The Key to B-to-B Search
Results for this tactic hinge on matching objectives to the sector's unique business model
By Robert J. Murray
B-to-B? B-to-C? or B-to-B-to-C? Whatever the industry, one thing is clear: Search marketing has become an important and powerful tool for marketers today. It's a tool that, when wielded effectively, can dramatically improve your organization's business results. But search marketing is not a one-size-fits-allmedium. To produce optimal results, it must be customized to meet a marketer's specific business objectives and function within the organization's unique business model.
The goals of a B-to-B marketing initiative, for example, often differ greatly from those of a B-to-C effort. As such, the search marketing strategy, tactics and implementation for each also would need to differ. For B-to-C organizations, search marketing frequently is used to drive traffic to a Web site that actually produces an online sale. But for B-to-B marketers, it's typically not so straightforward, as their Web sites usually have a different goal—generating leads that are converted to a sale via another channel (e.g., sales force, telesales).
Given this difference, there are several specific areas in which you should focus your B-to-B search marketing efforts to maximize your business results.
There's probably nothing as synonymous with search marketing as keywords and keyword phrases. Developing an effective keyword strategy and an appropriate universe of keywords to target via your campaign is the crucial first step to any successful search marketing initiative. Both building keyword-rich content on your site—to appear near the top of the natural search results—and buying paid search advertising—to appear in the sponsored search results—are essential for producing an effective search marketing campaign. But in the case of B-to-B, the importance of the keywords you choose to target is even more complex because of the nature of the typical B-to-B buying cycle.