Traditionally B2B businesses have been hesitant to join the realm of eCommerce. However, as digital technologies and the Internet becomes more intertwined with people’s day-to-day working lives, these businesses are now required to have a dynamic online presence.
Key for every digitalised business is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). However, this practice can vary greatly between different business sectors.
Today we will talk about B2B exclusively. Our mission is to highlight the key practices of SEO for B2B commerce businesses.
Why is it important?
Optimising SEO helps improve search engine ranking, enabling you to gain greater visibility on the likes of Google and Bing, and consequently drive more visitors to your eCommerce website. If the business is already well known in real life this may appear trivial. Why would it matter to get noticed online this way?
The majority of B2B buyers research the products they’re interested in on the web prior to making a purchase. Advanced and effective SEO for a B2B eCommerce is essential and having it in place will make a big difference.
The following factors are the key pillars a successful B2B SEO strategy relies on.
The right platform
The range of eCommerce platforms is vast and diverse; there is something suitable for any business, no matter the industry. However, it is important to do your research and find a platform that is SEO friendly and includes the features needed for a strong foundation of SEO for a B2B business. It should include an easy to use content management system (CMS) to help with content creation and the optimisation process. Aim for the platforms that have integrated MetaData management.
To rank high, you need to ensure your users are having a positive experience when they are visiting the website. This means that the content published needs to be clear, easy to access and pleasant to view. Due to Google’s ‘RankBrain’ technology, it’s not just the click-through rate (CTR) that contributes towards better ranking, but also the duration visitors spend on your page. Having visitors on the page longer will have a positive impact on ranking.
However, if there’s something preventing your visitors from assessing the information they’re searching for, the effect on your results will be negative. Distraction can be caused by big volumes of advertisements or having ads push the original down the page, as well as simply having too little content.
There is a lot to be said in terms of content. It is essential to create content that is seen as ‘quality’ and contributes well towards SEO for a B2B eCommerce business.
Essentially, quality content is fresh, engaging, unique and high-quality. Prior to producing content, do keyword research to plan out the topics you want to cover that your visitors would find useful. Do not try to repeat said keywords endlessly with no suitable context as this won’t bring the results you want and you risk being punished by Google. Instead, build informative and compelling content around them. Not only will this cover the keywords you’re targeting, but will appeal to the overall user experience discussed above.
You need the search engines to be convinced your page holds information visitors find useful. It is a massive help in terms of proving your credibility to be linked to by other sites – this is called backlinking. Detailed articles, white papers, how-to videos and case studies are the typical types of content other pages are likely to refer to and therefore link back to your site.
As we have already covered, your aim is to keep the visitors on the website for as long as possible. It can be done through internal links that will take visitors to other pages holding relevant content across your website.
It is also worth linking to your content through social media and email: this way you will drive your followers and contacts back to the eCommerce site.
Many people nowadays rely on voice search, using technology like Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Siri. In fact, it is predicted that by 2020 voice will make half of all searches in total. However, many B2B businesses have yet to update their website to align with this new form of search. Therefore optimising voice search SEO for your eCommerce platform means that you could stay a few steps ahead of your competitors.
Optimising for voice search is different from tailoring content for a traditional search. The best approach is creating Question and Answer (Q&A) type of content, as well as including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on the website. This, especially if your business is in a very specific niche, will definitely improve the chances of your content becoming the response to a voice search.
Mobile devices responsiveness
It’s no secret most people now access the Internet via their smartphones and tablets instead of relying on desktop. Following this pattern, in 2018 Google put extra emphasis on user experience via mobile devices by rolling out the Mobile-First Index factor.
This means that if the page does not load fast or doesn’t appear complete/functional as designed on mobile versions, your search results are likely to suffer.
Many eCommerce businesses (B2B and B2C alike) find SEO to be complicated. It is constantly evolving and is merciless to those who don’t adapt.
The key pillars of a successful SEO strategy are just the foundation, and to truly outperform competitors and accelerate traffic to the website requires a few more steps…
Want to know more? Contact us today to start discussing the role of SEO in building a successful online presence.