You already know there is a multitude of differences when comparing business-to-business sales to business-to-consumer sales. You’ve likely also surmised that these differences extend to search engine optimization. And you’d be correct in that.
Because B2B and B2C users have such wildly different needs, the content you create and the keywords you use must also differ.
Let’s discuss how.
The core difference between B2B and B2C SEO comes down to your audience and their journey from prospect to a qualified lead.
If you primarily serve a consumer audience, the journey is relatively straightforward. The user might be interested in buying something from your brand, either now or in the future. Alternatively, they might have found your site while researching a problem, and through your content, could become a future customer.
For a business audience, things get a little more complex. B2B users want to know how your brand can address their specific needs or help them overcome a particular roadblock. They are working on establishing a shortlist of vendors that can help them fulfill that need, or they’ve already created that shortlist—and your business made the cut.
Different types of content also tend to perform better with a B2B audience than with a B2C audience, and vice-versa.
Content targeting a business audience typically performs best when it’s informative and educational. These users aren’t interested in being entertained, nor are they likely to respond if you appeal to their emotions. They want you to demonstrate that you are a thought leader in their field—that you understand not just their industry, but the specific problems facing their business.
Blog posts are essential for B2B users, but you’d also do well to include ebooks, case studies, and white papers in your content library.
As you’d expect, a consumer audience is a bit simpler to market to. While informational content can still perform well, you also have a great deal more freedom in terms of topic ideation. In addition to educating, your content can also entertain and engage.
Appeals to emotion also work far better in customer-focused content, though you’ll want to ensure you always focus on the customer’s needs, goals, and values.
Given that B2C content differs from B2B content, it follows that the core keywords, too, are different.
Generally, B2B content tends to serve a far more specific niche than B2C content. Because of this, B2B keywords tend to be lower-volume but higher-value. In some cases, there may be hardly any search data at all—you’ll therefore need to rely significantly more on audience research.
B2C keywords usually have relatively high traffic compared to B2B. Additionally, low-volume keywords are significantly less valuable to a B2C site. Those keywords also tend to be more competitive due to the fact that they’re less focused.
This isn’t a complete overview of B2B vs. B2C SEO. It’s simply a primer to give you a general idea of how the two differ from one another. We touched on what we feel are the most important, most relevant beats—that should be enough to get you started on your own.