To get you through the weekend with a healthy dose of B2B SEO, here’s another guest post by my colleague Erik-Jan Bulthuis, the third in this series, after B2B SEO: Marketing strategy for specific niches and B2B Content SEO.
In this third article of the series about B2B SEO we’ll be talking about link building. We expect the reader to have a basic knowledge on link building. We won’t name the standard B2C link building techniques and focus us on the differences between B2B and B2C link building. What are those differences? We first mention some differences so we can explain them later on:
- There are less linkerati in a B2B market
- A B2B website needs lees links
There are less websites capable of linking to you. A B2B market is much smaller than a B2C market. Compare the travel market with the market of industrial pumping systems. The number of blogs in the travel sector is hundreds of times higher than in the sector of industrial pumps. This means it’s much more important to keep being friends with your linkerati. Keep in contact, comment on their blogs and give away a nice scoop.
On the other hand: you need less links in a B2B market than in a B2C market. This is because of the simple reason that your competitors don’t have a lot of links as well. Of course this doesn’t work in the situation of polysemy: if one of your B2B keywords is an important keyword in a B2C market as well, it won’t be easy to rank for it.
However, specific terms like ‘peristaltic pumps’ are not that competitive. And for those terms, your competitors are having problems finding links just like you.
Enlarge your linkerati group
AS we just said, one of the biggest problem in B2B link building is the small size of the linkerati group. Therefore, it’s important to keep in touch with that small group. It is even better to enlarge your potential linkerati. Your niche might be very small but there are always enough related topics whose linkerati might be willing and able to link to you too.
B2B Link Building tip #1
Every B2B company has suppliers. Take for example the case of our industrial pump client. There must be another company building the machines which are used to build the pumps. Make an arrangement with your supplier and let him write a case on their site about how they build your machines. Make it interesting for their visitors, but don’t forget the backlink. In this way, you can transform your offline network to be your linkerati.
B2B Link Building tip #2
For some niches, there is not much interesting to say. In such a case, you might want to enlarge your linkerati by blogging about other company related issues. Start a blog about running a B2B company. Corporate blogging isn’t as easy as it sounds, but of course it’s an option. Doing link building for such a blog shouldn’t be a big problem.
Linkbait in a B2B market: knowledge
In the more B2B markets, knowledge is your USP. It’s not strange that most B2B companies are somewhat afraid of sharing their expertise. But there is another side of this coin: if you are afraid of sharing your knowledge, other people will be looking for it. A website showing off your expertise and knowledge will attract many visitors. If your niche market isn’t that big, people will soon recognize you as an authority in your area. And good content always attracts some links. This is the main advantage of B2B link building: you do have the capacity to write good content. Content is still king, even for link building.
B2B Link Building Tip #3
Start a blog in your niche. Don’t only tell about your successes but also share linkworthy content. Make usable checklists, compare products or solutions with each other, tell about new developments in the market. Let users comment and react on their reactions. Write in a personal way to build friendships, to increase the chance of those people linking to you.
B2B Link Building tip #4
Another way to share knowledge is setting up a wiki. Put a wiki on your site and let everyone participate. Start with a lot of enthusiasm and keep networking with the people who write on your wiki as well. After a while you’ll be an authority within your market. Everyone writing about your niche has to mention you.
Linkbait for a larger crowd
Find a way to make your topic relate to nerds or a large society that frequently expresses their opinion online. (â€¦) With most link bait you are not trying to gain topical expert linksâ€¦ more likely citations from people with a mild interest in the topic (and how you related it to their nerdy interests).
B2B Link Building tip #5
Create a link bait action for your market, that has a strong focus on a different but related market with more linkerati. Place this link bait on social media sites, use press releases (if your link bait has some news value) and promote your link bait in different ways.
Which kind of link bait you have to use depends from case to case. Let’s give a few examples:
- Let BMW write a piece of content about their open source Telematics system. Let them say something about what innovations have occurred. Sent press releases to blogs of open source fanatics.
- Let our industrial pump provider make a movie in which all things are placed in the cutter: car tires, potatoes, bottles of shampoo etc. Let ‘Will it blend?’ on YouTube inspire you. Put the movie on your site and spread it through social media.
Expert knowledge and link building
You don’t have large numbers of competitors as a B2B company. However, you do sell a complex product. Therefore, it’s quite easy to make yourself an expert within your market. This gives plenty of room for doing link building.
B2B Link Building tip #6
Suppose that our industrial pump manufacturer is looking for high quality links. There must be a few high quality websites about technical stuff which are looking for interesting case studies. Make yourself the authority within your market and place such a case study on a big, high authority website.
B2B link building requires different goals than B2C link building. It’s less important to get high PageRank backlinks, because your competition doesn’t have them as well. The quality of B2B backlink isn’t measured in PageRank but in relevancy. B2B link building is easier and more difficult than B2C link building. Easier because you have good content; more difficult because your linkerati group is relative small.