The Importance of Search Engine Optimization in B2B Transactions

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a cost-effective way to market your business/product while increasing profits, especially for B2B companies. Unlike traditional consumer transactions, B2B transactions often require much more research before an order is ever made. And, as this article from Marketing Today explains, the internet plays a major role in this process.

A recent study, “The Role of Search in Business to Business Buying Decisions,” surveyed approximately 1500 participants responding to a 40-questions that was validated with pre-testing before implementation. You can download the entire report for free, but here are a few of the highlights:

  • When participants were asked to indicate how they would go about making a B2B purchase, 93.2 percent said they would research the purchase online.
     
  • When asked if they would use a search engine at some point in this task, 95.5 percent of participants indicated that they would.
     
  • When asked where they would start their search for information, 63.9 percent of participants chose a search engine over consumer review sites, e-commerce sites, manufacturer’s sites, and industry portals.
     
  • When taking budget into consideration, manufacturer’s sites and industry portals were the chosen starting place as budgets increased. However, 86.9 percent of participants said they would visit a search engine after visiting those sites.

So what did this study conclude?

  • Search engines play a dominant role in B2B purchases.
     
  • Search engines are used in the early or mid research phase in the buying cycle.
     
  • Google is favored over other search engines.
     
  • Search engine research takes place at least one to two months before the buying decision.
     
  • Good balance between organic and paid search is necessary. Organic SEO gets over 70 percent of the clicks.
     
  • Position is a factor, with over 60 percent clicking on the top 3 listings.
     
  • Most users decide which listing to click on in seconds upon scanning the page.

Here’s what distinguishes search engine marketing from other types of advertising:

1. Non-Intrusive:  Search marketing is a non-intrusive marketing tool. Most advertising, both online and offline, interrupts consumer behavior. If a user goes to a web site for info, up pops an intrusive ad. Reading a newspaper? Ads dominate and force articles to be continued on another page. With search engine marketing, the user is actively seeking your products, services, and information. They are delighted to be driven to your site.

2. Voluntary: Search marketing is the result of user-originated behavior. Your visitors from search engines and directories have voluntarily clicked on your listing rather than any competitors, thus they are motivated to explore your offerings.

With 90% of internet searches never making it to the second page of results, it is very important for B2B marketers, wholesalers, and B2B exchanges to ensure their Web sites are correctly optimized for good positioning.

If you have any questions about how SEO can help you, contact the Grindstone Business Development Group by calling 1-888-724-7463 or click here today!

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