Best practicesinbtob searchryansarabchris3
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  • There are certain qualities that make B2B customers unique – and it is these qualities that also make them a challenge to reach. For example, the sale is typically a more considered one. Sales cycles are also longer. And… XXXXXX….
  • And this is what B2B customers are looking for: Easily searchable and digestible data – this means that you need to get to the point quickly and allow your audience access to information in bite-sized pieces It must also be accurate and up-to-date And comprehensive enough to meet their needs. B2B customers have specific information requirements, so it is important to make sure that the information being provided to them is relevant and specialized. The reason for this is simple. For example, suppliers who advertise on GlobalSpec are interested in reaching engineering, technical and industrial professionals – an audience that typically spends 20 – 25% of their time searching for components, equipment, services and the technical information they need for their jobs. And they are under increasing pressure to reduce time to market and make processes more efficient. They desire information that is relevant to them – on their terms.
  • And they are going online to find it. Recent research conducted by GlobalSpec shows that B2B audiences – in this case, professionals in the industrial sector – are increasingly relying on the Internet to conduct their work processes. In this example, you can see that 31 percent of engineers surveyed indicated that they spend more than 8 hours/week doing job tasks online.
  • They are using the Web to gain fast, easy access to detailed product information, solve specific problems, stay up-to-date on news, and communicate with peers. As you can see from this chart, our research shows that more than 90 percent of industrial professionals are looking for components and suppliers. They are also looking to obtain product specifications, conduct research, find pricing information and participate in other tasks relevant to the purchasing of products.
  • And B-to-B customers want results. When it comes to online search, there is no such thing as “one size fits all.” Our survey data shows that industrial professionals are using a number of search engines to find the information they need – in fact, over 80% use more than two search engines at work. So a marketing mix of both general and B2B search engines can help you best reach this audience.
  • What is unique about B-to-B search? (elaborate on each point) It attracts a targeted audience with specific interests Offers domain expertise Meets the searching needs of a specific audience Provides relevant results Context – these professionals are only looking for the content that we have to offer
  • As a marketer, what are the benefits of B-to-B search for you? Qualified Web traffic Branding and exposure among a targeted audience The difference between a customer and a click – you want to be sure that you are attracting a targeted audience with specific interests, who is looking for products and services like yours – and you want to know who they are. Now, I am going to turn the presentation over to Ryan Gibson, who will share some best practices for targeting B2B searches on general search engines, and helping you understand the economics of your PPC progrram.
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  • When someone uses the internet to learn about, find and buy something for their business, they encounter a very interconnected world. There are many paths to a vendor site. 1 st Tier General Search Sites – the “Big Three” (or 4, with Ask) Designed for any type of search Common starting point – according to comScore, 74% of US Internet users visited Yahoo in January, and 72% visited Google Send searchers to many types of sites, but also directly to vendors 2 nd Tier General Search Sites Also designed for any type of search, but significantly lower traffic than the 1 st tier sites B2B Search – General Business-specific sites which range from Business.com and KellySearch which are broad, general B2B search and directory sites to local directory sites such as DexKnows, SuperPages or Local.com B2B Search – Niche Business-specific sites catering to a specific type of business user and/or product. For example, ThomasNet focuses on manufacturing, GlobalSpec on engineers, KnowledgeStorm on IT, Capterra on business software, GoWholesale and Alibaba on bulk lots of wholesale products, and many more Industry Information Sites Huge range of business publication and information sites which provide a lot of content about business products and services Each type of site sends user directly to vendors The different types of sites also often have networks whereby a pay-per-click ad placed on Google or Business.com, for example, show up in response to a search conduced on C|Net. If that’s not complicated enough, general search sites send traffic to B2B sites through organic and paid search. It’s a good experience for general search users, and Google has made this clear in different presentations – B2B general and niche search sites provide content and structure that they don’t and won’t provide. And, last but not least, B2B general search sites send traffic to both B2B niche search sites and industry information sites.
