Chapter 1


In our modern digital world, leveraging multiple marketing channels to grow your client base and build trust within your industry has never been more important for B2B SEO.

For B2B companies, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) continues to be an invaluable marketing channel.  Especially since key decision-makers use search engines to find solutions to their organization’s problems while at work.

SEO is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on improving your company’s search engine rankings.  It allows your business to rank for the key search terms and keywords your ideal clients are searching for. If you can successfully implement an SEO strategy that lets your business claim those first few coveted search engine listings, it can be an excellent way to rapidly grow your revenues.  In addition, it helps build a solid list of potential B2B clients.

In this guide, we’re going to walk through everything there is to know about B2B SEO.  Including how you can begin implementing an organic search strategy in your business. We’re going to discuss what makes B2B SEO different from traditional SEO.  We will also cover the key elements of search engine optimization.  Finally, we’ll discuss keyword research strategies, go over metrics and key performance indicators, and look at backlink strategies as well as reporting and analysis.

Chapter 2

What Makes B2B SEO Different?

b2b seo

While the underlying process for ranking websites on search engines is very similar between B2B SEO and B2C SEO, the fundamental strategies between the two are completely different.

When targeting consumers in B2C SEO, the ideal strategy is to target high-volume keywords that customers search for before making a buying decision. The type of content you publish on your website will be very generic and broad, full of fun quips and emotion in order to capture your reader’s attention. Social media marketing is frequently used in B2C.  This is in order to complement a search engine optimization strategy that brings positive engagement on social channels.  This approach lets search engines know the content is likely fresh, relevant, and engaging.

B2B SEO is an entirely different story. Your goal with B2B SEO is to target the keywords and search terms used by key decision-makers within your industry. When a decision-maker is trying to solve a problem for their business, one that your company specializes in, they’ll often search for a solution and browse the top results that show up. Most of these search terms are low-volume keywords that don’t get as many searches as broad B2C terms. They often have high CPC (cost per click) value due to their potential for bringing in high-value clients. The content you publish for your B2B SEO strategy will be highly tactical, focused, and written in a tone that grabs the attention of decision-makers instead of a broad general audience. Social media marketing will be seldom used, if at all.

To sum it up, B2B SEO is very different from B2C SEO.  B2B SEO focuses on capturing the attention of key decision-makers within your industry.  This approach gets them to engage with your business and become a client in the future.

Chapter 3

Four Key Elements of B2B SEO

b2b seo elements

Executing a successful B2B SEO strategy involves mastering technical SEO, creating thoughtful targeted content, and ensuring both your on-page and off-page SEO is on point. We’re going to dive into each of these key elements in detail and discuss what an ideal implementation would look like.

Technical SEO

Technical Search Engine Optimization has to do with your company’s website structure, navigation, page speed, and depth and breadth of content. In essence, the underlying technical details of how your website is built can make or break your SEO strategy before any optimization work begins.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is for your website to be easily accessible by “search engine crawlers” and “search engine spiders” without any technical glitches that can prevent them from rendering and indexing your site.

To validate and improve your technical SEO, it’s recommended to work with knowledgeable developers who can double-check your website’s Javascript, site architecture, URL structure, XML sitemaps, structured data, and 404 pages as well as redirects.

In addition to the purely technical aspects of your website, reviewing your current content for duplicate pages is crucial.  Reviewing thin content that’s very short and doesn’t provide value to visitors is important, too.

Before you can begin optimizing your company’s website for B2B, take a step back and review the technical aspects of your site.  This is to ensure that your technical SEO is up to par. Technical SEO is the “foundation” of your B2B SEO strategy.  It’s in your best interest to get the foundation right before beginning to build anything on top.

Thoughtful Targeted Content

Content is the lifeblood of B2B Search Engine Optimization, as it is what search engines “read”, analyze, and show to searchers. Throughout the SEO process, your business will likely spend a significant chunk of time and money ensuring that your content is targeted, thoughtful, and speaks directly to key decision-makers in your space.

Creating valuable content involves performing keyword research, optimizing your content for keywords and ideal search terms, organizing your content in a logical way, and promoting your content to ensure it gets read.

When doing keyword research, your team should brainstorm what the “ideal decision-maker persona” is searching for your company’s products or services would type into a search engine. The goal is to understand your ideal client better than they understand themselves, and reverse-engineer their thought process in order to come up with the search terms they’re most likely to utilize.

After you’ve determined the keywords and topics you’ll write about, think about how you can organize your content in a way that gets read. This means starting with an engaging hook and creating scannable headings and subheadings.  This allows the reader to find sections that interest them most. Don’t forget to include a CTA (call to action) that urges your readers to reach out to your business, book an appointment, or schedule a consultation. Whatever best fits your business model.

