The company that targets other businesses to sell products and services (B2B) and the company that targets the individual consumer directly (B2C) share similar goals – that of growing web traffic, creating a sale, and boosting profits. Buyers approach B2Bs and B2Cs purely for addressing specific needs.
As a B2B or B2C company, your target may be the decision maker in another company or the independent consumer. Both targets use search engines to zero in on high-ranking websites, assess what’s on display, and if they like what they see, proceed to the shopping cart and complete the checkout process.
The similarities end there.
B2B and B2C digital marketing and SEO strategies are worlds apart in their execution. If you’re leading a growing business, you need to understand the differences in B2B and B2C SEO campaigns that impact the bottom-line. You need clarity on SEO strategy to achieve goals and fulfill objectives quickly.
With the myriad strategies that have come and gone, SEO still remains one of the most effective methods of making your brand known, reaching your target audience, and improving ROI on any campaign. You could be doing SEO in-house or using exceptionally skilled SEO for SaaS service providers; it pays to know the key factors that contribute to making successful SEO campaigns both in B2B and B2C brands.
Let’s take a closer look at how the approach to SEO differs when it comes to B2Bs and B2Cs.
Consumers Are Attracted by the Language of Emotion and Visual Appeal; Companies Respond Best to Precision Targeting
When you’re B2C selling a garment, it’s enough for the consumer to judge if the product has the right quality, style or design, and comes value-added with an affordable price tag. On the other hand, when you’re B2B selling software, the buyer will probe the features and consider how the software can be integrated with existing company systems.
The consumer is happy if his immediate needs are satisfied. The company will demand more information before reaching a decision. Addressing needs that are specific (as with consumers) and needs that are customized (to company requirements) require different SEO strategies.
The language and keywords will be suffused with visual appeal and seek to connect consumers at an emotional level. The same language becomes geekier and technical, use industry-specific keywords, and will sound more professional when you’re targeting a company.
Consumer Decisions Are Propelled by Product Specifications and USPs; Companies Judge You Through the Prism of Risk Avoidance
In B2C campaigns, the decision-making process is simplified for consumers because you’ll be providing product specifications, available options, variations in pricing, and a brief description of the product. With a well-constructed on-page and off-page SEO campaign, you’re ready to reap the benefit of incoming organic and paid searches.
The decision-making process in companies is often shared by multiple officials, and each will be researching competitive products and services that easily integrate with company requirements at least possible risk.
When the B2B buyer reaches you, he’s probably done his research and knows exactly what his company needs, and considers your offer only if it matches that requirement. Tackling the knowledgeable B2B buyer requires the construction of landing pages that are most likely to answer specific issues that concern the industry.
B2C SEO Campaigns Will Be Short, and Focused on Booking Immediate Sales; B2B SEO Campaigns Convert Leads Over the Long-Term
There is a fundamental difference in the way consumers and companies buy goods and services.
The consumer lands up on a site, sees something of interest and makes an impulse purchase satisfying the immediate need. Companies won’t be content with a product preview; they may request a demo, take a free trial, download a whitepaper or make direct inquiries before they decide.
The B2C SEO optimized sales pitch will be geared to encourage the consumer to visit, view, evaluate, and buy – all in one single session. With thousands of prospects buying products in one-on-one sessions, B2C campaigns will focus on attracting maximum traffic to encourage more visitors to convert and churn the sales funnel.
The B2B SEO optimized campaign, on the other hand, is backed by more in-depth market analysis, and is planned over longer durations. Converting one company lead could be enough to set you up for a quarter.
You’ll be investing more time doing competitor SEO analysis and learning more about the industries that require your services. The success of a B2B SEO campaign rests in your ability to convince companies that your customized solution integrates with company requirements, unlike any other offer.
B2C Campaigns Leverage Keyword Searches Targeting Higher Search Volumes; B2B Campaigns Focus on Niche-Specific Long-Tailed Keywords
The B2C keyword research gets immersed in high search volume keywords characterizing the niche. It’s usually enough to target keywords which are not too saturated, yet are capable of attracting decent traffic that’s convertible in the short-term.
The B2B campaign poses a different set of challenges. Here you’ll encounter multiple decision makers entering and leaving the sales-funnel at various points. To attract the right kind of traffic, you’ll need long-tailed keywords that convey technical information which appeals to company decision-makers at all levels.
B2B SEO is challenging because of the difficulty in standardizing highly technical concepts or ideas. The only way out is to be crystal clear about what the company wants and to do what it takes to fulfill that need, making it amply clear that you have what it takes to deliver the goods.
Whether you’re deeply invested in B2B or B2C campaigns, SEO optimization as a strategic marketing tool will require constant fine-tuning and an approach that is geared more for the long-term for better results.
Google in its quest for the ultimate search algorithm is adding artificial intelligence to empower its already formidable array of search parameters, so any SEO strategy that you formulate must adopt user-friendly practices and remain on the right side of Google.
It is possible for businesses to handle both B2B and B2C offerings at the same time as brands compete to cater to a broader market for diversifying the business. A classic example would be Amazon that gained iconic status as a B2C through its retail website and simultaneously offers B2B cloud computing services through Amazon Web Services (AWS).