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B2B vs. B2C Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Your product or service is either built for other businesses or for consumers. The marketing channels you choose depend on the type of business you are, whether that is business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C).

SEO should be an important part of your digital marketing whether you’re B2B or B2C but there are some key differences in the approach.

In this article I will look at some of the differences, and why SEO for B2B and B2C are important in their own right.

JL Creative specialises in search engine first digital marketing for HVAC, trades and construction businesses so we’ll stick to our niche when it comes to examples, but it is important to note that the topics in this article are quite broad and applicable to most, if not all industries.

B2B

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B2C

Contents 

  • The differences between B2B and B2C SEO, where there are similarities and what your goals should be depending on the type of business you run. 

  • Why knowing your audience is so important

  • Why B2B SEO is important

  • Why B2C SEO is important

 

Not sure if you need an SEO agency? We’re here to help
 

The Differences Between B2B and B2C SEO

Know your audience

A successful SEO strategy requires a deep understanding of your audience.

For B2B businesses, this means building detailed profiles of other businesses, their decision-makers, and their specific needs.

In contrast, B2C SEO focuses more on consumer behaviour, preferences, and the decision-making process.

In both cases, paying attention to who the audience is and why they are using search engines sets the foundation for everything that comes after that.

Tip: Create customer surveys and build customer profiles to visualize your ideal customer and refine your audience targeting.

 


Goal setting

When it comes to the goal of your SEO strategy B2B and B2C companies need to have different approaches.

While B2B SEO generally aims at awareness and lead generation, B2C SEO focuses on awareness and aiding the conversion or sales process.

 

For a B2B company, let’s use the example of a facilities manager (FM) looking for servicing and maintenance firms for a commercial heating system.
 

 We need to:

  • Build awareness

  • Be a part of their decision making process

  • Turn them into a lead

Through researching common searches and the intent behind the search we can create the right kind of content for that facilities manager. 

We also focus on only relevant keywords, we’re not really interested in high-volume terms unless they are absolutely correct.


We’re interested in:

  •  Keywords that are highly relevant to the FM and likely to lead to a conversion.

  • Building visibility around key terms (pushing more top 3 positions through quality SEO landing pages) helps with building awareness and familiarity around the brand.

 

When we start to see meaningful traffic hitting our SEO landing pages we can:

  •  Switch on remarketing and other forms of permission marketing 

  • Prompt signing up to a newsletter to make sure we’re staying front of mind with the prospect.

  • Check the performance by looking at assisted conversions in GA4 which shows you the different touch points for the user journey. 

You can identify the number of organic clicks as part of the overall journey to becoming a lead. 
 

Online Shopping

 

Why Having a B2C SEO Strategy is Important

For B2C businesses, SEO is integral to engaging customers who are researching, comparing, and seeking social proof before making a purchase. 
 

Why Do I Need B2C SEO?

B2C businesses can become over reliant on quick-fixes like PPC and Social Media marketing. This puts them at risk when ads get more expensive or as social media platforms evolve.

Investing in an SEO strategy can help build reliable traffic over time and secure a reliable revenue stream with a high ROI. 
 


For a B2C company such as a clothing retailer you ultimately want them to buy something from your website.

 

Awareness is good but PPC dominates retail so if you can rank for those high-value commercial and transactional terms there is a lot of potential.

 

Tip: Set clear goals for your SEO based on the user journey, eg. Awareness for decision makers at the research stage or lead generation/conversion for users that are ready to make a purchase or become a lead.


Why having a B2B SEO strategy is important

In the realm of B2B, SEO plays a pivotal role in reaching decision-makers and establishing your brand as an industry authority.

With Google’s E-E-A-T and Ai generated content taking search engines by storm, building authority and trust is more important than ever.
 

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 Why Do I Need B2B SEO?

B2B brands should be constantly optimising their content to maintain and improve visibility on the SERP.

This can be through a combination of on-page and off-site SEO, for example creating a blog full of helpful content and building backlinks.

Having a solid PR strategy can really help B2B brands flourish in this area. If you’re doing PR in 2024 you should be aligning it with an SEO strategy to get the absolute most out of it.  


Regardless of whether your business is B2B or B2C, SEO remains a vital component of your digital marketing strategy in 2024.

Understanding the differences and crafting a tailored SEO approach can add significant value to your business over time.

For those unsure about the need for an SEO agency, remember that professional expertise can make a difference.

JL Creative favours a strategic approach, building Authority, Visibility and quality Content.
 

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