Optimizing Product Content for SEO
B2B SEO has specific requirements that can be taken advantage of in product content.
According to research by Frost & Sullivan, B2B eCommerce will exceed $12 trillion per year by 2020. Considering that B2B eCommerce totaled around $5.5 trillion in 2012, it's clear that more businesses are turning to the Internet to research potential suppliers and vendors than ever. With that in mind, B2B eCommerce sites can benefit enormously from careful optimization. General SEO matters, of course, but painstakingly optimizing product content is even more crucial, and that will only become truer as time goes by.
B2C versus B2B: Key Differences
Search engine optimization is hardly new. Most strategies are geared toward B2C sites, however, and they aren't as effective when applied to B2B. The primary difference in the way these transactions unfold is that B2C customers tend to seek instant gratification. They want something, search for it, like what they see and buy it. B2B conversions, on the other hand, are rarely instantaneous. B2B customers take their time and typically begin by narrowing things down to a handful of potential suppliers. The way in which optimization is handled on B2B sites must reflect this.
What Do B2B Searchers Look For?
Unlike B2C searchers, who typically convert quickly, B2B searchers begin the sales process by vetting various suppliers and their offerings. Therefore, they seek reassurance. They need to feel confident in a supplier's ability to provide them with high-quality products in a dependable way. Unlike B2C searchers, then, they aren't primarily motivated by rock-bottom prices or flashy offerings. Those things matter, of course, but B2B searchers desire long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with vendors while B2C searchers typically "grab what they need" and go.
How SEO Affects B2B eCommerce
SEO affects B2B eCommerce just as much as it affects B2C eCommerce; it just affects it differently. Traditional SEO strategies--keyword optimization, in particular--help to attract motivated, relevant buyers. However, with B2B eCommerce, "stickiness" is far more important. B2B searchers aren't usually looking to make immediate purchases, so B2B SEO must be geared toward compelling those visitors to want to learn more about a business.
Tips for Optimizing B2B Content
A few simple ways in which B2B businesses can optimize their product content include:
- Optimize Content Across Entire Site - While B2C searchers will happily arrive on a landing page, like what they see and proceed to checkout, B2B searchers are in it for the long haul. Therefore, they tend to carefully investigate suppliers before making a single purchase. As a result, content across the entire site must be optimized to instill confidence in visitors. Merely focusing on product content is a mistake. If a B2B searcher clicks away from the product content only to discover site-wide content that is bland, poorly written and otherwise low in quality, they are unlikely to proceed further through the conversion process.
- Make Content "Sticky" - B2C searchers tend to be satisfied with product content that really "sells" whatever is being offered. They just need to be convinced that the product they're looking at will suit their needs. With B2B, however, content must be sticky. This means it should be written in a way that inspires searchers to want to learn more about the company. Content should sell the company just as much as it sells the product.
- Include Links to Credible Content - A great way to improve the stickiness of optimized product content on B2B sites is by including internal links to other types of credible, authoritative content. When describing a product's technical attributes, for example, a company might include a link to its quality assurance policies. To demonstrate the innovative design of a product, a company might include a link to an article describing the way in which it conducts research and development.
- Instill Confidence - Top-notch B2B product content instills confidence in those who read it. B2B searchers are primarily concerned with risk avoidance. They don't want to deal with hassles after forming a relationship with a supplier. therefore, product content should be reassuring and provide evidence that the supplier will meet customers' needs every step of the way.
- Make Content Technical and Detailed - B2B searchers don't want to have to click all over the Internet to learn what they need to know about a prospective vendor's offerings. Everything they need to know should be included right on the product page. Therefore, it's in B2B companies' best interests to make descriptions as detailed and technical as possible. As new questions are answered, content should be updated to reflect the new information.
- Engage in More Complex Keyword Strategies - The keyword strategy used in effective B2B content optimization must be more complex than the kind used in standard B2C eCommerce content. Long-tail keywords, in particular, should be carefully crafted and minded to ensure optimal results.
- Rely on Analytics to Hone B2B SEO Strategies - Finally, B2B website analytics should be constantly assessed to confirm that visitors are sticking around long enough to move through the sales funnel. Looking at the bounce rate for a particular landing page, for instance, will speak volumes about how well its product content is working.
In this day and age, all of your web content strategy should be backed by evidence in the form of data. Business intelligence, analytics and reporting can guide your business decisions to a great degree if you have the right technology in place.
How Clarity can Help
If you run a B2B eCommerce site, implementing the tips above is a great start. However, the eCommerce platform you use is even more important. By choosing the right one, all of the elements above will fall into place more easily. With powerful tools geared toward B2B eCommerce, including built-in SEO and analytics, Clarity eCommerce is the natural choice. Contact Clarity today to learn more.