According to Marketo, “93% of B2B buyers begin their buying process using Internet search.” That’s an astonishing statistic. Especially when you consider Google was only launched in 2000.
Buyer behavior has changed. In the 80’s and 90’s, B2B buyers started their purchasing process with their networks. They spoke with friends and colleagues, and asked for referrals. Word of mouth and brand awareness very much drove the purchasing cycle. Today it is a different story. Google is now our go-to place for information.
With this change in buyer behavior, search has a direct impact on a B2B company’s branding and positioning. To be relevant, reliable and trusted you have to rank well in search.
Positioning your brand for search
Google has made the unique selling proposition obsolete. Buyers don’t Google your value proposition, they Google your category.
If you were looking for an accountant with a specialization in the construction industry, that’s what you’d Google. Something like “accounting firm specialized in construction.” Not, “accountants providing innovation, knowledge and proven experience for clients’ financial challenges.”
Your brand positioning has to speak to your niche:
- You are
- You do
- You serve
That’s what your buyers are searching for. Companies that clearly articulate their focus and expertise will rank higher in Google, and have a higher probability of winning business.
Every page is a landing page
Most of your website’s visitors do not land on the homepage. You can’t optimize every keyword a customer will search for on one page. It’s just not practical or possible.
Less than 40% of LEAPJob’s visitors arrive on its home page. Most visitors land elsewhere on the site: a job listing, an article, a service page or even the contact us page.
Regardless of where a visitor lands, every page on your site has to sell. Each landing page has to answer the customer’s core questions: who are you, what do you do, who do you serve. When they land deeper in your site, they’re looking for the more contextual response.
Think like a customer
You know your customers are using Google. You know they’re investigating their buying options online. You know they’re doing their research. It’s incumbent upon you to be in their path of search.
Look at all the ways a customer might look for information on your products and services. Each of those searches is a potential entry point to your company. The more you can position yourself in these paths, the more likely you’ll win their business.