Long-tail keywords — often overlooked in favour of their broader counterparts — are the unsung heroes of B2B marketing strategies.

These comprehensive, more specific phrases typically have lower search volumes but possess a hidden power: precision. They align seamlessly with the intricate needs and nuanced queries of B2B audiences, making them potent in targeting the right people at the right time.

Delving into long-tail phrases is a strategic imperative for businesses seeking to amplify their online presence and conversions within the B2B landscape.

Let’s explore how to discover, leverage, and optimise long-tail keywords for B2B marketing success.

What are long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords are detailed search phrases reflecting the clear intent of the user. They generate less traffic than broader terms but offer higher quality leads and a greater chance of conversion.

When a prospect employs a long-tail phrase, it signifies a focused quest for specific solutions, increasing the likelihood of a positive response to pages providing those exact answers.

You can use these keywords to cater to specific queries and establish expertise and topical relevance within your industry. This precision targeting resonates powerfully in B2B marketing.

Integrating long-tail keywords into your content strategy significantly amplifies your visibility with your intended audience.

The benefits of long-tail keywords for B2B

There are many advantages long-tail keywords offer to B2B marketing, so let’s dive into them in more detail.

Receive high-quality traffic

B2B long-tail keywords may not attract the same traffic volume as shorter, more generic terms, yet the visitors they bring to your site are of higher quality.

These specific phrases tend to draw users deeper into the marketing funnel, displaying a more explicit intent and a heightened likelihood of conversion.

Enhance conversion rates

When your website attracts more targeted traffic, it naturally leads to a surge in conversion rates across various desired outcomes.

Whether your goal is increased sales or newsletter sign-ups, leveraging the right keywords within high-quality content significantly amplifies your chances of achieving these objectives.

Establish topical relevance and niche authority

Being recognised as an authority in your industry is critical — including by search engines.

This involves curating comprehensive, high-calibre content that resonates with your target audience’s needs and queries. The content is best structured into pillar pages and interlinked topic clusters.

Kickstarting this process involves a deep dive into understanding your prospects’ pain points and the keywords likely to fuel their searches.

For instance, addressing strategy would be crucial if you owned a social media management tool.

A pillar page for such a tool could be a detailed overview of social media strategy, while related topic cluster pages could dive into aspects of strategy like:

  • how to set social media goals
  • how to conduct social media competitor analysis
  • how to complete a social media audit
  • where to find inspiration for social media
  • how to create a social media content calendar
  • how to create compelling content for social media
  • how to track performance on each platform.

For this example, you’d tap into your keyword tools to identify the aspects of social media strategy your audience may need help with.

Beyond keywords lies another wealth of insights — your sales and customer service teams. Their interactions with customers and prospects are a goldmine of first-hand information.

The careful creation of this content also signals to Google that you’re an unparalleled authority within your niche.

This recognition significantly boosts the probability of your website appearing in searches related to your specialised keywords. As a result, you’ll receive increased targeted traffic and solidify your position as the go-to source in your industry.

Things to know before you get started

While this isn’t a comprehensive guide to keyword research, here are a few things to mention before you start.

Consider your niche and USP

Before embarking on your keyword journey, take ample time to delve into your niche and refine your unique selling point (USP). This step is paramount, as it lays the foundation for a strategic keyword approach.

Understanding your USP helps identify long-tail keywords that are not just specific but also deeply relevant to your offerings. Leveraging these keywords effectively ensures an enhanced ability to attract and engage your desired audience more efficiently.

If your business operates within specific locations or caters to a particular geographic area, integrating location-specific elements into your B2B long-tail keywords is crucial.

Craft buyer personas

Invest time defining buyer personas using market research data and demographic insights to understand your target audience.

While these personas are partly fictional, they embody unique characteristics that wield immense value as a marketing tool.

The personas can significantly influence various facets of your campaign and content strategy — dictating content types, tonal nuances, visual choices, and optimal media channel selection for promotion.

For instance, consider a piece of business software aimed at marketing managers.

The buyer personas for this software might include the following:

  1. User persona: Identifying the end-user helps direct strategies towards influencing their buying decisions, nudging them closer to a purchase.
  2. Influencer persona: Positioned between the user and the ultimate buyer, this persona influences purchase decisions. Understanding and fleshing out this persona aids in targeting individuals who can significantly impact whether a sale occurs or not.
  3. Buyer persona: This persona represents the individual controlling the financial aspect and contract signatures. Focusing efforts on this persona streamlines strategies for closing deals with decision-makers.
  4. Customer persona: Analysing past and existing customers reveals invaluable insights into their pain points, age brackets, interests, and more — contributing to a deeper understanding of your audience.