  • Enquiro Search Solution conducted the best study of how business buyers use the internet during the purchase process that I’ve ever seen – there were over 1,000 participants, and you can download the study here – http://www.enquiroresearch.com/b2b-research-2007.aspx One of the key findings in the study is that types of sites at which business buyers start their search varies during different phases of the purchase process. Awareness phase – 65% start at a general search engine like Google. Google is fantastic for helping people get a basic handle on what they need. For example, a small business owner may say “I have to do something to better organize our business leads”. Through a search on Google, they’ll probably learn that what they’re looking for is a CRM system, and get a sense of how these basically work through links to articles and top vendors Research phase – people turn somewhat more to industry information sites. “Now that I know I need a CRM system, can I find anything about CRM systems for small manufacturing companies like myself on manufacturing industry web sites?” Negotiation – when a business buyer gets a handle on they type of solution they need and basic requirements, the next thing they want is a short list of vendors with solutions that meet those requirements. This is where you see a large jump in people starting at B2B vertical sites. Why? Because B2B search sites are often organized as categorized directories to help visitors very quickly identify relevant vendors. Continuing with our example, the small business owner may say “Ok, now that I know I want a CRM system that’s web based and may be from one of 3 vendors, show me the businesses that sell and install that system”. The point to keep in mind here is that business buyers use multiple types of sites throughout the purchasing process, particularly when you consider there are multiple decision makers involved over time in the purchase process.
  • Another thing we all know as B2B search marketers is that reaching business buyers online is a challenge. Your business buyers are there – 85% of the people in the Enquiro study said they’d use the Internet during the buying cycle The problem is, everyone else is using the internet as well. Let’s look at a quick example: In January, there were 184 million US Internet users Of those, 38%, or 70 million, were employed full-time – the rest are students, retired, etc. 38%, or 54 million, use the Internet at work – in other words, 77% of people in the US who use the internet work in jobs where they also use the internet Only 4% of the US Internet users, or 7.5 million, work in Manufacturing, and this is one of the biggest industries. If you want to reach those who work in manufacturing, are employed full time, have some role in the business buying process and looked online for a business purchase in the last 6 months, you’re left with 0.4% of the original total – 900,000 people. That’s still a lot, but just a tiny fraction of everyone who’s using the internet.
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  • Recalling what I said about the world of business search and use of different types of sites during the buying cycle, its important to develop your search marketing program to cover the entire business buying cycle. Match your search marketing strategy to the buying process Establish campaigns on ALL of these types of sites “ Everyone uses Google” is reasonably true – 72% of US Internet users used Google in January “ Everyone uses ONLY Google” is not – people use an average of 3 different search engines a month, and I suspect the number for business buyers is much higher given their unique needs Therefore, its very important to have campaigns on Google (and/or Yahoo and MSN), PLUS cover B2B sites that draw a concentrated business audience and are closer to the point of purchase 2 nd tier general search engines are optional – it can’t hurt to test, and they may work for some and not work for others
  • Poor paid search traffic costs you money, and traffic quality is much more important than traffic volume to B2B companies since you’re trying to reach a very targeted buyer audience in a mass of online users. There’s one example I’ve highlighted here – it’s a search for “pumps” on Google. Thompson Industrial Pumps has the first paid spot, but I guarantee they’re paying a ton for that spot given that they’re being pushed by AOL, Payless and others selling pumps, the shoes. How many accidental clicks do they get? Would they be better off focusing on much more targeted terms? Targeting tactics are very important, but you can also spend an enormous amount of time working on targeting with general search engines. To get the biggest bang for your time spent, you should: Establish campaigns on B2B sites – these will deliver lower volume but more targeted customers “out of the box” with less optimization required to reach the right buyers Then turn your attention to tuning your campaigns on general search engines.
  • Before you started search marketing, your business probably existed and had some ability to identify leads and convert these through a sales pipeline. Adding search marketing as a channel is no different – your job is to get any search leads into the same lead qualification process. Don’t leave these behind, or hope they’ll remember your site! Give them something to sign-up for, get their contact information, and market to them directly in the future. Sounds simple, but many companies don’t do this.
  • Given long sales cycles, multiple buying decision makers, higher priced and more complex items that often aren’t bought online, etc., measuring B2B search marketing impact is tough. We’ve also seen in our research with B2B direct search marketers – non-agencies where the company gets 50%+ of their revenue from selling to other businesses – that they’re pulled in many directions with little time to spend on paid search or SEO. Combine those two issues, and its no surprise that B2B search marketers tend to focus on metrics that are easily observable – CPC, online conversions such as whitepaper registration, CTR, traffic volume and total clicks are the top 5. What about traffic quality? What about return on ad spend? What about cost per conversion? Tough to get. My advice is to give yourself a break and focus on developing your search marketing metrics in simple, prioritized steps Accept the value of different metrics. Does CPC really mean anything if you have no idea about the quality of traffic to your site? And, finally, I know its tough, but avoid substituting guesses for real insights. If you find yourself saying “Well, we didn’t think it was working”, that’s a warning sign. You either know something is working or you don’t. If you don’t know, then you have to base your decision to continue or not on some other factor.
