The best B2B SEO agency could be the key to transforming your online presence, capturing new leads, and unlocking extra sources of revenue.
The reality is, in all industries, around 68% of online experiences start with a search engine. Today’s consumers look for information, options, and guidance by typing keywords into Google. Failure to rank for those terms means you could be missing out on endless sources of traffic.
It’s not just everyday consumers who look for solutions via search engines. Many business buyers are reliant on SEO too. After all, most business purchases start with extensive research into the problems companies are facing. B2B companies, on average, can earn up to 2 times more revenue just by prioritizing organic search over other channels.
Unfortunately, mastering B2B SEO is often easier said than done. Many brands struggle to get the most out of their campaigns, because they don’t know how to use technical, on-page, and off-page SEO to their advantage. That’s where a B2B SEO agency comes in.
Let’s explore how you can find the right B2B SEO agency to boost your chances of success, and what you can do to make the most of your new partnership.
What is B2B SEO and Why Does It Matter?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. It’s the art of cultivating your website, content, and search engine marketing strategies to drive improved visibility and new opportunities for your brand. B2B SEO focuses specifically on search engine optimization in the B2B (Business to Business) landscape.
Many companies make the mistake of assuming B2B and B2C SEO are exactly the same. After all, regardless of your audience, you’re still working with the same search engines to showcase your content and site to customers. While there is some overlap between B2B and B2C strategies, such as a focus on valuable content, and a need for keywords and linking, there are also some core differences to consider. Specifically, B2B SEO:
Focuses on a different audience: The people you target with B2B SEO marketing are very different to those you would be trying to reach with a B2C strategy. In a B2B campaign, you’re trying to attract the attention of high-level business professionals, capable of making decisions about purchases. These individuals are looking for different kinds of content creation, brimming with statistics and facts that will help them to make confident decisions.
Low volume keywords: Because the B2B market is often more niche, and less competitive than the B2C landscape, the keywords you target may differ. In most cases, you’ll be attempting to connect with a very specific audience, which means the volume for your keywords will generally be lower. This means you may need to exert more effort to find high-ranking terms relevant to your audience.
Slower conversions: The average B2B buyer will consume between 3-7 pieces of content before speaking to a sales representative. Buyers can’t make purchases on impulse, as this would put their B2B business and profits at risk. They’re also more likely to be spending more on the purchases they make than the average consumer. This means companies need to commit to consistently nurturing their audience through the sales cycle, with content tailored to different questions, requirements, and levels of intent.
Demand for expertise: Since every B2B purchase can be extremely important to the future of a business, and its success, companies need to trust the brand they’re buying from. They’re looking for evidence of authority and credibility. You may need to focus more heavily on developing thought leadership in your space when developing a B2B SEO strategy. This could mean investing in more experienced content writers and producers.
What Are the Benefits of Partnering with an SEO Agency?
The unique challenges of B2B SEO marketing make it extremely difficult for many businesses to achieve phenomenal results on their own. It takes significant experience, time and strategy to create an SEO campaign which leads to effective lead generation.
A B2B SEO agency can be a powerful way to increase your chances of success. They provide several benefits that in-house marketers can’t offer, including focused industry expertise, and access to a wide range of valuable tools. Agencies source experts from many fields, to help enhance every aspect of your search engine campaigns.
With a B2B SEO agency, you gain direct access to a group of professionals with a clear understanding of the SEO space. These businesses are focused completely on the search engine landscape, which means they’re often more likely to be up-to-date with the latest algorithm changes affecting the search engines, and how to promote your brand.
B2B SEO agencies can also offer specific guidance and direction based on your niche. For instance, if you’re looking into SEO for tech companies, you can find industry experts with years of experience working with some of the biggest tech brands in the market.
Some of the biggest benefits of a B2B SEO agency include:
Access to a full team of experts: A B2B SEO agency hires multiple professionals from different landscapes to address all of the factors of your SEO campaign. There are content writers available to help you product thought-leadership pieces, algorithm experts, and even website technicians to assist with technical SEO.
Time and money savings: Agencies can handle the various time-consuming tasks associated with search engine optimization on your behalf. They can handle everything from meta-data optimization to keyword research, so you have more time to focus on what you do best. They can even save you money, by reducing the amount you need to spend on low-quality campaigns, training your employees, and hiring in-house professionals.
Improved efficiency: SEO agencies work tirelessly to ensure you get the best results from your organic search campaigns. They’re agile enough to adapt to the latest algorithm changes, and excellent at delivering new campaigns according to strict deadlines. They’re also constantly training and developing their own knowledge behind the scenes.
SEO Agency vs. In-House
While many B2B companies today know they need a strong SEO strategy to stand out online, some assume they can save time and money by simply tackling the process themselves, with an in-house team. However, the reality is most companies simply don’t have the skilled professionals or knowledge necessary to handle the complexities of B2B SEO.
According to 57% of enterprise brands, having limited in-house SEO skills is the most challenging obstacle to standing out on the search engines.
The core differences between SEO agencies and in-house teams come down to two key areas: cost and time. Most companies assume they can save money by hiring in-house professionals, as a B2B SEO service can be quite expensive. However, the reality is quite different.
