SEO is often misunderstood as it is all about generic web searches. However, what searches and personas you want to target is up to you! As a B2B business, you can use SEO to build online credibility instead of casting a wide net.
We often hear from companies that know they need digital marketing but scoff at SEO for targeting businesses — and business decision makers don’t use Google to find legal advice. That is not true! However, it is true that B2B (business-to-business) SEO can be very different from B2C (business-to-consumer) SEO.
Read on to find out how your B2B law firm can benefit from the power of SEO.
SEO is optimization and you decide what to optimize for
For some transactional firms working with corporations, the gut reaction that potential clients don’t do web searches is wrong. Hearing this, it’s time to find out what SEO really is.
SEO is all about optimizing your website (and your external presence) to be found on relevant searches. You can decide what searches and personas you want to target.
Here’s an example of how SEO can work for B2B law firms.
Let’s say you are a B2B company handling patent cases. It’s true that your target customers may not perform a generic web search such as “San Francisco drug patent attorney.” However, it is very likely that they are looking for the lawyer recommendation they received from a trusted colleague.
For this B2B law firm, an investment in SEO should focus on optimizing for the attorney or company name. It’s worth noting that SEO might not be enough – you might need a new website if you’re having ongoing technical issues or your branding is outdated.
For B2B law firms, SEO is often about the credibility of the recommendations
Content marketing is a core part of SEO. Therefore, content is non-negotiable for each individual law firm, whether B2B or B2C – but the goal and tactics must be properly differentiated.
When a decision-maker in a company follows up on a recommendation, their primary concern is to find out if you’re serious. In other words, they want to show that you know what you’re doing and that you have a track record of success. SEO can help with this. Seder & Chandler, a Massachusetts law firm, is an excellent example of a practice that regularly publishes helpful articles for local business owners on topics such as “3 Effective Strategies for Resolving a Partnership Dispute” and “Should You Franchise Your Business?”. Questions to ask a lawyer before making a decision.”
Here’s a top-notch comparison of B2B vs B2C SEO.
SEO for B2B: Create lasting credibility as an expert and stay in the memory of recommendation sources
SEO for B2C: Generate leads and convince visitors to take immediate action
In summary, B2C is more about lead generation, while B2B is more about the strength of your brand.
Don’t forget about persona building!
The creation of a persona is also necessary for B2B companies.
They are not your potential customers.
Building a persona is all about articulating a specific persona (not a general audience) and their needs, which ultimately allows you to create better content to support that “person” on their journey to becoming your customer. You will learn more about customer buying behavior, preferences and decision-making processes (which can be much more complex for B2B customers than for B2C customers).
PRO TIP: When B2B companies do this exercise, they should include sales channels that reach prospects and referral sources. This can include LinkedIn, networks like JDSupra, and targeted monthly newsletters.
The insights you gain from persona creation can increase the chances that that content will resonate—and lead to more conversions. Plus, you’ll gain valuable insights that can help your B2B law firm stay ahead of the competition.
Review and next steps
B2B law firms can leverage SEO to build credibility in referral validation. This process should include:
- Build Personas
- Identify sales channels
- Creating content that establishes expertise
As a B2B law firm, you need a digital marketing approach that is uniquely tailored to the decision makers you are targeting. SEO is important, but it is only one part of a comprehensive digital strategy.