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B2B SEO and Revenue: Connecting the Dots

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B2B SEO and Revenue: Connecting the Dots


Search engine optimization for eCommerce businesses, much like any other sort of digital marketing, is subject to a fairly wide range of nuances.

For instance, in all of SEO, it’s expected that results will take longer to generate a head of steam than they would with, say, social media marketing or PPC. That’s just how it goes.

But the time it takes to generate results is not the only obstacle you need to account for when framing an eCommerce SEO marketing strategy.

There are also the challenges of defining a target audience, performing keyword research, and settling on a set number of keywords and search terms that will align with the search intent of the client’s target market, as well as separate, distinct challenges that vary from industry to industry.

Then, there are the challenges associated with B2B eCommerce SEO, which one of our clients in the commercial plumbing industry was facing when they came to us.

Here’s how we knocked down the obstacles and generated uncommon organic marketing success.

B2B SEO Services: The Background

The client in question has served its clients for over 35 years from its eCommerce website, operates a 10,000-square-foot warehouse, and carries upwards of 40 brands that serve the commercial plumbing industry.

The difference between this particular client and most of our SEO customers is that this one is a B2B company that serves businesses and plumbing professionals. They effectively offer no B2C sales – serving only other businesses and plumbing professionals that use their commercial products, themselves serving other businesses.

As with any SEO campaign, this client was desirous of increasing online visibility, organic keyword rankings, and generating additional qualified leads to their website.

But there was something else this commercial plumbing client (and our strategists) hoped to get out of the process. We wanted to see if we could take B2B SEO one step further and generate additional transactions and revenue for this client.

It’s something that we (and other B2B SEO providers) shy away from attempting, due to the disconnect between organic ranking increases, user behavior, and conversions. But it is not unattainable.

Challenges of B2B SEO (and B2B Marketing in General)

There are a lot of unique challenges facing a B2B SEO strategy. All of these converge to make it difficult to get a marketing campaign off the ground and under a head of steam.

For one, B2B buyers are different from consumers. They tend to be highly educated in their respective markets and usually know much more about the involved products and services than most consumers. In many cases, B2B buyers are not looking to learn about these products and services because they are already very familiar with them. On the one hand, it means transactional and commercial search intent are common among B2B-focused keywords – on the other, it makes creating content very difficult.

Though search volumes for B2B-focused keywords tend to be lower, competition tends to be very high. This is a combination that makes ranking effectively for these keywords very difficult as well.

It can also be easy to attract the wrong crowd to a website that primarily serves other businesses and professionals. This can generate high impressions and clicks, but commensurately high bounce rate and low conversion value. Accidentally attracting the wrong traffic can cause further delays in a B2B SEO campaign.

On top of these, there are the usual challenges associated with eCommerce SEO and generating higher conversion rates and revenue.

The Challenges of B2B eCommerce SEO and Generating Higher Revenue

On top of the fact that B2B search volumes tend to be very low and the target markets are hyper-educated and involved, there are the usual challenges associated with SEO with respect to boosting revenue and conversions.

The main reason for this is that there is a categorical disconnect between improving organic impressions and getting additional revenue.

Granted, in theory, if keyword research yields a variety of attainable keywords that have commercial or transactional search volume, conversions and revenue should also increase with increases in organic traffic.

But this is not always the case. Sometimes, markets are so saturated – especially B2B markets – that those high-conversion keywords are already taken. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to go after them and you need to start small.

B2B SEO specialists can take direct actions that will almost definitely result in higher organic rankings for their B2B clients, but it is difficult, impossible, really, to have a direct impact on conversions and sales.

Ultimately, what B2B SEO specialists can do is improve ranking signals. We can add backlinks, write original content for landing pages and other product pages, clear up technical SEO errors, improve page load speeds and security, improve website functionality, and perform numerous other on-page optimizations.

These efforts have a direct and measurable impact on organic ranking increases. It might take a little time, but organic standings will improve, even for competitive keywords.

