SEO for B2B: when we sell to companies

  • There are some important guidelines you should follow if you want other businesses find you instead of private customers. Are you interested in knowing which they are? Just keep reading.

  • SEO is a matter of search intentions, and these vary depending on the objective, purpose, context and role of those who search on the search engines. 

    You can find a lot of documentation on organic positioning, but the vast majority are aimed at people searching for a product or service personally. So we have decided to publish this article to give a hand to B2B sellers or wholesalers
  • Differences between B2B and B2C SEO

  • Let's start from the incontrovertible basis that SEO is SEO, that is, search engine optimization. In general terms, the same rules are used in identical ways. There is talk about local SEO or SEO for voice and, even with nuances, its essence remains unchanged

    Having made this clarification, we can get down to business. 

    If we segment audience according to the role of the person who carries out the search, we can find the private users who wish to make individual and personal purchases (also called B2C or Business to Consumer)

    In contrast, we have those who search, as purchases responsible in a business, the so-called B2B or Business to Business. To adapt to this second type, we must consider our strategy taking into account the following aspects
  • #1 – Lower search volumes

  • This is absolutely natural. As with niche eCommerce, B2B online stores have a more limited universe to focus on. Fewer people searching for fewer products

    If you sell shoes generically, your competition will be greater; Although, at the same time, more people will be interested in this product than if what you sell are safety shoes for welders. Let´s  see this example with real data from Google Ads scheduler: 
  • Where do we want to go with all this? Well, the importance of decoupling the idea of large amounts of traffic from business. Focus on fighting for searches that really align with what you want to sell. If you open the fan too much, you may get more visits, but due to irrelevant traffic for the search engine and null for conversion to sale. Choose the keywords well and focus your efforts on them. 

    Just traffic makes very little sense and sets outs two scenarios, both negative in terms of SEO since, either we have many impressions and few clicks, or we have many irrelevant clicks that make the bounce rate rise and produce the undesired pogo sticking  effect . The CTR suffers and our authority is seriously damaged ... bad business
  • #2 – Write using B2B terms

  • In this blog we have spoken about the importance of copywriting in the product sheet or any landing page of an eCommerce more than once

    Text is key for both the user and search engines, as it largely defines the content of those URLs

    Within your keyword research you must add that terminology used by professionals in a certain sector. Keep in mind that "industrial appliance" can be highly searched, but perhaps your target audience uses other terms, such as "industrial kitchen machinery" or, directly, uses certain jargon that is unknown to another type of customer. 
  • It is true that when we talk about keyword research for B2C eCommerce we always recommend avoiding technical terminology, but in the case of B2B stores, in addition to help us find the right person, it also generates a certain sense of authority that sets us apart from a general store.  

    This stimulates certain purchase drivers rather than SEO as such, but authority is basic to achieve positioning. 
  • #3 – Pay attention to professional search intention

  • In the case of B2B, not only do you have to use the correct words, but you also have to understand that search intention is something different or has a different weight. 

    Usually, we talk about types of keywords

      • Informational: terms used in the preliminary phase. The user begins to investigate in the middle of the discovery phase of the Customer Journey. 
      • Decision makers: they have a research and comparison component. These users already know what they need and begin to define their specific objective by comparing and refining the search. 
      • Transactional: they are aimed directly at closing conversion. 
      • Navigational: this is due to locating a website or brand that the user already knows.                                  
    In the case of the B2B client, decision- makers are very important. Keep in mind that B2C is usually the only decision maker in the final purchase, but behind a company there are a number of co-decision-makers to be convinced, and each one has different motivations. That is, in general, forget about impulse buying. 
  • For content purposes, this means that you have to work on copywriting so that it serves different purchase motivations in a polyhedral way. 

    When planning your keyword research, it will surely be very useful for you to resort to several buyer persona with the corresponding well-defined archetypes. Those terms that converge between all of them will be the most interesting to work on. 

    When this is not possible, consider making specific content in other places that are not necessarily the product sheets: the blog, some good FAQs and other pages such as Who We Are carries more weight in SEO strategy and will contribute to the purchase decision
  • #4 – Authority from partners

  • One of the most uphill aspects of any SEO project, either B2B or B2C, is that of linkbuilding. How to generate quality links that help my page to gain authority

    For eCommerce that sells to businesses, here is a great and very organic opportunity . By definition, a B2B-oriented store has an entire ecosystem of suppliers and customers around it, many of which, in turn, have their own stores and corporate pages

    Take advantage of that closeness to ask them to link you from their websites. These links contextually make a lot of sense and report authority indisputably. This is one of the first levers that you must activate. 

    Then press releases will come, search our brand in Google to locate unlinked mentions and other techniques. 
  • I hope this has been useful for you to outline the SEO action plan for B2B. If you have more questions, do not hesitate to asking us!

  • Images | Unsplash.

Jordi Ordóñez

Jordi Ordóñez is an eCommerce and SEO consultant with 16 years of experience in online projects. He has advised clients such as Castañer, Textura, Acumbamail, Kartox or Casa Ametller. Write in the official blog of Prestashop, BrainSINS, Marketing4ecommerce, Photography eCommerce, Socialancer, and SEMRush among others. He is an editor on the Oleoshop blog.

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