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Keyword Research: How to Select Relevant B2B SEO Keywords

When creating a solution for other businesses, the marketing may be a little trickier. In this article, we’ll cover the difference in SEO research.

Keyword research is actually one of the most important SEO processes. But you have to alter it to search for your target audience, who aren’t always regular shoppers. What if your target audience is a business?

Find out how to properly research keywords to reach your audience. We’ll talk about defining your audience, seed keywords, competitor research, and more.

Define Your B2B Audience

Spoiler alert: there are many questions for you.

The first thing to do is determine who you’ll be targeting. First of all, it’s important to understand that you’re not looking for regular users. You’re looking for businesses. And there are a lot of questions to ask yourself before you conduct the actual research.

What type of business do you want to target? What industry or niche is it in? Maybe you want to gain partners and customers from a particular location? All these things should be in brief.

Moreover, you may want to target a certain scale of business. What size is its team? And who do you want to target within those teams? Are you going for executives or implementors? This is a question not many people include in their research. 

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The next thing to contemplate is the challenges those people have. How are you going to hook them? What kind of problems do they have that you can solve? Think about the things the people at the positions you’re targeting are trying to achieve.

There are many questions that you can answer to help you determine:

  • The kind of business to target
  • The positions to target
  • The pains to use to draw attention to your solution(s)
  • The countries to research [the market, the keywords, etc.]
  • The ways people are looking for B-to-B solutions

Collect Seed Keywords for Your B2B SEO Strategy

Seed keywords are the main keywords you’re looking for. They are the foundation of your keyword strategy. Maybe that’s too much talk about keywords, but that’s the point of this article, right?

All your content and marketing tactics will be based on those words and queries. These should come to you naturally as you answer the questions we’ve written for you in the previous section.

They are the base for the supporting queries you’ll use in your articles, landing pages, social media posts, etc.

First of all, describe your product or service in the simplest words, just like people may do when they’re looking for it online. These words are your seed keywords.

The next step is researching them using a tool for keyword research like the one offered by SE Ranking. You shouldn’t just use any phrases and hope your target B2B audience also uses them, right? Marketers must research keyword search volume and other metrics to build a strategy.

Source: B2B keyword research by SE Ranking

Here are the things to look into:

  • Search volume of every query
  • Keywords difficulty
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Competition
  • Other keywords ideas to enhance your list (similar queries, related, and low search volume ones so that you can target smaller niches)
  • Checking the bulk keyword list if you have one (you can do it with SE Ranking’s Keyword Research tool by going to the Keyword Manager menu at the top of the page)

 These keyword research tips will give you a clear list of queries that should work.

Leverage the Insights from Your Sales and Customer Service Teams

After analyzing the main keyword metrics, there’s another critical task – talking to your sales and customer service teams.

Keeping in contact with your employees is important for gaining insights into looking for business-to-business customers. Your employees talk to the target audience and lead most often. So, you can get info about the most frequently asked questions and the terms they use to describe your products or services.

You can isolate more keywords, especially the long-tail ones, for further research from this info. These will help you rank higher and become more visible to potential buyers.

Meanwhile, you can gather other info about existing customers to know more about their behaviors, which will help create a better marketing campaign for the product or service in question.

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Study Your B2B Competitors

It’s wise to look around and see what your competitors are doing. Maybe you can do something better or in a different way. Or perhaps they have a gap in their strategy that you can fill, finding your place in the niche.

You can learn about other leading players in the race by researching their keyword search ranking. This approach will also help you find the most suitable queries for your strategy and help fill the gaps. Keyword ranking analysis enables you to peek into the strategy of any competitor.

Competitor research will assist in finding the keywords you may have missed during your research. You can use SE Ranking’s Keyword Research and Competitive Research tools to speed up the process. By using the Keyword Research Tool, you can find out the keyword gap you have with the other players – the query differences in their profiles.

Source: B2B competitor research by SE Ranking

To do this research:

  1. Click on the Keyword Research button at the top of the page.
  2. Insert the keyword you want to research.
  3. Click on Organic Results in the menu on the left.
  4. On the results page, you’ll see a list of websites using the query, along with traffic, traffic cost, and the total number of used keywords.
  5. Click on any link, and you’ll be redirected to the Competitor Research Tool. There, you can find out all the keywords that drive the most traffic to the website, as well as the distribution in organic keyword rankings.

Check Existing Rankings

Checking the existing rankings will also help you find out what queries work the best to drive traffic to your pages. At the moment, there’s lots of info on how potential leads on the Internet access your website in Google Search Console.

We recommend that you combine all the data from different digital tools (Google Search Console, Google Analytics, etc.) in one. You can do it with a single SE Ranking profile.

Source: Connecting Google Search Console and Google Analytics in SE Ranking

Select and Customize B2B SEO Keywords at Every Stage of Your Marketing Funnel

Each stage of the funnel reflects a certain intent of a user:

  • The awareness stage represents informational intent
  • The interest stage represents navigational intent
  • The consideration stage represents commercial intent
  • The conversion stage represents transactional intent

At all those stages, respective keywords are used. So, if there’s someone interested in buying your products (they know about the brand and have an interest in it), they will search for a page with transactional intent, adding ‘buy,’ ‘purchase,’ and other words to their queries.

Each step of the process also has narrower keywords. For example, within the awareness process, you can use keywords that will tell more about your company, products, services, location, etc.

Long-tail keywords that sound like straightforward questions can be used at this point as well so that people can find out more about your offers and philosophy. By starting well at this point, you can trigger a reaction that will bring a person to the next stage where you use other keywords that, in turn, gradually lead the user to the next step and so on.

Grouping such keywords will make it easier for you to do an analysis and choose the most relevant ones for each stage.

Summary

The choice of B2B keywords is different from looking for queries for a B2C campaign. Here, you have to ask more questions about the businesses you’re targeting and consider the scale of the companies and their ambitions when looking for a solution.

The core of keyword research is pretty much similar to regular analysis. You need a potent digital tool that offers many analysis features and metrics it can report on. It’s also essential to keep in touch with your sales and customer support/service teams to find out any insights they have into the existing audience, as well as the terms they use when describing your products or services.

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Competitor research is never a redundant process as you need to be the best to stand out to potential buyers and rank higher in the search results. Learning B2B user behaviors through tools like SE Ranking and Google Search Console would be a great bonus in your research.

Finally, identifying the focus keywords for every stage of your marketing funnel will help you simulate the user’s journey while learning about your offers. The intent will get more precise with every step, and being in control of that is a good thing in any marketing strategy.

Follow these recommendations, and you’ll definitely make progress in building an algorithm that will bring many businesses your way.

About the author

Alina Tytarenko is part of the marketing team at SE Ranking SEO platform for digital marketers. She and has worked in the SEO sphere for three years and now shares her experience in marketing techniques and SEO with readers. Alina works closely with SEO team, and she gladly shares the key points for qualitative keyword analysis and applying it to SEO strategy.