B2B SEO: 4 Kinds of Keywords that Speak to Business Customers

April 3, 2015

As we've said many times before, the types of keywords you should use in your SEO copywriting depend on your industry and your goals. They also depend on your customers, which is why it's so important to know who your customers are before you start writing your site. What are their demographics? (Age? Gender? Income/educational level? Location?) Are they one-time or repeat buyers?

Similarly, if you're targeting business customers rather than individual consumers, your keyword choices will need to reflect that. B2B (or business-to-business) keywords typically have lower search volume than consumer keywords, and you'll need to delve into the long tail. (Your own analytics are your best source for high-converting keywords.)

The below keyword types are particularly applicable in the B2B space. Consider incorporating these kinds of terms into the copy on your site.


It's generally a mistake to use jargon when you're targeting consumers – a first-time furnace buyer isn't going to use the same fancy terminology as an HVAC industry veteran. With corporate customers, however, you often can use jargon – as long as you don't overdo it. Business customers use the language of their business every day, so those insider terms won't be jarring or unfamiliar to them. Of course, you need to remember to use the jargon of their world, not necessarily yours.

For example, if you provide SEO tools to search engine professionals, you don't have to shy away from terms like "SERP" and "link equity" and "PageRank," whereas these same terms might be lost on a mom-and-pop business or casual blogger. On the other hand: If you offer legal services to medical practices, it's fine to use specific terms that medical professionals will be familiar with (such as "HIPAA compliance"), but that's not a license to litter your website with legalese.

Services Terms

B2B clients are often looking for specific business services, such as consulting, web design, event catering, third-party health care management, job placement services and so on. These service names also work as keywords. When possible, choose keywords that distinguish between B2B and B2C services – for example, "corporate catering," "office catering," or "business catering" versus "wedding catering" or "private catering."

B2B Keywords

Additional terms to consider using in your copy include "corporate discounts," "bulk tickets" or other words that convey special terms for business customers.

Career Development Terms

Business clients are more likely to be looking for white papers, webinars, online certification courses, conferences and other opportunities to stay on top of their field. Accordingly, these types of content and events are great lead generation opportunities. Keyword modifiers like "learn" and "guide" can help you attract people looking to grow their industry knowledge.

Reviews, Comparisons, and Testimonials

Feedback from past or current customers is an important part of almost any buying decision, but it can be especially important for big-ticket items like corporate software and solutions. Prospects may be looking for more information before they sign the check, so to speak, so consider using modifiers like "reviews," "testimonials," and "feedback" in your copy. Also consider "X vs. Y" keywords (e.g., "Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs" or "Oracle vs. MySQL") – clients may be looking for comparisons between your offering and that of your competitors. Other terms to consider are "proof of concept," "business case," and "return on investment" (or "ROI").

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert is WordStream's Director of Content and SEO. Likes include wine, karaoke, poker, ping-pong, perfume, and poetry.

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