For your specific business, additional personas might also be created, allowing for further refinement of targeting.

Allocate ample time to construct and leverage these personas to decipher each group’s priorities and tailor your marketing strategies.

Remember that decision-makers in businesses and end users will have different needs and queries, making it imperative to grasp the search behaviours of all involved for a practical marketing approach.

Understand search intent

In the realm of keywords, acknowledging and dissecting search intent — sometimes termed ‘user intent’ — is a critical consideration. Intent encapsulates the underlying motivation steering a user’s search query.

Comprehending keyword intent forms the bedrock of an effective SEO strategy, necessitating a tailored content approach that harmonises with your audience’s search purpose. Aligning your content with this ensures the delivery of relevant information upon landing on your site.

For instance, if your audience seeks local options for the best veggie burger, they intend to buy one. They don’t want to dive into the entire history of veggie burgers — however well-crafted that content might be.

There are four primary types of search intent: navigational, informational, locational, and transactional. Before employing keywords, consider the aim behind each.

A helpful technique is simply dropping a keyword into Google and reviewing the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) to discern the intent behind the displayed content.

Mastering search intent effectively directs visitors to your site and empowers them to seamlessly navigate through your marketing funnels.

Discovering long-tail keywords for B2B

While short-tail keywords often grab attention due to their search volumes, you need to recalibrate your strategy for B2B marketing.

Remember that lower search volumes for long-tail keywords result in less competition. This scenario offers a promising landscape where ranking for specific terms becomes notably more achievable with the right strategy.

B2B long-tail keyword modifier examples

Traditional keyword tools may fall short when revealing long-tail B2B keywords.

To navigate this hurdle, consider incorporating modifiers that aren’t commonly associated with B2C contexts.

These keyword modifier examples are a solid starting point for your endeavours:

  • Best + keyword: Best social media management tools.
  • Best + keyword variation: Best social media scheduling tools.
  • Top + keyword: Top social media management tools.
  • Keyword + industry: Social media management tools for artists.
  • Keyword + use case: Tools to get more followers on social media.
  • Brand/service/tool + keyword: buffer social media management tool.
  • Keyword + city/country: Best social media management tool for LinkedIn (a digital location has been used here).
  • Keyword + checklist: social media management checklist.
  • Keyword + checklist in excel: social media checklist excel.
  • Keyword + template: social media management plan template.
  • Keyword + template excel: social media posting schedule excel template.
  • Keyword + alternative: buffer alternative.

Conducting deeper keyword dives is crucial if your product offers more specific services. For instance, for a social media tool, this could be scheduling or social listening.

The examples given lay a solid groundwork for crafting long-tail keywords tailored precisely to resonate with your B2B audience.

Remember, fine-tuning these phrases to align closely with your specific offerings can further enhance their effectiveness in targeting and engaging potential clients within your industry niche.

Leverage industry-centric keywords

A highly effective strategy for B2B marketers delving into long-tail keywords involves concentrating on service industries relevant to your offerings.

Let’s say your business provides a social media tool catering to a diverse clientele — spanning individual businesses, social media agencies, and broader marketing agencies.

To engage these varied sectors effectively, consider crafting distinct service pages tailored to each industry segment. These pages serve as ideal canvases for incorporating long-tail phrases strategically.

Dive into your keyword tools to unearth a treasure trove of industry-specific keywords, tackling the burning questions and sought-after information within these service sectors.

This exploration enriches your understanding of these industries and empowers you to tailor your content precisely to address their unique needs and concerns.

Act on competitor analysis

You should be conducting regular competitor analysis anyway, but why not use that information to see what competitors are doing well and replicate what’s successful and relevant?

Analyse what you rank for

Allocate time to explore Google Search Console and conduct a detailed analysis of your site’s pages and blog posts, noting what they rank for and areas where they fall short.

Use this data as a springboard to optimise existing content by integrating highly relevant long-tail B2B keywords.

By leveraging these insights and tailoring your approach, you can breathe new life into older content, ensuring its alignment with current trends and audience preferences.

Dive into Google Trends

This invaluable resource provides a glimpse into the trending patterns of any keyword, gauging its search volume dynamics.

Beyond that, it unveils a wealth of insights into top-performing related keywords and those steadily gaining traction (found under the ‘rising’ dropdown), granting you a strategic advantage over your competitors.

Furthermore, integrating location data amplifies the depth and accuracy of your results.