the main things you need to do to be successful in on-page SEO:
- Keyword-rich CTR orientated title tags
- Relevant headings
- Supporting content
If you do these 3 things you’re well on your way to creating content that will rank.
Years ago in a simpler time, people used to have as many keywords as they could in their title tags, you still see it today here is what they tend to look like:
In Googles more primitive days this is how we optimised for keywords, now it’s a little smarter and you don’t have to have the keywords all stuffed in there. We now want to make sure our title tags are engaging enough for people to actually click on them, something more like this:
Any on-page SEO advice will not be complete without touching on header tags, these are vital to your success. We need to have our main keyword in our H1 tag (or some variation of it), but we need to make sure that we only have one of these per pages. We can then have supporting Header 2 & Header 3 tags throughout the pages which have LSI keywords to help us target more with each page.
It is important to remember you’re building these pages for people to actually read, often we see pages that whilst the rankings aren’t that bad the conversion from visitors to leads is incredibly low. This is because more often than not the page just doesn’t make sense to the visitor.
Certain elements of a page carry more weight than others, the title tag is perhaps the most important, along with the headings. But the actual content of the page not only is important from a ranking standpoint, how are you going to convert the visitor with sh*t content?
Years before we would try and write as much content for each page as possible, it made it easier to rank a certain page. Now it is based on searcher’s intent. If you can answer the searcher’s intent in 300 words then do that, if it needs more explaining do more explaining. This is where it is most important to remember you’re trying to interact with people.
Here is a guide on Ahrefs.com detailing this in a little more detail than I have gone into.
Off-Page SEO For Businesses
Now for the part where most people struggle.
How do you go about getting a health link profile?
Using the tool Ahrefs, we’re going to take a look at a few potential links for our solicitor business and look as to whether this link would be valuable to our business. I will be blurring out the details of the sites, but you can see from the stats whether or not we would want this link.
This link below is from a website advising companies on employment law, sounds perfect? Let’s take a look.
So there are a few things we would look at to determine if this link was valuable for us or not, obviously it has to be relevant to us. It is relevant so we have that covered, what else should we look at?
- UR & DR Rating – This is Ahrefs own way of determining the strength of any URL/Domain based on link metrics, the higher the better.
- Backlinks – Does the site have a healthy link profile themselves? Do the links they have make sense? Looking at the stats on their own isn’t enough for us to determine if this link is something we want or not.
- Keywords & Traffic – Whilst this only tells us traffic from Google, it is a great indicator that this website is held in good stead by Google. Also, look at the organic traffic, has it fallen off a cliff? Is it showing healthy growth? Has all of its rankings come in a short space of time? Or does it show natural growth?
From looking at all of the above we can tell that this would be of GREAT value to our business, not only is it relevant and has great stats to back it up. There’s also the chance that we could get great referral traffic from this site, win-win!
Great, so how do we actually go about getting a link? We’ve found a website we want a link from is that it? Should I just email the owner/webmaster and ask them for a link?
Well, you could, but it’s unlikely to get you anywhere, I have written an outreach guide for small businesses if you’d like to check that out. But we then need to look at how can we add value for this business? They have a whole page about how to hire a solicitor for employment law, but guess what? They haven’t actually got anything on there from the solicitor’s point of view, do you think supporting content citing a qualified solicitor would help? No prizes for what I’ll be pitching them!
Now we’ve found a great link, what does a bad link look like?
Whilst not all links would be this obviously bad from a split-second glance, I’m going to quickly go into detail as to why I think it is a bad link and then you can apply this to links you’re searching for.
Ahrefs makes it easy to see with the UR & DR, but take that out would this still instantly be a bad link? Websites that only get traffic from Google are the only links that are worth getting links from?
This website in question has over 100 pages indexed in Google (You can check this by searching site:website.com into Google), with 1.7k referring domains and combined over 5000 backlinks. Things are starting to not add up with this site.
This example was an easy one really, but not all sites you come across will be as obvious as this. Some sites will look really good and a couple of things aren’t adding up, it is up to you whether you want your business or your client’s website linked with it? There are many shades of grey, there aren’t just two types of sites out there, the ones that you want links from and the ones you don’t.
Remember a good link makes sense for your business. A bad link is just a link.
Reviewing Our SEO
This is perhaps the most important part of the SEO process, reviewing what we have done and adapting going forward. SEO is not an overnight process, it can take months of work to improve the rankings of a website, it doesn’t take months to see changes. Is your business website trending in the right direction?
Keeping tracking of the stats of your website is important to see where you are going. Installing tools like Google Search Console will help you see stats like impressions to see if your overall search presence is growing.
You can see whilst this website search presence is growing it hasn’t really started to translate into traffic, you need to decide if this level of growth is for you or not? If not, then perhaps you should be investing more time and effort into SEO.
This has been a very basic guide into how to do B2B SEO, if you have questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.