Once your content is created: promote, promote, promote! Share your content with other businesses in your space, and try to get more eyeballs on your newly created web pages.

On-Page SEO

Now that you have your technical SEO ironed out and are in the process of creating valuable, targeted content, it’s time to jump into on-page SEO. Just as the name suggests, on-page SEO involves modifying and optimizing elements on your pages directly in order to influence search engine rankings.

Here are several key elements of on-page SEO that you can begin implementing into your web pages:

  • Using your target keyword within the first few sentences of your content
  • Using primary heading H1 tags for titles, and H2 tags for subheadings. For subheadings within subheadings, use descending H3, H4, etc. tags
  • Using outbound external links in your content to reference quality information your reader could find helpful
  • Optimizing your web page’s URLs for SEO by making them short and using your keyword within the URL
  • Publishing unique content and avoiding duplicate content
  • Sprinkling keywords and search terms within your content, but not engaging in “keyword stuffing” where you intentionally pack your content full of keywords. Always write for humans first, search engines second.

In short, on-page search engine optimization involves creating content that search engines can analyze and immediately associate with a topic. You want to create content that gets read and sends positive engagement signals to search engines.

Off-Page SEO

If on-page SEO involves all of the elements on your website’s pages, off-page SEO is also just as it sounds.  Off-page SEO works to optimize key search engine ranking factors that don’t reside directly on your company’s website.

Search engines look at your pages in order to analyze search intent and try to make a determination regarding how valuable your content is to readers, but they also look at how other websites are talking about your brand and how many times your company has been mentioned on the web.

Here are the key elements of off-page SEO that can directly influence your search engine rankings:

  • Link building, or getting other websites to link to your company’s website. The more times other authoritative websites link to yours, the more likely you are to rank at the top of search engines for your desired terms.
  • Brand mentions and reviews online, and how customers are discussing their experiences with your company
  • Local search engine optimization, including Google My Business and links from other businesses that operate in your city or region. If your company mostly serves clients in a local region, search engines look at how many times your business is mentioned or linked to in order to establish how trustworthy you are.
  • Events and PR. How many times is your business linked to in event postings, and do you get positive PR?

Search engines operate with a simple principle in mind.  That principle being if a particular business or brand is getting a significant number of links and mentions from all over the web, they’re probably a reliable company others trust. These “off-page” signals are important in getting your business to the top of the search results.

Chapter 4

Thoughtful Keyword Research and SEO Strategy for B2B

seo strategy

When you work to develop your B2B SEO strategy, it’s important to be mindful of the search terms you choose and to find search terms that have commercial buying intent behind them. Remember, your ultimate goal is to get key decision-makers to find your business and become a client.  Every decision you make regarding your SEO strategy should be targeted toward this outcome.

Understanding Your Target Buyers

The most important aspect of any marketing strategy is to understand your target buyer better than they understand themselves. B2B SEO is no different.

Get together with your team and build a “decision-maker persona” that describes your target buyer. Brainstorm who the primary decision-makers are within your industry, and what they could be searching for on a daily basis.

When doing keyword research, every keyword you choose to target should pass through the filter of your “decision-maker persona.” Ask yourself if this is something your decision-maker will likely search, and if the topics you’re creating content about are directly related to their company’s pain points or problems.

Finding Search Terms With Commercial Intent

Search terms and keywords can often be categorized into different types of search intent: Navigational, Informational, Commercial, and Transactional.

Navigational search intent is when somebody is searching something purely to navigate to a particular website or location. An example of this would be someone searching, “Brand XYZ’s Website.”

Informational search queries are often information-based, where the searcher is trying to answer a question or find additional information on a topic.

Transactional search queries are when somebody wants to buy something directly and often include terms such as “buy” or “purchase.”

Commercial search terms, on the other hand, include phrases such as “review” or “comparison”, and are used by searchers when they already know that they have a problem they want to solve but are simply looking for the best solution to their problem.

Your B2B SEO strategy should focus on targeting commercial terms as much as possible since these types of searchers already have the intent to make a purchase or become a client, all they need is validation that their chosen solution is the best one.

On your commercial SEO pages, you can compare your products or services to the competition, and show readers how your business is the best option on the market.

Chapter 5

Metrics You Need to Know for Successful B2B SEO

b2b seo analytics

In order to build a successful B2B SEO strategy, there are certain metrics you need to be aware of and track on a consistent basis. If your business doesn’t track your SEO progress along the way, you won’t truly know if you’re making progress toward your goals or have the data to indicate progress.

We’re going to cover some of the key metrics you need to track, and why they’re important for your B2B SEO strategy.

