The B2B buying journey has changed dramatically in the last two years and if your search strategy has not kept pace, you are in danger of losing ground to your competitors. Here are three reasons why you might be losing out (with tips for addressing each one)...
Content is too brand-focused or keyword-specific
There are some amazing new statistics that redefine how a search strategy should look:
- 71% of all searches begin with a generic term
- 42% of researchers use search from mobile devices during the B2B buying process
- 30x more searches on mobile phones are spoken than typed
Let's look at what those three points mean for your search strategy.
If generic terms are being used to kick searches off, then it stands to reason that copy on your website that is brand-centric and feature-led - extolling the virtues of your products in keyword-focused way - will not be found. Your content needs to answer the buyers' questions and provide genuinely useful information.
With spoken search terms increasingly becoming the norm, the terms used for search are becoming more conversational in style - if your website does not take the right tone and present information that answers practical questions, if it is crammed full of keywords in brief, product-promoting sentences, you will not be rewarded by Google with decent search results.
Content aims too high
If you are writing your content for managing directors and other top-level execs - as conventional wisdom dictates - you are aiming way off target.
While the MD or a head of department may ultimately sign off a purchase, it is extremely unlikely that they will be involved in researching the options out there. The B2B buying journey is most likely to be taken by the end-user of your product or service, who will make a recommendation to the decision-maker once all the facts have been gathered. Assuming staff are trusted in an organisation, the MD's role in buying from you may be nothing more than a rubber stamp. Think about the end-users and aim your content at them - not their bosses.
Content fails to stand out from the crowd
Statistics show that before making contact with a potential supplier, B2B buyers perform an average of 12 searches.
While your website may show up during the buyer journey, if it does not grab the buyer's attention then it has very little chance of becoming that 1-in-12 that converts the visitor into a lead.
As we have already explained, this is not about promotional glitz and sales glamour, what really counts is gaining confidence through presentation and quality of information.
If you are concerned about your search strategy and how best to reach your audience is this ever-evolving B2B arena, we recommend starting by subscribing to Think with Google (most of the data upon which this article is based comes from this resource).
If learning the theory is all well and good but what you actually want is experts who can turn knowledge into effective action, please get in touch (we'll be pleased to help).
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