To create an effective SEO campaign, companies need to leverage not just the right tools, but the right professionals, with a host of different skills. You’ll need an entire team of professionals to work on a strong campaign, from SEO specialists to writers and editors. The more people you need to hire individually, the more you’re likely to spend.
With in-house professionals, it’s also up to you to pay for the technology and tools necessary for SEO success. Keyword tools and research apps can be extremely expensive. Not to mention, you’ll need to pay for courses to keep your professionals up-to-date.
Hiring an SEO agency also saves you significant time. As mentioned above, SEO agencies are efficient. They work behind the scenes to ensure they have the knowledge they need to drive results for your business. This means they spend less time training and more time delivering leads.
SEO Audit: What Should You Expect?
There are numerous stages involved in working with a B2B SEO agency. One of the most important is the “audit” stage, which occurs at the beginning of your relationship with your new partner. A B2B SEO audit allows your chosen agency to evaluate and assess your current website, marketing (e.g. digital marketing, content marketing, social media marketing) , and paid search strategy in depth.
During an audit, your SEO company will analyze your on-page and off-page content, market competition, backlinks, and keywords. They’ll determine whether the technical and structural aspects of your site are optimized effectively for SEO, and create a list of key issues that need to be addressed before you can increase your rankings online.
The audit itself generally doesn’t take long for an experienced B2B SEO company. Most companies can conduct this examination in a couple of days. However, actually fixing what’s wrong with the existing website can take a little longer. The more errors your SEO agency finds, the more time they’ll need to spend to bring your presence up-to-speed. They may need to address things like broken links, missing meta descriptions, and keyword cannibalization instances.
To keep you in the loop, your SEO agency will create a presentation highlighting all of their findings, and the next steps in their strategy. This ensures you can see exactly what your agency is going to do.
Hiring an SEO Agency: Retainer or Not?
When working with an SEO agency for the first time, one of the biggest issues companies face is deciding whether they should be getting a “one-off” service, or paying for a long-term retainer. The answer is simple: retainers will always give you more benefits.
Ultimately, SEO isn’t a checklist of tasks to be completed; it’s a long-term, dynamic strategy. As your business evolves and the algorithms change, you need to be able to quickly adapt. A SEO agency on retainer will ensure you have an expert on-hand to answer any questions you might have about your SEO strategy over time. It also means you’ll be able to quickly adapt to changing SEO strategies.
A retainer also encourages a better relationship between you and your SEO agency. Rather than just giving a team a list of tasks to complete, you’re creating a long-term partnership.
Best Practices for Choosing the Right Agency
Finding the right B2B SEO agency to work with can seem like a daunting prospect, particularly if you’re investing in a long-term partnership. You need to make sure you’re selecting a team you can trust, capable of delivering exceptional results. To boost your chances of success:
Do your research: Take your time to learn about the basics of SEO, and determine what kind of support you’re going to need. Ask yourself whether you’re looking for someone who focuses specifically on SEO optimization from a technical perspective, or whether you need a comprehensive team capable of offering content marketing and campaign strategies.
Look at their portfolio: Ensuring your B2B SEO agency has experience in your industry and niche is crucial. Most companies will have portfolios and case studies on their websites which can give you an insight into the businesses they’ve worked with before. Ask for reviews and testimonials if you need additional sources of proof.
Check the plan: The best SEO agencies should be able to outline a clear plan of action specific to your SEO needs. Avoid companies that talk in abstract terms, or seem secretive about the strategies they’re going to use. Your B2B SEO agency should be able to guide you through each stage of their plan, and showcase why it’s relevant to your needs.
Prioritize communication: It’s important to be kept in the loop by the SEO agency you choose to work with. Make sure your team of choice is always available to answer any questions you might have. If you’re concerned about communication, it might be worth setting up an initial meeting with your team to see how they’re going to keep you informed throughout the process of each campaign.
Request reports: Great SEO agencies don’t just keep you informed with regular communication, they also provide evidence of their value. Many of the top B2B SEO agencies frequently deliver reports and analytics, showcasing metrics that matter. They help you to understand why specific B2B website designs might work better for your brand, or why you should be producing one type of content over another.
Maximize Your Partnership with a B2B SEO Agency
One of the most important things to remember when you’re working with a B2B SEO agency, is that the partnership is two-sided. While a great agency will do everything in their power to provide you with excellent results, they’ll also need your input from time to time.
To get the most out of your SEO company , make sure you can trust and adhere to their input. Listen to their recommendations and follow them carefully, so you can start to generate results. It’s also helpful to have goals in mind when you start your campaigns, so you can let your agency know which metrics and KPIs you’re going to be monitoring.
When your B2B agency asks for resources, such as buyer personas and other information, make sure you can provide access to them quickly.
Crucially, it’s also worth remembering that B2B SEO doesn’t guarantee overnight success. Standing out in the search engines takes time. While you can always ask your agency questions about their processes if you’re not certain their work is paying off, it’s important to be patient.
If you need help from a B2B SEO agency to grow and strengthen your brand, contact Amplifyed today. We’ve helped countless B2B organizations thrive over the years. Discover what we can do for you!
Hey! I live in San Diego and have been involved with SEO since 2010. Our amazing team at Amplifyed specializes in helping SaaS and tech companies dominate the search rankings. We serve as an extension of your team to make sure your content ranks and drives the right people to your website. Let’s connect on LinkedIn and schedule a chat.