How to build a B2B SEO strategy to enable growth 

If you are looking to leverage SEO for your B2B business, there is a difference between simply understanding the importance of SEO and, actively taking the steps to build your B2B SEO strategy.  

Our Head of SEO, Paul Ngoie, is a passionate digital marketing expert and has more than 14 years of experience in SEO. With a proven track record of success, Paul has delivered effective SEO and digital strategies for different business sizes across a vast range of industries and sectors. 

In this article, Paul shares insights around the importance of SEO for B2B businesses and his actionable tips to drive your SEO strategy forward.  

Headshot of Paul Ngoie

Key differences between B2C and B2B SEO

Before you create an SEO strategy for your business, you need to understand what B2B SEO is and how it differs from B2C. You also need to step inside the minds of your customers to direct them to your content so you can maximise conversions. 

So, let’s begin with understanding the key differences. While B2B SEO focuses on boosting the visibility of specific products and services targeted at business buyers, B2C SEO focuses on promoting products and services that customers are actively looking for. The volume and variation of keywords, therefore, is much larger in B2C SEO than B2B. 

Another important difference is the device that customers use. With B2C SEO, the split between desktop and mobile leans more towards mobile. However, with B2B SEO, a higher percentage of users will use desktop. Since users are purchasing products and services for business use, they are likely to use their work computer rather than a personal device. Admittedly, some B2B buyers will work on the go. In fact, 58% of all searches on Google come from mobile devices and so, it is still vital to optimise your website for mobile users and factor mobile into your SEO strategy.

Understanding B2B customers online

B2B customers will typically search for specific products and services they need. For example, if a company wants to change the digital platform their website operates on, they are likely to search for information around specific platforms that can meet their needs. This is referred to as an information-based search, with the customer looking to gather insight to help make informed decisions.  

Once the customer is set on one platform based on the information they have read, they will likely move on to search for specific terms around that platform. If Adobe Commerce is the chosen platform for example, they may search for ‘Adobe Commerce web development agency’. The results of this search will present them with a list of businesses with specialisms related to their search query. They can then choose to submit an enquiry or make a phone call to any of these agencies and start conversations with the ones that most closely meets their needs. 

This process may seem straightforward, but in general, B2B decision-making can be more complex than B2C. Typically, there is a need to speak to the supplier, and then go through a negotiation process. 

As an example, if a business owner is looking for a new accounting system for their business, they will not simply visit a website, subscribe to the system and start using it immediately. Instead, they are more likely to submit an enquiry, book a demo, or request a call with the team before making a definitive decision.  

This contrasts with the classic B2C buying process, whereby a customer will search for, find and buy a product, all within the same session and with minimal input from the supplier themselves.  

“Let your SEO keyword research shape how you present yourself online as a B2B business. The terms you use and the ways
in which you promote yourself should not neglect SEO."

Taking steps forward

If you are keen to make strides forward with your B2B SEO strategy, there are some practical things you can do.   

When developing your B2B SEO strategy, your focus should be around how you carry out your keyword research and build this into the architecture of your website. 

In terms of the structure, organisation, and layout of your website, look to include more enquiry-type functionality in your site, such as contact forms and live chat. This will help you understand how your customers think and draw them to your content. When targeting specific keywords, consider the way a B2B customer will search, the terms they will use and the limited number of keywords that are likely to apply to their search query. By taking these steps, your prospective customers are much more likely to find you online. 

Shaping your keywords

A common mistake in B2B is that owners of the site will often describe a product or service in a different way than users. 

For example, ‘digital transformation’ is a broad and overarching term. Users are unlikely to conduct a search for ‘digital transformation company’. Targeting keywords like these would not prove as valuable compared to terms that are likely to be searched such as a ‘digital strategy’ companies or ‘digital strategy agency’. 

The important point here is to let your SEO keyword research shape how you present yourself online as a B2B business. The terms you use and the ways in which you promote yourself should not neglect SEO. You should prioritise the practical benefits of incorporating B2B SEO keywords into your business’s vocabulary. 

People holding a printed pie chart and viewing data to make business decisions

B2B SEO doesn’t have to be complex

SEO can have real impact when services are straightforward with little to no ambiguity. 

For example, if a user is looking for a payment solution for a small company, they are likely to know exactly what they are looking for. The terms they are searching are therefore likely to closely reflect their requirements. By ensuring your content is optimised to include the most relevant and searched keywords around payment solutions for small businesses, you can significantly boost leads to your site.

"Organic search accounts for 53% of website traffic and typically results in higher conversion rates."

How to enhance your SEO as a B2B business

Having supported a variety of B2B businesses with SEO spanning several industries, my first step would be to conduct a holistic audit of your site. 

An audit looks at the technical aspects of your B2B website, evaluates the keywords that are present, and analyses historical data. With this information, you can create a clear picture of where your website is at, and what can be done to take it to the next level.  

The next step would be to carry out competitor analysis. By developing your understanding of what your competitors are doing and the keywords they are using, you can gain actionable insights and pinpoint specific keywords to target on your own B2B website. 

A competitor analysis could also highlight what terminology is being used within your industry and niche, allowing you to craft relevant content and drive more traffic to your site.  

Kick-start your SEO plans

Business charts and data displayed on a tablet screen

As organic search accounts for 53% of website traffic and typically results in higher conversion rates, there is no better time than the present to start taking advantage of the endless possibilities B2B SEO can bring to your business. 

Here at Williams Commerce, our team have provided B2B SEO consultancy for a broad range of businesses driving impressive results for clients such as leading golf brand Ping. Read our case study to find out how we increased keyword rankings by 296%. 

Our team of experts can do the heavy lifting for you and support your SEO efforts by conducting a holistic audit of your B2B website. As part of our service, we will also carry out a dedicated competitor analysis to help you to develop a deeper understanding of what your competitors are doing in the space.  

 If you would like our support with reviewing your current SEO and our advice on how you can take your B2B SEO to the next level, get in touch for a free consultation. 



More Insights