Organic Traffic – When we refer to “organic traffic”, we are simply referring to the number of visitors that organically find their way to your company’s pages by searching for specific terms and keywords on search engines.

Top Page Views – Whenever a visitor comes to one of your web pages, their visit is considered a “page view.” You can analyze which pages get the most views and work to improve them and make them more engaging for future visitors.

Conversions – A conversion is when a website visitor takes an ideal desired action on your website. This can be entering their email address, purchasing one of your products or services, or submitting a contact form.

Bounce Rate – When visitors go to your website and then immediately click the back button or “bounce” out, the percentage of visitors that do so is called the bounce rate.

Topic Traffic – Instead of viewing traffic data for each keyword individually, topic traffic aggregates all of the potential search traffic an entire topic gets. This is useful when planning your SEO strategy, since targeting topics with traffic potential can be lucrative in the long run.

Keyword Positions & Rankings – Keyword position & rankings refers to the numerical value, in descending fashion, that describes your website’s page on the search results for a particular keyword. If you are ranking in position 5 for “B2B Software”, for example, your website’s page is the fifth result if someone were to search for that keyword.

Site Health – Site health is an SEO metric used by certain search engine optimization tools to describe how optimized your site is for SEO. The better your site health, the higher your chances of ranking.

Backlinks – Whenever another website links to your company’s website, that inbound link is called a “backlink.” Search engines use backlinks to determine how authoritative and valuable your site is.

Pipeline Value – Pipeline value describes the expected value you’ll get from all of the opportunities currently in your company’s marketing pipeline, based on the probability of successful conversion.

SQLs – SQLs or Sales Qualified Leads are prospects who are ready to begin speaking with your sales team and have been vetted by your marketing department. They are already interested in your products and services and are ready to move further into your sales process.

MQLs – MQLs or Marketing Qualified Leads are prospects who could become potential customers if you nurture them correctly. They are engaged with your company and are a step away from becoming an SQL as soon as they’re prepared to speak with your sales team.

Chapter 6

Importance of Core Web Vitals in B2B Marketing

core web vitals for seo

Core Web Vitals are ranking signals included within Google’s Page Experience metrics, and measure the visual stability and loading speed of a particular web page. If a website loads quickly and doesn’t experience any visual problems, users are more likely to have a positive user experience with that website, meaning that search engines like Google are more likely to rank those pages higher.

This is a technical SEO factor that can potentially impact your rankings, especially if your business doesn’t resolve any problems with your website’s Core Web Vitals.

Why are Core Web Vitals important?

Core Web Vitals are specifically designed to analyze the user experience of a particular web page. Search giants like Google have been continuously focused on ranking pages that offer a positive search experience, and the data provided by Core Web Vitals helps them achieve that goal.

Your website’s Core Web Vitals will let search engines see how mobile-friendly your website is if your pages are secured through HTTPS, how accessible your content is (i.e. free from excessive pop-ups or advertisements), and whether visitors can safely browse your pages.

If your CWV score is high, your pages are more likely to be trusted by search engines and given a high ranking as a result.

How to improve your Core Web Vitals

Improving your Core Web Vitals isn’t an easy task, and will likely involve getting technical support from an experienced team of developers who can tweak your website to improve your scores.

Core Web Vitals includes technical factors such as:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – Measures loading time
  • First Input Delay (FID) – Measures how quickly users can interact with your website while loading
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – Measures how visually stable your web pages are

Improving your CWV score takes skilled web developers who know how to optimize code in order to shave seconds off your loading time and improve your website’s performance.

Chapter 7

B2B SEO Backlink Strategies

seo backlink strategy

Getting links from other authoritative websites in your industry is incredibly important and challenging, as it impacts your search engine rankings directly. The more times your business gets mentioned on other websites and linked to, the more search engines can trust your content and brand as a valuable resource that deserves a top spot on the search engine results.

We’re going to cover several B2B SEO backlink strategies you can use to build links to your website and grow your authority online.

Building Links Through Resource Pages

Hundreds of websites all over the web have “resource pages” that feature a curated list of helpful resources their viewers can browse. What if you can get your business onto those resource lists, and build backlinks at the same time?

Resource page link building involves finding these resource pages, emailing the business or website owner, and asking them to include your content on their curated list of resources.

This is, in essence, a win-win situation for both you and the other party. By including your valuable content on their page, you’re making their website more valuable to their readers, and getting a backlink in return.

The most critical part of this process is to create content that can be used as a valuable resource on other websites. Take the time to create truly valuable content that others would be happy to share and link to, and you’ll start gaining links left and right.