But with SEO, we’re working with the old maxim that “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”

We can get more organic traffic to trickle into a website, but we can’t force them to buy.

So what’s the solution? Well, you can’t make a horse drink, right? So what you want to do is make sure you’re only leading thirsty horses to water!

Here’s how we did it.

When it comes to increasing not only organic traffic and visibility via B2B SEO but also revenue, keyword targeting is crucial.

Framing the B2B SEO Process to Go Beyond Traffic and Leads

In the sense that we followed our SEO process to its standards, we ran this campaign just like we’d run any other campaign.

That is to say, after performing keyword research and collaborating with the client on focus keywords, categories, products, keywords, and target URLs, and defining goals, we did what we always do best.

We drafted and published a stream of offsite guest posts and disseminated them amongst various third-party boards and websites with high domain authority. We infused these posts with backlinks to the client’s website in order to increase their domain authority and referral traffic.

We wrote a series of blogs that were keyword, length, and link-optimized, along with a set of category page content updates that together boosted the website’s visibility.

We updated key target URLs with new metadata, titles, and copy, and performed ongoing scans to remove toxic backlinks from the website and clean up crawl errors like broken links – a substantial concern for such a large, comprehensive website with so many URLs.

Together, these efforts helped to slowly generate organic movements for their website. First, organic rankings for focus keywords began to improve. Then, rankings and impressions improved for the remainder of the keywords in their campaign. Consequently, organic traffic increased.

So we managed to generate more organic traffic. The image below shows the trend in organic traffic to all pages of their website from October 2021 to September 2022; roughly the period that corresponds to the beginning of their B2B SEO campaign to the present as of the time of this publication.

Organic traffic increased overall through the period during which this SEO campaign has been active.

You can see without any numbers that there is a pronounced trending increase in organic traffic with time.

Organic user metrics are even more favorable when you compare campaign performance to the corresponding previous period.

When you show the figures for traffic comparing this period to the previous period (from October 2020 to September 2021) the results are even more conclusive.

The figure above hardly even warrants an explanation. Pageviews, unique pageviews, time on page, and entrances are all dramatically up from the previous period, by 41%, 43%, nearly 13%, and over 50%, respectively.

We clearly generated increases in organic traffic for the client in question, but were we attracting the right leads, and did these increases correspond to separate but related increases in sales? For that, we’ll need to look at those revenue and transaction-related metrics among organic visitors for the corresponding time period.

B2B SEO Services The Results

Take a look at the picture below. It tells you almost everything you need to know about the results we delivered for this client pursuant to their B2B SEO campaign. It shows data amongst organic users only, comparing the period during which our campaign was active to the previous period. It corresponds basically to the same period shown in the last image.

The proof is in the pudding: conversion rates, transactions, and revenue are all up among organic visitors.

This is what every provider of B2B SEO services strives to achieve, regardless of the industry being served. It’s relatively easy to drive up organic keyword rankings, impressions, and even clicks and organic traffic, but this tells the greater part of the story.

While the eCommerce conversion rate was only up slightly, at less than a percentage point, transactions and revenue were up staggeringly – at 51% and 71%, respectively.

There’s no other way to say it than this: sales are looking good for this particular client, specifically amongst organic visitors, with no signs of slowing down.

This is proof that our keyword strategy worked. We didn’t just aim to improve organic visits. We wanted to make sure we hooked the right fish – that is, members of their target audience (presumably commercial plumbing professionals) that had a high intent to purchase.

We did this by parsing all of the details of the keywords in our target lists. We started with a huge pool and narrowed it down by volume, density, competition, and in this case most importantly, by commercial and transactional search intent.

Therefore, when we did all the hard work of optimizing the site so users could find it organically, most of the ones that did already had their wallets open and ready.

That is how you run a successful B2B SEO campaign.

Learn More About eCommerce SEO

Have questions about how we do it? Get in touch with us at 888-982-8269, visit our SEO by industry page, or check out our collection of eCommerce case studies. They tell the tales.

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