Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for B2B can seem more sophisticated than B2C SEO in that it is targeting decision makers within companies. Their buying journeys can be different.
You notice that because in B2B, search volume is typically lower than average (91.8% for targeted long-tail keywords) because queries are more specialized. B2B SEO is not about getting more clicks; rather, it’s about attracting the right visitors who will revisit your website.
Therefore, a well-planned content calendar is a must.
B2B SEO Vs. Content Marketing
SEO and content marketing have notable similarities, but they’re still two different things. Explained in simplest terms, SEO is a type of content marketing. The term SEO content usually portends blog posts, guides, landing pages and similar, whereas content marketing deals with all kinds of content (social, video).
Needless to say, for the best results, the two should work in unison.
For writers and journalists, SEO can seem boring and scary, as keyword stuffing has been quite efficient at killing the joy of writing, but it is nevertheless necessary for SEO.
There is hope in today’s SEO world! Creativity still gets to shine, as keywords are the last step of the process — quality content always makes a difference. No amount of targeted keywords will make a poorly written article more alluring to your buyers, after all!
B2B SEO & Branding
The majority of businesses look for examples on competitors’ websites. This practice usually leads to generic content duplicating from Page 1, which will help your page rank better, but it won’t have a lasting effect.
You should aim at creating a unique content piece by applying branding principles. Adjust the tone of your content to your company vision and mission, and stick to it throughout. Stick to the rule that you want to attract the right people, not a myriad of random people.
That is to say, the content you publish should be highly specific and targeted; not by any means random ideas stuffed with target keywords.
How To Create A B2B SEO Content Calendar
Any content should attract the right audience and feature proper keywords. In the case of B2B SEO, keywords are somewhat more specific.
Let’s take a look at all the necessary steps for mastering the art of creating and posting content. An SEO content calendar is similar to an email or social media content calendar.
1. Establish An Audience
It has been well-established that content should appeal to target audiences, as opposed to a general audience. In B2B, this is more important than in general SEO, as content is more complex and is rarely understandable to laymen.
It is, therefore, recommended to establish an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for your content pieces to save time when performing SEO.
Firstly, ask yourself these questions when choosing the right audience:
- What type of company are you writing for (industry, size, location)?
- Which roles within the target companies are you to attract?
- Who makes purchase decisions in the target companies?
- What are decision-makers looking for, exactly?
- Who are your main competitors?
2. Keyword Research For B2B
As mentioned above, B2B SEO keywords are more specific. Using an SEO tool to help you choose the best ones is recommended (some ideas include Ahrefs and SEMrush). Be aware keyword databases for B2B topics can be considerably smaller than B2C keyword databases.
A proper keyword research should include the following steps:
1. Enter the seed keywords into the chosen SEO tool and save all relevant queries in a list.
2. Analyze your competitors’ keywords using the SEO tool and add best keywords to the list.
3. Add industry publications, blogs, and similar and find the best keywords. Add them to the list.
4. Apply B2B modifiers. Some examples include:
- Corporate or enterprise
- In the workplace
- Your target industries
- Startup, SME, small business, online business, and similar
- Competitor name + alternative
- For business
- Procurement, vendors, platform, software, app, e.g. employee communication platform
5. Run your keywords through a rank tracking tool to check if they’re already ranking and download them into a spreadsheet.
6. Sort the list, as follows:
- Already ranking pages: the best candidates for SEO optimization.
- Plain keywords: Some keywords are of little value for ranking no matter how fit they may be. Pinpoint the keywords with the lowest difficulty score, then revisit the SEO tool. Review Page 1: compare your domain ratings to competitors’ ratings. Don’t waste your time on low ranking scores.
3. Keyword Mapping
Keyword mapping is the process of allocating proper keywords to each page.
If a keyword is already ranking, improve the existing page. Don’t create a second page for the same topic. If you do, they will compete for the same keyword and confuse Google as a result.
Next, use only one keyword cluster (topic) per page and one page per topic.
Keyword mapping should satisfy search intent, meaning that the posts must be focused on the answer.
4. Create a Content Outline with Stories and Examples
Keyword mapping will help you determine the main topic for the page. The content outline should help you create just the perfect post..
Review Page 1 for a word count range to get a better idea of how to conceptualize your article, then add relevant stories and examples to the outline.
Finally, add internal links and a compelling CTA.
Content outline creation in a nutshell:
- Add main keywords
- Determine the target topic
- Add supporting keywords (determine sub-topics)
- Determine a word count range
- Choose a content type (blog post, guide, landing page, etc.)
- Add stories and examples
- Add internal links
- Add a compelling CTA
5. Mastering CTAs
A compelling CTA should have no difficulties luring your target audience to perform the action you desire. Basically, you should answer the following question: If this is the only time the visitor is on this page, which one thing should they be compelled to do?
To come up with a proper answer to this question, you should keep in mind where visitors are in the funnel. Someone visiting your website for the first time may not be able to make head or tails of your content. That’s where the right benefit steps in: create a sense of urgency by offering a unique feature that is certain to benefit your target audience (not the general one).
Lastly, use only one CTA per page and make it stand out from the rest of the text.
6. Content Distribution & Link Building
The last step in the process is to distribute the content. The best way to do that is to use third-party links.
Link building is a whole new topic, but you can find the basics online. Look up the link-building techniques that suit your brand and style best, as the choice is rich.
B2B SEO is a complex process but when done right, it’s certain to boost your brand’s visibility and establish it as a reputable source. That’s why it is crucial to keep search intent in mind from day one and keep to the best practices.
Take your time researching and mapping keywords as later on, you’ll only need to update the existing content. Basically, it takes a lot of time only in the beginning. The more you learn, you may even decide to create your own online course!
Simply use your imagination and creativity to come up with stellar CTAs and enjoy watching your website rank.