Last Updated on October 11, 2023
Even as Google continues to roll out an array of rather questionable core updates (helpful content, anyone?) SEO remains the bedrock of any online marketing strategy. Nonetheless, to consider discipline as a one-size-fits-all kind of task is to do it an injustice, and to do so will severely impede your intended outcomes. As search intent has become more targeted, each industry requires a slightly (or in some cases dramatically) different approach in order to bring in the globs of traffic that you desire. This post explains how SEO principles and marketing strategies differ across industries.
This post will explore how, while many core SEO processes remain fundamental, there are differing approaches you must consider depending on what type of business you want to promote.
Keyword Selection Varies By Industry
As any good SEO knows, it’s your keywords that will influence relevance and, ultimately, how good your ORI will be. This is because, without highly targeted search terms, your customers will not be able to find you. Moreover, even if they discover you but the search intent is wrong, you will have wasted an inordinate amount of resources acquiring customers who will never convert.
This is even more pertinent if your industry revolves around a very particular niche. For example, if you are in the healthcare industry looking to acquire leads, your keywords will differ dramatically from a business promoting healthcare products. This rehab marketing company states that a focused campaign can reduce the cost per customer acquisition when they utilize a range of techniques, including the use of specific keywords.
In most cases, your entire campaign will revolve around discovering the correct keywords and then using them correctly in conjunction with a raft of other SEO strategies (link building, PPC, etc.).
Content Should Be Industry-Specific
This part follows on from the last and discusses how to incorporate your chosen keywords into suitable content. A more targeted focus allows content to better address the particular concerns of either professionals in that industry (for B2B content) or readers looking for a specific solution to a problem ( in the case of B2C content).
Overly broad or general information risks being too surface level to provide any genuine value and will consequently struggle against better content in the results. Industry-specific content also aligns more precisely with the topics searchers have in mind. It uses familiar language they can easily understand.
Search algorithms further factor in how relevant pages are to their intended users. Moreover, when looking at it from a purely ROI perspective, highly relevant, specialized content is far better at satisfying the queries your customers are searching for, keeping them on your site for longer, thereby increasing the chances of a successful conversion.
Additionally, they are more likely to share the content, further proliferating it around the web and attracting more industry-specific eyeballs to your content, hopefully creating a snowball effect.
Target Audience Affects Optimization Techniques
A website’s target audience greatly influences which SEO techniques will be most effective. Broader audiences require a wider net, prioritizing common keywords with mass appeal (although most SEOs will advise against this approach).
Narrower audiences need specialized terms, as discussed previously that revolve around topics that resonate precisely with their search intent. For example, a B2B firm may prioritize technical product specifications in its content while optimizing its websites to make them easier to use for procurement specialists.
Comparatively, a legal website targeting those needing legal assistance will use a much less complex site structure to guide their readers to a final action, typically being to click on a call to action, resulting in a qualified lead.
Link-Building Strategies Differ
Despite Google’s recent claims to the contrary, links are still a crucial part of search engine optimization. While they might not pack as much of a punch as they did even just five years ago, most industries need links to boost search engine results and attract visitors from other sites.
However, relevant links are what it’s all about these days, and the more focused and niche-specific you can get, the better your results will be. For example, a B2B firm focused on manufacturing likely obtains many links from industry publications, trade organizations, and peers to build credibility among other industrial businesses. Meanwhile, a consumer brand may see more significant results partnering with large influencers and prominent review sites to reach a vast online audience.
Tailoring your outreach accordingly ensures links originate from authentic, trusted sources frequented by your intended customer base. This more nuanced, industry-aware link profile helps search algorithms better understand and match websites with intended audiences.
E-Commerce Demands A Different Strategy From Affiliate
While you might imagine that both of these kinds of websites involve similar strategies, nothing could be further from the truth. If you take an e-commerce approach with an affiliate site or vice versa, you will struggle to gain any traction. While there is a large amount of crossover between the two, you need to consider what you’re promoting and how it appeals to your subset of customers.
In most cases, an e-commerce site will be constructed very differently and include a large number of “thin” pages that revolve around a specific product, a short description, and perhaps some user-generated content (reviews, etc.). Conversely, an informational or purely affiliate website will involve far more discussion on a product or set of products and attempt to persuade the reader to take a purchasing action.
YMYL Websites Need Authority Content
Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) is the term used by search engines for websites that offer products or services focused on health or financial matters. This was introduced as a way to reduce the chances of low-quality information proliferating across the web that could be dangerous for your health or your wealth. As a result, YMYL pages must meet increased standards of expertise, accuracy, and trustworthiness.
If you create this kind of content, you will need to refocus your energies in order to prove that your site offers something that won’t harm the reader. In most cases, this requires access to professionals who can review and confirm the content is accurate and prove Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EEAT). While this remains somewhat subjective among the SEO community, there is no doubt that Google prioritizes more prominent publications that can offer this kind of authority.
Every industry requires a slightly or dramatically different approach to their SEO campaigns depending on what they are promoting and how it might affect a reader. Nonetheless, if you get this right, you will be in a much better position to compete with other authorities in your niche.