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B2B vs. B2C SEO: What’s The Difference?

Business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets are two different models that grant brands with benefits specific to their needs. With the right model, you can make the marketing and sales progress your business has been seeking.

Both target buyers with completely different habits while creating various solutions and obstacles. Take, for example, glassblowers. They could attempt to sell to a smaller market to one time buyers or supply to chains in need of a constant steady supply. Ultimately, one decision will require a much more different approach to sale strategy than the other. For both, however, the type of commerce they choose will largely rely on the type of consumers they wish to attract.

If you’re currently stumped over whether to sell B2B or B2C, here’s a breakdown of the main differences between both:

Contrasting Relationship Personalities

Every business chases after consumers who will feel a strong connection with them. For B2Cs and B2Bs the returning customer is the ultimate key to success. Still, their approach to building customer relationships are completely different.

B2Cs are the career relationship seekers of your friendship groups. With services that typically require one-off purchases, like clothing items, they’re in constant search for back-to-back relationships. B2Bs have the stability and fixed costs of supplying to companies, which typically seek longer more secure relationships. When McDonald’s tacked apples slices to their menu, they became the biggest buyers of Gala apples than any chain in the country. Imagine their administrative terror if they had to find new suppliers for every month.  

Contrasting Campaign Goals

Both B2C and B2B share a common ground in that their efforts aim to create a sale. Their differences, however, primarily lie in their campaign agendas. In the realm of a B2C world, SEO campaigns typically hope to generate prompt purchases. In a perfect B2C dream, a user will discover a site at the top of a search engine’s results page and click through to the site. From there, a shopper will move onto the site’s shopping cart and ultimately make it all the way through the checkout process.

For B2B’s like Target, Costco or Home Depot the objectives couldn’t be more different. Most customers hardly ever acquire their B2B products and services in an e-commerce setting. In this way, the SEO goals of a B2B are to keep themselves involved in the conversation. B2B conversions are generally not as swift and instant as the ones of B2Cs. Typically they focus on drawing in customers, signing users up for newsletters, or social media follows. As a broad example, consider the amount of times you’ve driven by a Target billboard. The likelihood of seeing a Target ad that provides a toll number to make purchase is pretty slim. The expectations for advertisement results are completely different.

Distinct Content Strategies

The rules of effective writing are in constant play for B2Bs and B2Cs alike. With 88% of B2Bs and 76% of B2Cs utilizing content marketing efforts, the worth of content is clear. B2B’s will want their content to result in leads, while B2C’s will seek brand awareness and engagement.

The influx of comparable online content coupled with ever changing SEO standards requires both models to deliver quality content. Both have to draw in users enough that they are encouraged to return to the site and or share on social media. What’s more, they must take into account their approach to targeting audiences as well as content objectives. Still, the nature and relevance of B2B and B2C content are relatively split. With various risk factors at play for online purchasers, B2C consumers are more likely to combine their purchasing processes with research. Ensuring positive customer feedback on their products is key. On the other hand, B2Bs endure the struggle of competing with companies that offer the same or similar products. For them, that means needing to lure in users with competitive prices, thorough descriptions and complimentary reviews.

In the end, both B2B and B2C models require businesses to identify customer needs and build strong connections. While both require different strategies, overarching marketing concepts of strong SEO, content, and targeting tactics equally apply.

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Brannon M. Brooks

Brannon M. Brooks

Brannon Brooks brings a considerable amount of background knowledge & a passion in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Internet Marketing, and Social Media. He comes to 180fusion with 5 years in the online marketing industry. Currently he oversees & structures SEO and marketing strategies for a handful of clients; ranging from National SEO, Local Search, & e-commerce businesses. Prior to 180fusion, Brannon Brooks has worked as an SEO Analyst overseeing enterprise accounts in a vast majority of industries. His favorite SEO quote & rule of thumb is “Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.”

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