SEO has taken center stage when it comes to digital marketing, but should you be concerned about the differences between B2B and B2C SEO?
The answer is yes because selling to businesses is a very different process than selling to customers. Here are important differences between B2B and B2C to consider when crafting your web content.
Consumer Keywords vs. Business Goals
An effective way to understand the differences between B2B and B2C SEO is that business people typically do more research than consumers when it comes to spending. Commercial entities are more likely to search for processes (such as “how to fix” articles) rather than typing in just a keyword that represents a product. Consumer intent, however, leans more toward searching for specific products.
Remember that a B2B buyer within an organization is someone who isn’t a sole decision-maker. Most likely, they have to answer to a committee, which is why conversions take longer.
Since businesses such as wholesalers rarely publish prices, whereas sellers of consumer items do, you have to factor in the concept that business product buyers often care more about solution functions and quality.
In that sense, B2B sites should emphasize comparing quality rather than price with competitors.
Business managers are also more likely to search for specific items based on long-tail keyword phrases. The fundamental idea is that consumers tend to be less picky about product details, whereas businesses look for close matches to their goals. Consumers can be sold more on emotional impact, whereas businesses are more concerned with how the product will help generate ROI.
Common B2B Approaches
- explainer video with a clear value proposition
- corporate history page
- in-depth product content that provides technical details
- more interaction and answering questions privately
- use of serious blogs that emphasize expertise over personality
Explainer videos can help both B2B and B2C companies communicate more effectively with audiences. The subtle difference is that a B2B usually needs to make technical information easy to digest.
In contrast, a B2C firm doesn’t have to worry as much about educating the customer, especially if visuals tell most of the story. A clear value proposition, which is a positioning statement that explains what’s in it for the buyer, is essential for B2B content. The consumer isn’t as bound by the clock as a business, whether it’s for short-term or long-term purchasing. A business either has an urgent need for a product or is planning on making a well thought out decision.
The goal of an explainer video is to simplify or demystify any product, but business products tend to involve much more technical details that affect decision-making.
Common B2C Techniques
- a short explainer video that summarizes product processes and features
- more interaction through public social media posts
- use of light-hearted and entertaining blogs that evoke emotion
- broader types of calls to action
- more urgency to buy now without resorting to hype
The Power of Relevant Titles
One of the most fundamental ways to use either B2B or B2C SEO effectively is to write captivating titles and subtitles that summarize sections of content. Placing a relevant keyword at the beginning of the title helps search engines understand your content better.
Remember to make every word count in the title. By improving titles with relevant keywords, it’s possible to exponentially boost organic visitors to your site, as well as click-through rate. You should also make every word count for content to the degree that you’re not using fluff just to reach a certain word count.
B2C sites can be more personality-oriented and speak directly to the consumer, whereas B2B websites need to use more standard business talk that acknowledges how the product contributes to business goals.
Consumers aren’t buying products to make profits, whereas organizations that are will take money and budgeting much more seriously.
Why B2B SEO Requires Deeper Content
Selling to consumers online involves moving them through a sales funnel full of product information and answering questions through email or social media.
A B2B relationship deals less with the sales funnel and more with the specific content details, as well as establishing a more long-term relationship.
Interaction between businesses and customers relies on friendly and straightforward communication without getting too deep into product details. Selling to businesses has a much more informative tone.
Another difference between B2B and B2C SEO is in the way you study analytics.
A B2C site tries to gain clicks and conversions with links to take visitors to other pages full of links to broader products.
A B2B site, however, needs a sharper focus on specific topics that lead users in a more linear direction. The reason for this major difference is that consumers don’t need to be experts on the products they buy, whereas business clients take on higher risks by paying more and are not as easily swayed by marketing. Business clients are less fickle and are searching more for long-term solutions with quantifiable reviews and product results.
Staying with SEO Basics
Google and other search engines are constantly updating their search algorithms, but remain consistent in weeding out irrelevant sites and prioritizing content-rich sites.
One of the keys to SEO that hasn’t changed is that backlinks need to be relevant to count. So if a small company gets a link from a large established company, it helps if the industries are clearly related.
Another fundamental philosophy for businesses is to optimize local SEO by submitting to various local directories.
Understanding B2B vs. B2C SEO
The main difference between B2B and B2C SEO is that the B2B approach takes much more time to gain conversions.
Factors affecting B2B transactions include higher prices and products or services that may not get as much exposure through media due to association with wholesalers and other less publicized supply chain vendors. In that sense, B2B requires more data to persuade buyers.