B2B vs B2C Search Engine Optimisation

Netmatters Ltd
Posted by Netmatters Ltd
11th July 2015

What is the difference?

Business to business and business to consumer are different in many ways, and one of those ways is the way you perform Search Engine Optimisation on each market. Because of the difference in goals and the differences in the process of reaching those goals they each require a totally different method of SEO. The goals of B2C are generally to bag an instant sale, regardless of who or why. This is achieved using a plethora of advanced techniques to create a trusted brand image to the consumer, who does not need to think about why they are buying a product because it is for personal use.

With a business this is totally different, with the goals taking an entirely different direction. Business to business is all about the long term, and making decisions that are effective at securing long term, profitable relationships or generating leads to a potential business relationship. Due to this fact, if a business performed SEO with the intention of selling to a business but they did not approach it in a professional manner then they will find it not being very effective.

How to address each difference with solutions

One of the biggest things that make the two different are the keywords that need to be used between the two. With B2B the cycle length is much longer, and you will need to use keywords that capture user’s at all different parts of the cycle. With B2B getting found is merely the beginning, but with B2C getting found is half of the battle won. The typical cycle length for getting found to sale with consumers is around 10 – 20 minutes, and with business sales the length is usually in the weeks but sometimes stretches out into multiple months.

Content development is also crucial to how B2B and B2C SEO differs, with both being very different once again partially due to the cycle times between business and consumers. With a consumer you need to provide content fast, content needs to instantly be there to persuade the person to buy your product. Overall the way you achieve this is simple, put a lot of short, entertaining content on the page. Anything that will persuade the customer to buy a product is helpful, and linking to the consumer on a personal level (emotionally and comically) will up  conversion rates.

For business content has to be different. Content will most likely take a completely different format. Whereas you may find consumer content to be quick, decisive, punchy and urgent, business content will be much more educational. There will be a lot of detailed information that will take a while to consume, and this is what is helpful. For businesses the more information they have on a product before they take the plunge and invest in it the better. In general the way they work is different, and the manner of work is different also.

There are also multiple prospects behind one single search, and the reasons that people actually search for a product is different. The nature of professional to personal obviously changes everything, but how much does this affect the market? The answer is simply more than you might think. Searching for a product based entirely on personal longing and then searching for a product based on how it can be finically viable and add to the general quality of your business will yield different results. Even if the product is the same it must be marketed in two different ways.

Overall you only need to think about a few select things with B2C, but with B2B you need to think about a disorientating list of complex things to ensure you are the right choice for a business. If you find yourself engaging with businesses, but you find it not going any further than online emails and messages then there is likely a problem with how you market your business. You should try and show that you are reliable and successful, business only want to use your products to get the best financial returns possible. 

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