Think CIAO for B2B SEO copywriting

Whenever I chat with in-house and freelance SEO copywriters, I’m typically asked “the B2B question.” It goes something like this:

“I think I understand how to write optimized Web copy for B2C sites. But what about B2B SEO copywriting? Isn’t it different?”

It’s true that B2B SEO copywriting often has a slightly different tone and feel than it’s consumer counterpart. After all, if you’re targeting executives with buying authority, the copy will read differently than if you’re writing about pet accessories or Pilates mat classes.

But that doesn’t mean that B2B copywriting has to be straight, dull and “just the facts.” Nor does B2B copywriting have different SEO copywriting “rules.” If you’re confused about writing for the B2B market, just remember one simple acronym: CIAO. Here’s how it breaks down.

C – Customer focused copy. Your first step before you start writing is to develop a customer persona – who will purchase this product or service, what are their pain points, what are they reading/buying now and how can you help? Just like in B2C SEO copywriting, every word you write should be laser-focused towards your audience’s needs. Consider how your product or service helps to shave expenses, provide peace-of-mind, improve profits or somehow simplifies a process. Specific benefits sell in the B2B market – so make sure you tell your prospect exactly how you can help them.

I – Interesting copy. B2B copy doesn’t have to be boring. Spec sheets, product features and case studies are important. However, the information doesn’t have to put people to sleep. In fact, one way to instantly differentiate from competitors is to write engaging copy that speaks directly to the prospect while providing benefits in an easy-to-read manner.  It’s true that you won’t necessarily be able to use a “peppy” tone and feel like you could with a B2C page. But you do you have more creative room to move than you think.  A quick rule of thumb: If you’re even bored by the copy, it’s time for a rewrite.

A – Action-oriented. It’s scary to see product or service Web pages without a call-to-action. The last thing you want to do is frustrate your prospects when they’re trying to make a purchase or contact you for more information. If you want folks to make a purchase, make the purchase link prominent. If you want folks to contact you, make sure you tell them and make it easy for them to take action. If your prospects have to hunt around your site just to figure out how to buy from you, there’s a good chance that they’ll boogie away and find another vendor.

O – Optimized. The B2B world can be highly competitive, and optimization can make the difference between a nice site that gets a little bit of traffic – or a huge powerhouse site that gains massive market share. Just know that the same “rules” apply when optimizing a B2B site. Hire a content marketing strategist to help plan your campaign. Choose specific keyphrases. Create a clickable Title and strategically insert your keyphrases within the copy. Remember, just like a B2C SEO copywriting campaign, skipping a step (like creating strong, keyphrase-rich Titles) can decimate your campaign, rendering so-so results rather than stellar.

See? SEO copywriting for the B2B market is easier to create than you think! Just follow the same “rules” you would for B2C SEO copywriting (keeping in mind that you’ll need a different tone and feel) and you should be fine. Ciao, baby!