B2B web design is different than it is for B2C sites, requiring a distinct approach. Still, just as with B2C sites, SEO is equally important, although different.
Continue reading for a B2B web design and SEO guide.
What’s the Plan?
It is essential to create an attractive B2B website. However, an effective B2B website is about more than looks. You must devise website strategies that consider several elements. These elements include:
These elements are just what you need to get started. Let’s start diving deeper into the details of what it takes to create an effective B2B website.
Establishing B2B Design Goals
Most importantly, your website must generate leads. Moreover, it must do so consistently. It’s also important for your website to produce a sufficient volume of leads.
These are the elements needed to grow your business. You must achieve several objectives to create these elements.
For example, your website must produce considerable traffic. It must also contain content that engages your visitors. Also, your content must convince those visitors to convert.
In other words, your website must support your audiences’ decision-making process. It must convince them to convert in one way or the other.
You may want your audience to contact your sales department for more information. Alternatively, you may want them to browse your catalog and eventually make a purchase. In either case, the goal of your B2B website is to support these kinds of outcomes.
The path to a more effective B2B website starts with research. If your website has been producing results, of course, you’ll need to do something different.
Still, it may surprise you to learn that even an underperforming website can provide you with valuable information. It can tell you about the external and internal website changes you need to make to get your site to perform well.
If you haven’t done it already, start running Google Analytics and Search Console on your website immediately. You want to keep it running as long as possible. These tools will give you added information to help you plan your new website.
Google Analytics and Search Console work hand-in-hand. Google Analytics helps you to evaluate your traffic, while Search Console helps you to uncover technical problems.
You’ll also want to install a heat map tool like Hotjar right away. A heat map tool shows you how your customers spend time on your site.
It will show you where they spend their time and what they ignore. In other words, it will show you what works—and what doesn’t.
Finally, you must evaluate your competitors. You need to figure out what they’re doing that’s working. You must also figure out how you’re going to differentiate yourself from your competition.
What Is B2B Web Design?
Now, let’s start taking a closer look at the differences between B2B and B2C web design and SEO.
Of course, SEO still stands for search engine optimization in B2B web design. It’s all about optimizing your website to rank better on Google.
Remember, however, that your work here also provides you with benefits across lesser-known but still relevant SERPs. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it stands for search engine results pages.
It’s easy to misunderstand the inner workings of B2B SEO. There are many misconceptions regarding the technical aspects and purpose of B2B SEO.
Clearing Up B2C vs B2B SEO
For both B2C and B2B websites, SEO is about reaching your ideal audience using SERPs. With B2B sites, however, your audience is professionals and stakeholders in a target company. You want these individuals to find your business on search engine results pages.
Suppose you sell cloud-based storage. Then your B2B SEO campaigns might target IT managers, entrepreneurs, or startup companies. You might even optimize website SEO for a campaign to target data scientists who need cloud storage.
What B2B SEO Is Not
B2B SEO is not a secret method that will trick the Google search algorithm into skyrocketing your website to the top of search results. It’s a series of optimizations that will take time.
For example, it takes time to develop the right content for high-quality B2B SEO. As you develop content, it’s also important that it aligns with the goals of the Google algorithm.
Google representatives have stated many times that the goal of their algorithm is to better organize online information. Moreover, the company wants to make that information more accessible and useful.
The more useful your content is for intended users, the better it will rank. With this in mind, you must perform several optimizations to promote increased accessibility, relevance, and usability.
How B2B Web Design Works
There are both on-site and off-site elements of your B2B website that you must optimize. Some of these elements will improve your SEO performance more than others.
These elements are called “ranking signals.” You may also hear ranking signals called “ranking factors.”
It’s estimated that the Google algorithm has more than 200 ranking signals, but don’t worry. We’re going to break those signals down into three digestible chunks.
Types of Website Optimizations
You can think of Google ranking signals in terms of three categories. These categories include:
1. On-page non-technical SEO
2. Off-page technical SEO
3. Off-page SEO
Optimizing on-page non-technical SEO signals mostly involves what you do with your content. For instance, you might optimize your use of keywords. Here, you’d also optimize your title and meta descriptions.
Meanwhile, on-page technical SEO involves things such as improving the load speed of your website. This area of optimization may also include creating a mobile responsive design.
Finally, off-page SEO involves things outside of your website that can improve your ranking results. For example, building and managing backlink quality would fall into this category of optimization.
Steps for Business to Business SEO
If you’ve been wondering, “What is business to business SEO?” Here’s where you’ll begin to do things a bit differently for your B2B website. There are four important steps you want to take to implement SEO for your business to business site.
First, you’ll need to find out what keywords your audience searches for when they want information relevant to your offering. Second, you must develop high-quality content that targets those keywords and fulfills users’ search intent.
