Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer, the basic fundamentals of search engine optimization are the same:

– Conduct keyword research to build a list of target keywords
– Optimize content for target keywords
– Get backlinks from high-quality, highly relevant external websites
– Optimize page titles/description meta tags to increase click-throughs

However, when you get down to the details, a few differences emerge.

Keyword Research
While the fundamentals of keyword research are the same for B2B and B2C marketers, B2B purchasing decisions usually take longer than B2C purchases, and often times multiple people in different job functions can become involved at different stages. Therefore, it is important to create a list of target keywords that attempts to encompass all these different audiences which may conduct searches for the same thing using different language.

It is also important to consider what keywords your audience is searching for and what is important to them, and not what keywords are important to you or are used internally within your organization, because they may not necessarily cross over.

Content Optimization
Similar to keyword research, the content of a B2B website needs to address different audiences that may emerge at different stages of the decision making cycle. Once we have the target keywords build up from the keyword research stage, we can build (or edit) content around those keywords.

However, as with any SEO initiative, it is important to never forget that ultimately, it will be a human being that reads the website and makes a purchase, not a robot, so making sure the right type of content is there is also a key element. For example, for a B2C product such as a skateboard, consumers might be interested in seeing a video of the skateboard in action. However, for a B2B product such as email marketing software, a potential customer may want to download a PDF listing all the features it offered.

So the lesson to be learned here is that while search engine optimization has basic fundamental elements that are universal, there are slight differences that can have a great impact. Think of it this way: the basic components of a car are universal (tires, engine, seats, etc.), but depending on who you are targeting that car to (someone with a family as opposed a recent college grad looking for basic transportation), those components can vary greatly to match their differing needs.