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5 Tips for Better B2B Search Engine Marketing 
Posted by blog - Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Search engine marketing is a top priority for companies of all types in today's digital age whether those efforts are part of a B2B marketing program or B2C. Business to Business search marketing however, takes a slightly different form than B2C. Typically, B2B markets are smaller, products and services are more complex, and sales cycles are longer.

B2B marketing must carefully consider target keywords, online content and link building a bit differently. Here are 5 B2B search marketing tips that can help companies maximize their results:

Getting found is just the beginning

1. While B2C companies can reasonably expect to generate a purchase from a single site visit, the sales cycle for B2B companies is much longer. Once a prospect finds the B2B website via search, the real work begins to convert the prospect to a sale. Understanding the B2B searcher and their position within the sales cycle (Evaluation, Consideration, Purchase) is essential for creating appropriate optimized content to meet their needs.

Content is key for B2B websites

2. For B2C websites, the majority of content focuses purely on product information. Because sales conversions for B2B organizations are based more on building relationships, content must position that organization as an industry thought leader and a trusted resource. Including video demos, case studies and newsletters on a site can help B2B organizations build relationships with their audience.

More robust B2B keyword glossaries

3. Clearly, targeting the proper keywords is essential to any search marketing campaign. But for B2B organizations, keywords need to cover a longer buying cycle, and therefore must often be more diverse than B2C target keywords. Prospects at the beginning of a sales cycle might use certain terms to search for information that differs from terms used by those ready to purchase. That variety of keywords must be supported by relevant content and link building as well.


Link building outside the box

4. Because B2B markets are typically smaller than B2C markets, there may be fewer websites capable of linking to B2B sites. Consider the amount of fashion-related blogs compared to food processing technology blogs. To increase the number of inbound links to their sites, B2B organizations must get a little creative:

B2B organizations can approach their supplier networks for inbound links to their site
B2B organizations with a small target audience can create link bait focused on a different, but related, market. For very specific niches, a B2B blog audience can be widened by blogging about more general company-related issues.

Speak to multiple entities within a business

5. Unlike B2C purchases, B2B purchases involve different stakeholders within a company. Each stakeholder comes to the site with a different set of expectations.

For example, a B2B site that sells recruitment software might be visited by a company’s HR manager to gauge the effectiveness of the software. A member of the company’s finance department might visit the site to assess the value of the product. In still another scenario, a member of the company’s IT department might visit the site to learn how the software can be integrated into the overall system.

There are many different considerations for B2B search marketing vs B2C. As with any marketing strategy, it's important to understand the unique needs of the target audience, how they search, evaluate solutions, consume information and ultimately, how search affects their decision making, both directly and indirectly.

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