I’m in the search engine marketing business, so sometimes it’s easy to forget that most people don’t really know the industry exists, how useful it is in business-to-business marketing, and what a valuable marketing tool it can be. be the SEO. be in general. The fact, however, is that a disturbing number of business executives couldn’t tell the difference between SEO Outsourcing and REO Speedwagon (although most would probably agree that neither sound particularly good *). In fact, when I explain that I work at a search engine optimization company that focuses in part on business-to-business marketing, most people instantly assume that I have a search engine of my own and that I am somehow trying to compete with Google. I’m flattered until I see the pity in his eyes.

Even those familiar with search engine optimization have common misconceptions about the value of SEO in business-to-business marketing. I often come across prospects who understand that achieving a high search engine ranking is a valuable marketing tool that can have an impact on a company’s results, but mistakenly believe that this is true only if that company actually sells. something online. Could not be farther from the truth.

While ecommerce companies can greatly benefit from SEO as a marketing tool, there are many factors in search engine optimization that actually favor B2B companies in terms of overall channel profit.

The technology

Large e-commerce sites have thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands, of individual product pages. While performing SEO on such sites does not (thank goodness) involve manipulating each of the individual pages, each of the elements on the page that will be used for the benefit of SEO (titles, headings, text, and meta tags) must be entered thoroughly. a data base. It is very rare to find that the existing database that a company has for each of its products contains all the elements necessary to use SEO as a successful marketing tool.

Once all these items have been added to the database, it is necessary to ensure that the server is working as it should. Then you have to make sure that each of the pages can be crawled by the search engine spider, so the link structure often has to be manipulated.

Using SEO as a marketing tool in business-to-business marketing is usually much easier, as a standard B2B site is generally built with simpler technology and the individual pages physically exist on the server. In this case, each page is optimized for some business-relevant terms. While a good SEO firm will spend more time on the marketing aspects of a B2B campaign (the overall goals of the initiative and the key phrases that will bring the right kind of visitors to the site), the actual implementation of the elements necessary for the SEO success. it is usually much simpler.

Average sale in dollars

There is a practical price limit, which varies from industry to industry, beyond which people are uncomfortable shopping online. B2B companies typically have a higher average dollar sale than ecommerce websites, making it much easier to justify the cost of any effective business-to-business marketing tool. While an ecommerce site visitor can earn $ 12 in revenue from the purchase of a cup of coffee, a high-end B2B website visitor is potentially worth millions. It doesn’t take Alan Greenspan to work out the numbers – the higher the median dollar sale, the fewer visitors you’ll need to really justify the cost of SEO as a business-to-business marketing tool (as long as a certain number of visitors actually generate one) .

Value of the relationship

The people who run e-commerce sites like Amazon are incredibly smart, and they know that almost every product they sell online is highly marketed. That’s why they put so much effort into improving the visitor experience on their websites with tools like personalization and one-click shopping. They are trying to develop buyers for life. B2B companies don’t have this problem. By using a successful business-to-business marketing campaign, the visitor you bring to your site with this marketing tool could be more valuable in their lifetime than thousands of ecommerce buyers. Offline sales require offline relationships, and personal relationships are easier to maintain, no matter how many conveniences an ecommerce business may add to their site.


There’s another reason SEO is often even more effective for business-to-business marketing than it is for e-commerce sites: it doesn’t matter how beautiful the website is, how secure the checkout process is, and how large it is. the company, the price will always be the main differentiator. when items are purchased online. How else to explain the popularity of online shopping comparison sites like Yahoo! Shopping, NexTag, and Shopping.com (to name just a few)? When it comes to business to business, marketing is critical. In a world where prices are rarely listed online, a B2B company almost always has the opportunity to differentiate itself on its own terms after the initial contact is made. With the right marketing tool, like SEO, a B2B company can easily stand out from the crowd.

Use SEO as a key marketing tool

Ecommerce companies are more easily embracing SEO as a business-to-business marketing tool because they are tech-savvy and because their businesses already depend on the internet to survive. However, e-commerce companies only represent a small fraction of the number of companies out there. There are many B2B industries where there is currently little to no search engine competition, and the ones that move first and use SEO as a key marketing tool will reap the biggest rewards.

* This annoys me as much as an owner of a search engine marketing company as it is a fan of REO Speedwagon.

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