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B2B SEO vs B2C SEO strategies: What's the difference? (Infographic)

February 5, 2016
United Kingdom

Keith Hodges, head of SEO at POLARIS, highlights the differences between B2B and B2C SEO campaigns.

SEO agencies usually handle both B2B and B2C accounts, but B2B marketers know they should be handled differently. Indeed a B2B SEO campaign follows a sector-specific strategy, and often a much longer sales process. Because there are essential differences in the sales and purchase processes, an agency must have a deep understanding of the business.

The approach to B2B SEO depends mostly on products nature, product life cycle, and the potential B2B customer's needs.  These guide keyword research, content strategy and more.

Among the main differences between B2B and B2C, five of them can define the way an SEO campaign must be handled:

  1. Different product tangibility

Because B2B and B2C do not sell the same products/ services types, make sure your agency understands deeply the goods or services sold from the very start of the campaign. B2B campaigns tend to sell intangible products qualified by benefits for the customers’ business, and not just the client.

  1. Different performance indicators

B2B and B2C do not base the evaluation of their SEO campaign’s success on the same indicators. B2B, low volumes of leads are driven but the qualification of these leads matters most. The quantity of leads is less of an indicator as in B2C since the purchase decision in B2B takes repeated sessions over the course of a few months (whereas B2C sales usually take days and single sessions).  

  1. Sales life cycle

What is the user intent in B2B? Make sure your agency knows what information your prospect is looking for online. A B2B sale depends on multiple considerations, through several managerial layers, therefore B2B SEO focuses on different areas than B2C.  

  1. Role of SEO

Following the sales cycle and user intent in B2B, content marketing campaigns and outreach campaigns within the B2B SEO strategy must educate prospects and not just aim at gathering links for better rankings. B2B SEO must expose the business’s services on relevant websites.

  1. Keywords type

Keyword research is a crucial stage of the B2B SEO campaign: the agency must demonstrate an expert level of industry-specific intelligence in order to anticipate the user’s needs (and what will be searched online). Make sure your agency takes the time to get the keywords right, anything rushed should be a warning sign.

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