If your business provides services to other businesses--perhaps you offer rapid prototyping or human resources services--then the way you market your company will be different from business to consumer (B2C) companies.
These differences even extend to your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, taking basic SEO strategies and refining them to better suit your needs. To get to that point, though, you have to have a firm grasp of the basics. Following that, you must clearly define your goals. If you don't know where you're trying to go, you'll never get there.
Most SEO campaigns are aimed at increasing visibility to individual consumers and are created accordingly, but if your clients are businesses you'll have to adjust those tactics to suit them.
Learn the Basics
There are a few practices that make up the foundation for any SEO campaign, namely your website's structure and navigation, keyword choice, context, content and the number of outbound links on each page.
- The URL for each web page should be simple and human-readable – not a computer-generated text string. This makes it easier for people to read it and gives search engines more information to help categorize each page and its contents.
- Having clear, simple navigation menus that offer easy access to the most important pages tells search engines that your website is well-built and that you've taken the time to provide a good user experience.
- Choosing keywords that match your goals and your audience is the most important aspect of any SEO campaign. Being able to attain spot 1 for "apple pie" is a marvelous achievement, but if your business has nothing to do with pastries that time was wasted.
- Keep outbound links to a minimum. If you have too many links your site will hemorrhage link juice or--worse--will be viewed as spammy by Google, earning you a sizeable downrank.
Define Your Goals
Your SEO path will be largely defined by the results you want to see.
- Evaluate who your audience is,
- what service you're trying to sell and
- what you want searchers to do when they find your site.
- Do you want them to sign up for email updates on your products or would you rather they fill out a form so you can contact them about your services?
- Are you trying to provide as much information to them as possible or are you directing them down a conversion funnel as quickly as possible? Before you can figure out what you want to do, you need to figure out where you want to be.
B2B SEO has some marked differences from B2C SEO.
- Keyword choice has to cover a broad range for businesses, because most business buying choices aren't decided by individuals and are based on extensive research. By selecting keywords to bring searchers in at each point in the purchasing process, from early research to in-depth research, all the way through to the final purchase, you increase your chances of profitable conversions.
- Content production for B2B has to be tied very closely to your industry, increasing your perception as a thought leader in your field and increasing the relevance in the eyes of search engines.
Your content should answer questions that businesses have before they even ask, giving you the ability to create a relationship with potential clients by giving them reason to respect you and your work.
By targeting your SEO campaign specifically towards your desired clients, you can increase not only your rankings but also the likelihood that you'll see more profitable conversions down the line.