The B2B and B2C worlds are different in a lot of ways. B2B stands for business-to-business and it means selling products or services to other businesses. On the other hand, B2C stands for business-to-consumer and it entails selling products or services directly to end-consumers. Both businesses are marketed in different ways, and when the businesses are different, then how can their approaches be the same? Both B2B and B2C businesses support different sales cycles, have direct target audiences and are motivated by different business reasons. The same extends to SEO. Understanding the difference between B2B and B2C SEO can help you in improving your SEO strategy for the good. Hence, this piece has been put together to enlist the key differences between B2B and B2C SEO. Let’s get started!
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- Keyword strategy:- Since most B2C companies offer tangible products, their focus is mostly to identify and target high-intent keywords. On the other hand, since B2B companies don’t offer intangible products and services, it’s difficult to figure out which keywords are high-intent and which aren’t. The best way out for B2C companies should develop a keyword strategy centered around their most popular products where they use brand and style as keyword modifiers. Later, landing pages and implement filters can be developed to back up these keywords. Products can be separated by brand or type and then optimized for keywords. On the other hand, the best way out for B2B companies is to conduct extensive research on their customers. This can be done by simply talking to customers, surveys, inspecting corporate contact databases or consulting with sales reps. Here your goal should be to figure out the kind of searches that leads to purchases. If and when B2C companies have a fair idea of what their target audiences are searching for, they should focus on developing informational content in the form of whitepapers, webinars, and eBooks.
- Content marketing:- For B2C companies, the focus should be on building links and advertising as in the B2C world, purchases tend to have lower risk and are also less expensive. On the other hand, in the B2B industry, purchases are comparatively more expensive and usually more than one person makes the final decision to buy or not buy something. Resultantly, B2B content focuses on increasing brand awareness and educating people. In terms of content, the best way for B2C companies is to provide clear product details. There is no need to indulge in marketing mumbo-jumbo or unnecessarily over-explain things as the average B2C buyer isn’t bothered by too many details. For B2B companies, they should focus on providing content that is valuable for both search engines and their prospective buyers. If the content doesn’t provide value, then it might be difficult to win the searcher’s business.
- User Intent:- Regardless of the SEO you invest in, your goal should not just be to rank for a keyword but also to provide valuable information to the searcher who clicks through to your site. To provide valuable information, you will need to understand the searcher’s intent. Mostly, B2C buyers are looking to make purchases and B2B buyers are searching for a solution to their problems. For B2C companies the best way out is to make it very easy for their customers to make purchases or else they run the high risk of losing their business. SEO should be focused on product pages so that people coming onto the website can find and purchase what they want, right away. For B2B companies, the best way out is to use keywords smartly in their content and effectively guide buyers through the sales funnel.
- Key Performance Indicators:- Since the goals of both B2B and B2C companies are different, then how can their metrics to measure success be the same. B2B companies measure their SEO success by using metrics like lead quantity and quality. On the contrary, B2C companies judge their SEO success based on sales generated from organic traffic. For B2B companies, the conversion happens after a conversation with a sales representative while for B2C companies, the conversions happen after a visit to the site. B2C companies should use different metrics to understand how much of their organic traffic converts into paying customers and then work to increase their conversion rate. On the other hand, since B2B conversations happen mostly because of sales conversations, the focus of B2B companies and their professionals should be on high-quality leads.
- Marketing Campaign Goals:- One of the major differences between B2B and B2C SEO is the goals of the marketing campaigns. The goal of B2B SEO is to raise awareness and generate leads that can turn into sales in the long-term. This is achieved by compelling the visitor to sign up for newsletters or download white papers for more information. On the other contrary, B2C seeks to get visitors to make immediate purchases from their website. These different goals affect most decisions made throughout the SEO process.
- Keyword Selection process:- Keyword selection is one of the most important parts of any SEO campaign. Since the buying cycle for B2B businesses is comparatively long, they focus on attracting audiences from all levels of the buyer’s journey. Keyword research is a lot more extensive in B2B campaigns and the keywords selected are mostly informational and transactional. Higher search volume is what makes things complex in the B2C keyword research process. Since most B2C companies often target smaller, niche audiences, the keywords are often more technical. The focus for B2C companies should be to find keywords that aren’t either too niche or too broad but can still lead to quality traffic.
- Link building:- After keyword research, it’s time for link building. It is easy for B2C companies to build links because they serve a wider audience. On the other hand, B2B companies have to work really hard for getting high-quality links. Since link building is also about attracting the attention of target audiences, it is important for businesses of both kinds to figure out where their target audiences spend most of their time on the internet. They should then try to get links in those places. Both types of companies should aim to develop a diverse link-building strategy as it considerably enhances their chances of getting more visibility.
- Conversion goals:- B2C companies focus on getting a high volume of leads or getting their customers to face an order as fast as possible. On the other hand for B2B companies, since people take a lot of time to make their final decision, the focus is on getting high-quality leads. Target audiences in B2B are business managers and decision-makers and hence it is so different than B2C in most ways, including and especially SEO. Since the B2B sales cycle takes months to complete, the goal is to get qualified leads that will stay for a long period of time.
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The Bottom Line
There you have it. Those were the 8 key differences between B2B SEO and B2C SEO. If and when you apply the insights as have been mentioned above, you will be able to take your business to the next level. SEO will need constant adjustment for both B2B and B2C companies. The future of your business depends as much on sales as it does on your reputation. Along with SEO, you need to actively manage the reputation of your company and ensure that you portray it in the best possible light in the digital world. You can hire an online reputation management agency for professional reasons and a personal reputation management company for managing your personal reputation.
I am Neeraj Dabas. I am a Professional Blogger and Content Writer. I am working with an online reputation management agency. In my professional life have written many useful articles about WordPress, social media, SEO and almost all about Digital Marketing.