A typical search engine results page
Image via Wikipedia

Business-to-business (B2B) often will use a different online marketing approach than the Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplaces.

There are cross-over tactics of course, but when it comes to SEO, PPC and Social Media for B2B specifically, it’s important to understand where the industry is heading, and what others are doing — that work.

The effort expended in each area have different speed-to-market results. PPC will often show data and results the fastest, but social media can quickly take off within a ‘viral’ campaign (although not exact science). All tactics should be tested and validated against core metrics and goals.

All of them will relate back to some common goals. One being web traffic. Another, lead generation – and finally, conversions. (There are others, but these are most common).

What SEO tactics should you employ for your business this coming year? And, what should you outsource?


SEO. It’s about optimizing sites and infrastructure (server, pages) to allow search engines to find you, so more traffic can be had. SEO now involves social signals and more advanced practices gets into conversion rate optimization also (highly specialized skills).

In a recent benchmark report for B2B, Marketing Sherpa reveals illuminating data.

In executing SEO for B2B organizations, the study show that many do this themselves. Over 31% of businesses use a combination of in-house staff and agency help. SEO is a specialized skill-set, and the value of collaboration within internal and external teams are understood by these organizations. I totally agree on that approach. However, every business is different, as the cliche goes. But, collaboration and team development is the same for all – it’s a winning model.

93% of the organizations reported SEO as highly effective and the leads are normally of high quality, especially because they are “self-selected”. They are actively looking for their (your) products and services.

Top B2B SEO tactics noted, in order of importance:

  • Keyword research (89%)
  • On-page content optimization
  • Meta tag & meta tag description optimization
  • Title tag optimization
  • Develop new SEO friendly content
  • Link building
  • Social media integration
  • Online press releases and distribution
  • Competitors (research)
  • Blogging
  • Create an XML sitemap (45%)

Level of effort need for B2B SEO results (chart):

In this chart we note the fact that most organization spend the least amount of time on keyword research. But, we noticed that Keywords (89%) was the most important. It may indicate a lack of understanding or non-completion (it’s never ‘done’, per se) of this very important step in the SEO process.

Q: Please rate the level of effort required (time, resources, expense) for the following B2B search engine tactics: (1 star is lowest level of effort):
B2B SEO effort 2011

Level of effectiveness for B2B SEO results (chart):

Q: Please rate the effectiveness of SEO. (1 star is lowest level of effectiveness):
B2B SEO effectiveness 2011

On-page optimization and keyword research are top activities for results.

Many B2B organizations understand the importance of SEO, keywords and on-page optimization. But, I’ve seen that they may not always be doing this consistently or with the depth needed. And, new content development is lacking, or not done consistently.

SEO is part of the natural online mix. We’ll cover PPC in tomorrow’s post.

What do you think?


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.