The Essentials of Effective B2B SEO With Viktor Karpenko 

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In the realm of B2B operations, where the digital landscape becomes increasingly complex and competitive, mastering search engine optimization has never been more critical. Today’s discussion brings invaluable insights from a seasoned SEO specialist, who has dedicated over 15 years to understanding and navigating the intricacies of online visibility for businesses.  

With a rich background that spans from pioneering SEO practices for domain sales to founding SeoProfy, a leading agency in the field, Viktor Karpenko will share his essentials for those looking to achieve and sustain online dominance. 

Interviewer: Can you explain the differences between B2B and B2C SEO strategies? 

Viktor Karpenko: Sure. The main difference comes down to who you’re trying to reach and how they make decisions. In B2B, you’re targeting professionals making decisions for their companies. These decisions are often big, involve more research, and the sales cycle is longer. So, B2B SEO is all about detailed, informative content that speaks to specific industry needs. We’re talking whitepapers, in-depth guides, case studies — content that helps a business see why your solution is the right choice. 

In B2C, on the other hand, you’re reaching out to individuals making personal buying decisions. These decisions are usually quicker, driven by immediate needs or desires. So, B2C SEO focuses on broader keywords and content that’s engaging and easy to digest. It’s more about connecting emotionally and guiding them smoothly to purchase. 

With B2B, keyword selection is more niche. You’re using industry-specific terms and focusing on content that establishes your authority and expertise. It’s about building trust with your professional audience. For B2C, keywords are broader, aiming to capture a wide range of search intents, and the content is more diverse. Think blogs, videos, and social media posts that entertain as well as inform. 

Interviewer: Why is SEO particularly crucial for B2B companies? 

Viktor Karpenko: First off, the B2B buying process is often complex and involves multiple decision-makers. B2B transactions are calculated decisions that impact the entire organization. SEO plays a vital role in ensuring that your content is visible to these decision-makers at every stage of their buying journey. 

For B2B, it’s also about educating the market. A lot of times, B2B products or services can be niche or complex, requiring a significant amount of information to understand their value fully. Through SEO, companies can position their content to answer critical questions, provide valuable insights, and solve problems that potential clients are searching for. This not only boosts visibility but also establishes your company as a thought leader in your industry. 

Another point is the research-intensive nature of B2B purchases. Buyers spend a lot of time researching before they even make contact with potential vendors. If your SEO strategy is on point, your website and its content will show up during these research phases, putting you in front of potential clients early in their decision-making process. 

Lastly, the competitive edge. In B2B markets, standing out is essential. A strong SEO strategy helps you cut through the noise, outperform competitors in search results, and capture the attention of your target audience. It’s not just about being seen; it’s about being seen as the best option. 

Interviewer: What are the most common mistakes you see companies make?  

Viktor Karpenko: In my experience, there are a couple of common pitfalls that I see companies, especially in the B2B sector, falling into time and again.  

Firstly, there’s the issue of drowning in data. It’s incredibly easy to get lost in the sea of spreadsheets, dashboards, and audits. Data is undoubtedly critical to understanding where you stand. At SeoProfy we are driven by insights. But the key is to focus on the right data. 

Many companies spend too much time analyzing every single metric without prioritizing those that truly impact their SEO and business goals. Instead of getting bogged down in numbers, it’s more productive to identify core metrics that align with your objectives and run experiments to see what moves the needle. This approach allows you to be more agile and responsive to what the data is telling you about your SEO strategy’s performance. 

The second mistake is a narrow focus on commercial keywords with the expectation that this will directly translate into leads. While targeting keywords with commercial intent is important, it’s crucial to recognize that leads can be captured at various stages of the buyer’s journey.  

Let’s use the car detailing equipment business as an example. Targeting keywords like “buy car detailing vacuum” or “car detailing equipment” might make the most sense. However, when you broaden the strategy to include informational keywords such as “how to start a car detailing business” and couple this with content that highlights how your $12,000 vacuum could help potential business owners make money, you will likely see better results. 

This approach will not only increase your visibility across different stages of the customer journey but also position your products as solutions to your audience’s problems, thereby enhancing their marketing efficacy. 

Taking a page from platforms like SEMrush or Ahrefs, or our website, it’s evident how successful SEO and content marketing can be when you show prospects how your product addresses their pains and challenges. It’s about elevating your strategy from just targeting keywords to solving problems, which in turn, attracts and converts leads more effectively. 

Finally, many businesses set false expectations regarding the timeline for SEO results. There’s often a desire for immediate outcomes, a quick fix that propels a website to the top of search rankings overnight. However, this expectation is far from reality and can lead to frustration and misguided decisions. 

SEO should indeed be thought of as a long-term investment. Much like planting a tree, you won’t see the shade immediately. It takes time to research, plan, and implement a solid SEO strategy. Then, it requires further time for search engines to index and rank your content, and for these efforts to translate into visible traffic and leads. 

From my 15+ years of experience, I can confidently say that the investment in SEO is worth it. When executed correctly, SEO builds a sustainable source of organic traffic that can significantly reduce reliance on paid advertising and improve overall marketing ROI. But it’s crucial to manage expectations from the outset and understand that achieving these results is a process that requires time, effort, and patience. 

Interviewer: Does every business need SEO?  

Viktor Karpenko: Realistically, not every business will benefit from SEO to the same extent. While having a website and doing some basic SEO can be beneficial for most, there are circumstances where investing heavily in SEO might not be the best initial strategy. 

For instance, if your target audience doesn’t typically use search engines to find your products or services, the return on investing in SEO could be minimal. This is especially true for niche markets or industries where business is conducted through other channels like direct B2B relationships or specialized platforms. 

Budget constraints are another critical consideration. As I said, SEO is an investment both in terms of time and money. If a business is operating on a very tight budget, the resources required for an effective SEO strategy might be better allocated elsewhere, at least in the short term.  

Moreover, if there’s no existing demand for your product or service because it’s new or highly unique, SEO might not be the most effective initial marketing strategy. In such cases, other marketing efforts, such as brand awareness campaigns, social media marketing, or influencer partnerships, might be more effective in creating demand and educating potential customers about the value of what you’re offering. 

That being said, for businesses where the audience is actively searching for related products or services, and there’s a clear demand, SEO can be a game-changer.  

Interviewer: Tell us a bit about SeoProfy and why would a business consider delegating its SEO operation.  

Viktor Karpenko: SeoProfy’s story started in Ukraine with just a handful of us — five, to be exact. Fast forward to today, and we’ve grown to a team of over 200 specialists. Our work now crosses borders into 45 countries and we’re navigating the SEO world in 12 different languages.  

What’s truly propelled our growth is our commitment to being data-driven. But it’s not just about pushing our clients up the search rankings. We’re all about the bigger picture, focusing on what really matters to them: their return on investment. That’s what makes us stand out. 

When it comes to why a business might look to delegate its SEO, there are a couple of straightforward reasons. First off, with an agency, you’re getting a whole team’s worth of knowledge and experience. Then, there’s the cost aspect. Trying to match what an agency brings to the table in-house can get pretty pricey. 

And let’s not forget about time. SEO requires consistency, and when you’re trying to run a business, it’s not always feasible to give it the attention it needs. That’s where we come in. Plus, we have access to all the latest tools and data, which means we can make informed decisions about your strategy. 

But perhaps most importantly, the digital world is always changing. We stay on top of these changes so our clients’ strategies are always ahead of the curve. And at the end of the day, it’s not just about traffic or rankings for us. It’s about making sure those rankings translate into real business value. That’s why businesses come to us — they’re looking for results that impact their bottom line. 

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