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Terry Cane
Terry Cane

Terry Cane is the COO at SEOHost.net, a reliable and supportive SEO hosting partner. You can follow/tweet her @SEOhostnet.

So, you’re looking to optimize a B2B website for search? The process is going to be a little different from what you’d do with a consumer site. For one, you’re going to need to target a specific industry or vertical.

Here’s what you need to know to get started.

It All Ties Back To Google’s Push For Relevance

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If you’ve been paying much attention to the news coming out of Google, you’ll know that the search giant is continuously looking for new ways to improve its algorithm. Most recently, this has manifested as a big push into the machine learning space. The goal?

Google’s goal is and has always been to serve its users with the content that’s most relevant to their needs. To that end, it’s trying to teach its algorithms how people behave, how they search, and what they want beyond just what they’re searching for. But what does any of this have to do with vertical-targeted SEO?

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A B2B website that directly targets a user’s profession or industry will always be more relevant than one that does not, assuming the two sites are of otherwise equivalent value.

Every Vertical Has Unique Keyword Variations – You Need To Know Yours

Next, let’s talk about keywords. Specifically, niche keywords. They’re basically what they sound like – long-tailed keywords that tie directly to a particular industry.

You’re going to want to target them in your optimization efforts. But first, you’ll need to figure out what they are. For that, the best advice we can give is to consider how your target clients talk.

Keyword Research
Representational image of Keyword research | Image credit: user6724086/Freepik

What sort of phrases or words are they likely using to find your website? What industry-specific jargon do they know that laypeople don’t? Use a keyword research tool to come up with as many variations as you can, and from there, narrow it down to a list unique to your business. A keyword research tool will likely uncover some unexpected search terms that you may not have thought people would search for. Make sure your keyword tool can break keywords down by country and industry, too.

Thought Leadership Is More Critical Than Ever

Content is king. You’re probably sick of hearing that mantra by now. Yet, it holds truer here than ever.

As a B2B organization, it’s not enough to know your vertical’s keyword variations. It’s not enough to optimize your website, so it matches the language of your audience.

It would be best if you took things a step further. You need to establish yourself not just as a vendor but as a trusted authority. And the best way to do that is by demonstrating value to your clientele beyond your products and services.

Participate in industry-specific communities online. Share your educated thoughts, opinions, and advice on social media. Publish long-form, evergreen content that walks clients through problems and challenges they may encounter in their day-to-day. Infographics are another accessible way to present content to an audience.

Connect to Audience
Two business person shaking hands | Image credit: jcomp/Freepik

In addition to social media, podcasts are an excellent way to reach new audiences strategically. Try to find podcasts that other people in your industry listen to that conduct interviews. Participate in an interview to establish yourself as a thought leader. If you enjoy podcasting, start a company podcast to bring in other relevant guests to further your company’s reach and message.

Some sites accept guest editorials. These opportunities are good for thought leadership and great ways to raise domain authority because every guest editorial yields a backlink to another unique domain.

This content doesn’t even need to relate directly back to your products. So long as it’s something your audience finds interesting and valuable, you’ll bring in traffic and generate trust. And those two together ultimately mean more leads.

Closing Thoughts

It’s not just B2B SEO that’s feeling the crunch of Google’s push towards relevance. There’s value in vertically-targeted content and search for B2C companies. It’s just not as pronounced.

At least, not yet. That very well could change in the near future.

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