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  • Writer's pictureSarah Challis

How to do B2B Keyword Research

Keyword research is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. It involves identifying the keywords and phrases that potential customers use to find products or services online. B2B keyword research (business-to-business) follows a similar pattern to B2C but there are some key differences.

B2B Keyword Research vs B2C Keyword Research

B2B keyword research involves identifying the search terms and phrases that business buyers use when searching for products or services online.

Unlike B2C keyword research, where the focus is on identifying keywords that have high volume, for multiple sales, in B2B, you can safely choose lower volume, more specific keywords since the value of a deal is usually higher.

In B2B keyword research the focus is on identifying the keywords that businesses use to solve their specific problems and challenges. For example, a business that is looking for a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software might search for keywords like "CRM software for small businesses" or "CRM for financial services companies."

B2B buyers are typically more rational and analytical in their decision-making process, and they tend to have a more significant investment in the products or services they are purchasing.

Step-by-Step - How to do B2B Keyword Research

a step-by-step checklist

Following a structured process for your B2B keyword research can help simplify the process and ensure that you are targeting the right keywords for your business.

Step 1: Define Your Business Goals and Objectives

Before you begin your keyword research, it's essential to understand your business goals and objectives. What are you trying to achieve with your digital marketing efforts? Are you looking to increase leads, improve brand awareness, or boost sales? Defining your business goals will help you identify the keywords that are most relevant to your business.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience

Next, you need to identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your digital marketing efforts? What are their pain points and challenges? Understanding your target audience will help you identify the keywords and phrases that they are most likely to use when searching for your products or services.

Step 3: Brainstorm Relevant Keywords and Phrases

Once you have a clear understanding of your business goals and target audience, it's time to start brainstorming relevant keywords and phrases. Begin by making a list of general keywords that relate to your products or services. For example, if you sell HR services for small businesses, your general keywords might include "HR solutions for SMEs" or "HR services near me."

Step 4: Expand Your Keyword List with Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases that can help you target highly qualified leads. For example, instead of targeting the general keyword "HR solutions for SMEs," you might target a more specific long-tail keyword like "c-suite recruitment solutions" Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to identify long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business.

Step 5: Analyse Your Competitors

Analysing your competitors can help you identify the keywords and phrases that they are targeting. Use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to conduct a competitor analysis and identify the keywords that your competitors are ranking for. This can help you identify gaps in your own keyword strategy and opportunities to differentiate yourself.

Step 6: Analyse Keyword Metrics

After you have a list of relevant keywords, it's time to analyse keyword metrics like search volume, competition, and cost per click (CPC). Choose keywords with low competition to ensure that you have a better chance of ranking for those keywords.

Step 7: Create a Keyword Map

Once you have a list of relevant keywords, it's time to create a keyword map. A keyword map is a visual representation of your keyword strategy, showing which keywords you will target on which pages of your website. This can help you ensure that you are targeting the right keywords on the right pages and can help you track your progress over time.

Step 8: Monitor and Refine Your Keyword Strategy

Keyword research is an ongoing process, and it's important to monitor and refine your keyword strategy regularly. Monitor your keyword rankings and traffic to your website to ensure that your keyword strategy is effective.

The key to successful B2B keyword research

Tips for B2B Keyword Research

  1. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords: Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases that typically have lower search volume but higher conversion rates. B2B buyers are often looking for very specific solutions to their problems, so targeting long-tail keywords can help you attract highly qualified leads.

  2. Consider Industry-Specific Keywords: Depending on your industry, there may be specific keywords and phrases that are commonly used. For example, if you are in the software industry, you might target keywords like "SaaS solutions" or "cloud-based software."

  3. Use Buyer Personas: Creating buyer personas can help you identify the specific needs and pain points of your target audience. This can help you create more targeted and relevant content that addresses their specific needs.

  4. Use Negative Keywords: Negative keywords are keywords that you don't want to target because they are not relevant to your business.


Conducting B2B keyword research requires a structured and analytical approach. By defining your business goals, identifying your target audience, brainstorming relevant keywords, analysing your competitors, analysing keyword metrics, creating a keyword map, and monitoring and refining your keyword strategy, you can develop a keyword strategy that attracts highly qualified leads and drives business growth.

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