The Key to B-to-B Search
It is the job of the B-to-B marketer to devise and provide the appropriate number and type of online conversion activities so that the needs of all the archetypal visitors to the site, at each stage of the buying cycle, are met by at least one of the activity options. In this way, the site is effectively leading the prospect through the sales cycle based on a starting point that's defined by the prospect … and responded to by the conversion activity that addresses the particular stage in the buying cycle.
As a result of creating these various conversion activity types, you need to track metrics for every one, tie these conversions to eventual business results (e.g., sales, revenue), and then assign a typical value to each conversion activity available. In so doing, you will discover which of these conversion activities, focusing on a specific stage in the sales cycle, is providing you with the most bang for your buck.
You also will discover which keywords are most effective at producing those most valuable conversions, thus allowing you to build more Web site content containing those words or to start buying those keywords in paid search campaigns if you aren't already.
Results. Everybody wants them. They spell success. And it's no different in search marketing. However, how you define success is critical. At the outset of a search marketing initiative, it is important to not only determine how success will be measured, but also to set realistic expectations.
The success or failure of many search marketing campaigns is determined by volume of traffic, and number of conversions generated as a result of that traffic. If the volumes keep going up, the campaign is successful. When the volumes plateau, the campaign is deemed faulty or, at best, "stalled." However, if you take the size of your specific B-to-B marketplace into consideration, that traffic plateau actually may represent significant success. Acquiring and maintaining share of market is an important metric for B-to-B search marketing initiatives.