Broken Link Building

When a website links to a particular page and doesn’t update that page for a long period of time, those pages can be deleted or go out of service. What if your company can find these broken pages, and suggest that the website owner replace the broken link with your content?

This is the strategy behind broken link building, where you find links that are no longer working and offer your valuable content as a suitable replacement.

Scanning for broken links and reaching out to the business or individual who owns the website is the simplest way to get started with this strategy. It may be simple, but it’s very effective.

Using Original Data & Research to Get Inbound Links

Compared to the previous two strategies, this one involves a lot more effort but can be hundreds of times more effective if picked up by popular sites or media.

To execute this strategy, your business will need to perform original research or compile and analyze data in order to gain new insights within your industry. Once your original data and research have been obtained, create a piece of content that describes your findings in detail.

If your insights are valuable enough, you’ll start to be used as a resource and cited on websites all over the world. As you can imagine, this strategy has massive potential and can bring in potentially thousands of backlinks over time.

Chapter 8

Long-Term SEO Benefits for your B2B Website

seo benefits

As a B2B marketer, you know how valuable Search Engine Optimization can be when it comes to winning the digital game.  But have you ever considered the long-term benefits of a successful SEO strategy? We’re going to discuss several ways SEO can benefit your business in the long run and make you unstoppable in your industry.

The “SEO Snowball”

When a small snowball gets rolling downhill, it tends to pick up more and more snow and grow into a giant boulder. Winning the game of SEO works much the same way.

When your business ranks at the top of the search results within your space, you’ll often get more and more business and an increasing amount of backlinks and references at the same time.

We call this the “SEO Snowball”, where success builds upon success. Ranking at the top of the search results within your industry has the potential to propel your business into an industry-leading role.  Your business can become the “go-to” solution for your target clients.

Becoming a Leader In Your Space

Once you get to the top of the search engine results for keywords your B2B decision-makers look for, it becomes increasingly difficult for the competition to knock you down. We mentioned the “SEO Snowball” and how ranking on top lets you gradually bring in a stream of backlinks that strengthen your authority, and how this can “future-proof” your business day by day.

The value of SEO isn’t just the new clients you bring in today, but the long-term reputation and trust you build in your business and brand.

Chapter 9

Non-Fluffy SEO Reporting, Analysis, and Optimization

When it comes to SEO reporting and analyzing campaign results, there are a significant number of agencies who “fluff-up” their results.  They show clients data that doesn’t really make a difference to their bottom line.

We’re going to discuss the importance of optimized B2B SEO reporting, and how choosing a trusted B2B SEO agency focused on achieving results is the ideal way to go.

Avoiding Reporting Fluff

SEO reporting can be easily manipulated, especially if an agency or SEO provider doesn’t have their client’s best interests in mind. This is an unfortunate reality that can be mitigated and completely avoided by working with trusted professionals.

For instance, an agency can report “fluff” by showing high rankings for search terms that don’t make a difference to their client’s bottom line. They can show improvements in rankings for search terms their target audience doesn’t even search for.  If the client doesn’t know any better, they’ll accept these results as progress.

If your business ever decides to work with a SEO agency or B2B SEO provider, it’s in your best interest to validate their reputation with past customers.  In addition, take extra care to understand whether they’ll be working for you or against you.

Working with Trusted Results-Focused Agencies

When choosing a marketing agency to work with, avoiding fluffy reporting or misrepresented results should be your company’s top priority.

Fortunately, marketing agencies such as GoingClear make customer transparency and communication a core part of their business philosophy and operations. When you work with a trusted agency focused on results and optimizing your search campaigns, you’ll begin to see real results and reports.  These will be highlighted results that make a direct impact on your bottom line.

Chapter 10

How to Choose the Right B2B SEO Agency

Choosing the right B2B SEO agency to help you get to the top of the search engine results pages is no easy task. However, there are several strategies you can use to narrow down your search.

Before anything else, you’ll want to verify the reputation of the agency you want to work with.  You’ll also want to determine whether they have true expertise and results in the space. Do they have verifiable results for other clients, and how do those results look?

Once you’ve determined that the agency can deliver results, take the time to set clear goals for your SEO campaigns. Afterwards, speak with the agency to ensure they understand exactly what you want to achieve.

Throughout this guide, we’ve given you a framework to follow when it comes to B2B SEO.  You should be well-equipped to discuss the topic.

If your business is ready to work with a trusted B2B SEO agency that can take you to the next level, contact the GoingClear team today to discuss your B2B SEO goals.

Chapter 11

B2B SEO Checklist

In order to make the B2B SEO process easy to follow, we’ve developed a step-by-step checklist your business can use to create your search engine optimization strategy and implement it successfully. Download the checklist below!