Third, you must optimize the non-technical and technical SEO aspects of your website. The goal here is to provide the best experience for users and keep them on your site as long as possible.
Finally, you must promote your content. In part, this involves earning highly credible backlinks directing potential leads to your website.
Getting in the Heads of Your Buyers
Now, think about the decision-makers and stakeholders at the business you’re targeting. Typically, these individuals are going to buy more expensive products.
Also, the products they’ll buy are more likely long-term investments. With these points in mind, organizations will have many more things to consider compared to individual consumers.
For instance, multiple people are likely to take part in the buying process of a business. Also, a business buyer will use Google with a different search intent compared to a consumer.
Who Are the Players?
As you deploy your SEO strategy, you must consider all stakeholders and decision-makers you’re targeting at a company. You must think about these individuals’ different search intents.
For example, practitioners may want actionable and tactical content. Mid-level executives and managers might desire high-level strategic content. Meanwhile, high-level executives and financial officers might want information that would justify their investment in your offering.
With this in mind, you’ll need to develop several different buyer personas that apply to your target company. These buyer personas will help you develop strategies to help you target these various stakeholders and decision-makers with your content.
Understanding B2B SEO Metrics
Now, you’re halfway there. Here, you want to start thinking about the nature of B2B conversions.
B2B sales channels typically have a lower conversion rate. The sales cycle is also much longer compared to a B2C sales channel.
These circumstances can arise due to many factors. Most often, however, the sales cycle behaves in this manner because B2B goods are often more costly compared to consumer goods.
With a B2C website, for instance, you might develop content with the intention of directly guiding buyers to a sale. With B2B content, however, you want to slowly educate and inform your audience.
You want to provide them with general information and specific tips. Use your content as an opportunity to educate your audience about your product or service.
Thinking in Terms of B2B Sales
Your content should align with your B2B sales funnel. However, that doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore keywords that may have high-conversion intent.
In some instances, stakeholders may have a high purchase intent in your niche. High-conversion intent keywords can help you capitalize on this kind of opportunity.
A Different Plan of Attack
Here’s where B2C and B2B websites really start to diverge. As you choose keywords, you should look for low search volume keywords with high value.
This keyword targeting method may feel counterintuitive if you’re familiar with B2C SEO. However, the B2B marketplace is much smaller than the consumer marketplace.
In the B2C space, you might look for keywords with 10,000 to 100,000 searches every month. In the B2B space, however, a keyword with only ten searches per month can prove extremely valuable.
At the same time, you may want to get the most mileage out of your content. Some companies achieve this goal by grouping several keywords together in a single article.
This helps B2B website owners generate a steady stream of organic traffic. In this instance, however, even 100 views per month could provide phenomenal results.
Creating the Right Brand Image
B2B buyers aren’t likely to convert on their first visit. In the B2B marketplace, it’s important to establish your brand as an expert and thought leader.
For instance, an IT executive may find your content in search engine results. Now, they’re aware of your offering, and they’re interested in your product or service. Still, they must usually convince other stakeholders in their organization.
Alternatively, your content might solve a problem that your reader’s organization has yet to face. However, a site visitor will remember what you published when the solution addressed in your content arises. Here, you’ve established your brand in the memory of an organization insider.
Covering All the Bases
Now, you have a better idea of how to conduct your keyword research. You’ll need to do some investigating to learn what keywords of value are relevant for your product or service.
Even after choosing the right keywords and establishing the right expectations, however, your keywords will only perform as well as the strength of your content. Furthermore, you must optimize your website so that your audience can consume that content as easily as possible.
As far as increasing your B2B search engine visibility, you’ll want to do a good job of earning inbound links to your content. This practice will help to increase your Google ranking.
Here, however, is where many organizations face a considerable challenge. Often, they seek help from an expert B2B SEO agency for this reason.
Staying Focused on the Prize
Overall, your B2B SEO strategy is only as good as your content and keywords. You could rank for every keyword imaginable, but it won’t result in conversions if it’s not the ones your buyers look for on search engines. Here, you must think about the needs of your potential buyers.
B2B SEO is a long game. You must maintain consistency and quality. It’s helpful to develop a content calendar that will help you meet their needs.
As your SEO campaign progresses, you’ll want to keep an eye on your ranking with Google. You’ll also want to keep track of how many sites link back to yours. You must also stay on top of Google Search Console to make sure that the technical aspects of your website remain top-notch.
A B2B SEO Agency That Gets Results
Now you know a bit more about B2B web design—in theory. However, it can prove quite challenging to stay on top of these and the other aspects of B2B SEO every day. Iconic Web HQ is here to help.
At Iconic Web HQ, we help companies translate their goals into a unified and intuitive digital platform. We can help you optimize your B2B website to give it the competitive edge that you need.
Please feel free to contact us today to book an intro call.