Some of the studies I’ve blogged about recently point to a decline market share for search over the next few years. But in one sector, B2B, search is still king. B2B operators continue to refine their strategies in both SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) to maximize the results of their search investment.
The vast majority of B2B marketers, 95%, tweaked their websites to ensure that their pages show up at the top of the search engine results page. But far fewer, only 35%, have worked with paid search according to the results reported in the new report Search Marketing: The State of B2B SEO and PPC Practices.
B2B marketers largely agree on the goals for using search:
- Lead generation 76%
- Branding 76%
- Sales revenue 59%
- Product and event promotion 57%
- Competitive intelligence 38%
SEO or organic search strategies most heavily used by B2B operators ranges from keywords and phrases (84%) to blogging (51%). Other popular techniques include meta-description tags (72%), title tags (64%) and social media integration (58%). The BtoBOnline report also found that some marketers emphasize paid search more than SEO. This tends to occur in industries with products or services found at the end of the ‘long tail’ – highly specialized and not commonly searched for.
One of the biggest changes taking place for B2B operators and search centers on the growing mobile technology. As consumers use their smartphones and tablets to conduct more searches, even B2B operators must optimize their offerings for these formats. The initial changes to accommodate mobile search include specialized versions of websites (54%) or landing pages (48%). B2B marketers must also adjust their search methods to improve local results. Potential clients are looking for local business addresses as well as local content and references.
Overall, nearly 2/3’s of B2B marketers like their search ROI. This likely explains why 96% plan to increase search in 2012 or at least maintain current levels of spending.[Search, Hosford, Christopher. Search still half of all digital spending. BtoBOnline.com. 13 Feb. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2012]