We’ve discussed B2C search often in this blog and in our newsletter. It is only logical that in order to increase your visibility, you need to be available everywhere your customers interact if you offer a solution or product. However, B2B search has become an increasingly important aspect of the marketing budget and businesses need to understand its benefits.
Like the B2C searchers, B2B searchers have specific information needs and seek this information online to supplement or often replace traditional sources (brochures and magazines). This is because B2B searchers know that the internet often provides more and the most up-to-date information than a traditional pamphlet or other paper collateral.
This month, Eddie Emmanuel discusses how a targeted and measurable search campaign works efficiently for B2B to reach their target audience.
Q: Where do you think B2B audiences are currently looking for and receiving their information?
Eddie: Most B2B audiences are looking for information online and from search engines. That’s why it’s important to make sure your site is SEO friendly. Search engine optimization efforts are an extension of a business’s existing marketing and messaging activities. When your business or brand becomes visible within the SERPs (search engine results page), it attains a visible status and awareness in the eyes of the users and search engines.
Q: Why have B2B advertisers been slow adopting this technology into their marketing budgets?
Eddie: I think some are uncertain how to target/segment their audiences because they feel they don’t have the tools to reach their audience and truly gage their ROI. Thus it’s hard for these businesses’ to justify spending their advertising budget online because they can’t identify their specific target markets, especially in this economic climate.
Q: What is the landscape online for B2B operations? Do you think this will change?
Eddie: As with B2C, businesses’ vying for other company’s online business is becoming increasingly more competitive. However, there are many search silos to make your business messages more readily available, be it in paid or organic search, banner’s or social media. It’s difficult to say when this will change as search is evolving all the time.
Q: If your target audience is resource managers, what would be some examples to optimize your search visibility for these users?
Eddie: The audience is likely motivated to find you in this instance, so optimizing your site with targeted keyphrases is just as important for attracting this audience as it is for B2C, and it will help your company’s search engine position against competing sites. To help your audience find you, optimize press releases and digital assets such as videos and images; this will increase the visibility of your site outside of the traditional SERPs. Additionally, leveraging your current B2B partners and employing localization tactics will provide an opportunity to maximize search engine listings of your site for related/important keyphrases.
Q: Are the top three engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN) where B2B advertisers want to gain top ranking? Or are there specific business related engines that should be more important to the advertiser?
Eddie: The top 3 engines will always be a desired ranking since they make up 85% of the search market share. However, by having your business listed within other business directories and niche engines, this will increase the opportunity to maximize your site’s visibility so that users can find you. Visibility should be a priority, whether it is a B2B Directory like Business.com or Jayde.com, or online yellow pages.
Q: What are some ways a company can optimize their news and leadership? (whitepapers, press releases, case studies)
Eddie: Optimizing all assets (as mentioned before) like press releases, white papers, case studies, videos, etc… will provide further information beyond your standard website’s pages for your target audience. This will allow search engines to find new content that is relative to your site.
About Eddie Emmanuel, Search Strategist, Catalyst online
Eddie Emmanuel is a Catalyst Search Marketing Strategist who is dedicated to Novartis and Amgen, brands. He has five years of experience in Search Marketing. Before joining Catalyst he worked as a Marketing Consultant at Shoebuy.com and an SEO Marketer at iProspect. He has a B.A. from Emerson College in Communications.