  • B2B search marketers know they should be measuring ROI. For most, this means return on ad spend – how much revenue did I get versus my search marketing cost. From our research, about 40% of BB direct search marketers track this (and the rest should!). Given how pressed for time B2B search marketers are, a key component of ROI that’s often overlooked is return on time spent. Are you really getting the most impact from the limited amount of time you spend launching and optimizing your search marketing? Only 20% of B2B direct search marketers consider time spent in their ROI calculation. If you follow rules #1 and #2, then to boost overall ROI you should make sure you work from the B2B niche outward to general search engines rather than devoting all of your time to “the Big 3” and ignoring B2B-specific options.

Best practicesinbtob searchryansarabchris3 Best practicesinbtob searchryansarabchris3 Presentation Transcript

  • Best Practices in B-to-B Search Ryan Gibson Director of Marketing Rimm-Kaufman Group Sarabjit Singh VP, Product Strategy & Development GlobalSpec, Inc. Chris Hulse VP, Strategic Sales & Business Development Business.com
  • Session Overview • Search/online advertising within the B-to-B community • Targeting the B-to-B customer through paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN & Ask • B-to-B search marketing best practices
  • What Makes B-to-B Customers Unique? • A more considered sale is typical • Cycles are longer
  • What Do B-to-B Customers Want? • Easily searchable data • To find the right answer… fast • Accurate and up-to-date information • Comprehensive data to meet their needs • Relevant and specialized data
  • Time Spent Online
  • How They Use the Web
  • Number of Search Engines Used
  • Why B-to-B Search is Different • Attracts a targeted audience with specific interests • Offers domain expertise • Meets their searching needs • Provides relevant results • Context
  • Benefits of B-to-B Search • Qualified Web traffic • Branding and exposure among a targeted audience The difference between a customer… and a click
  • B-to-B Paid Search
  • Challenges • Targeting appropriate business searches • Understanding the economics of YOUR PPC program
  • Target B2B Buyers • Extensive keyword list • Business focused term • “Long tail” phrases
  • Target B2B Buyers • Focus ad copy for YOUR buyers and YOUR products • Specific landing pages
  • Understanding YOUR Economics • Brand vs. non-brand • Order latency • Lead generation • Post-sale feedback loops • Interaction between channels
  • Brand vs. Non-Brand • Brand = folks who know you • Non-brand = incremental
  • Order Latency ‘business laptop’ ‘blade server’
  • Order Latency 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% 1 4 7 10 13 16 19 22 25 28 Days Since Click %Orders&%Sales % of Sales % of Orders
  • Lead Generation 1. Establish a success metric you can track on your website 2. Measure the actual ROI associated with that metric 3. Optimize PPC to that cost-per-lead
  • Post-Sale Feedback Loops • Business or consumer? • New or existing? • Dollars generated? • Cancel/ fraud? ‘business laptop’
  • Interaction Between Channels • Track through to sales force & call centers – Ask how they heard about you – Dedicated 800 numbers – Printable maps or offers – Info/ software downloads – Dynamic image tracking
  • B-to-B Search Marketing Best Practices Overview • Research background • The world of business “search” • Is B2B search marketing different than B2C? • 5 rules for B2B search marketing
  • Research Background • About Business.com – Leading B2B search engine, directory and PPC ad network – 6,000+ clients across PPC and directory inclusion products • About the research – Surveyed search marketing agencies currently managing B2B clients – Key differences between B2B and B2C search marketing – Advice for improving B2B paid search ROI – Advice for improving B2B SEO ROI • Summarized insights from 144 participating agencies, including:
  • Vendor Sites Live General Search 1st Tier General Search 2nd Tier and many more… Industry Info Sites and many more… and many more… B2B Search Niche Networks Netw orks Networks Netw orks B2B Search General The World of Business Search
  • Source: Enquiro B2B Purchaser Study, May, 2007 Business Buyers Start at Different Types of Sites • Different types of sites are starting points during different phases of the business buying cycle – General search engines – where start when first identify a need – Industry information site – supplemental research for niche products – B2B search sites – find all vendors and cut down to a short list
  • *comScore – MediaMetrix January, 2008; PlanMetrix, Summer 2007 release 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 InternetUsers(MM) Count (MM) 184 70 54 7.5 0.9 US Total Employed Full-Time Use Internet at Work Work in Manufacturing Mfg Online Decision Maker 100% 38% 32% 4% 0.5% Reaching Business Buyers is a Challenge • Your business buyers are online – 85% of business buyers use the Internet during the buying cycle (Enquiro) • But so is everyone else*
  • “The B2B sale is complex, meaning several things: the product/service is more expensive, the sales cycle is typically longer, more than one person is involved in the decision and the sale normally does not take place online. Given this, the primary online action is lead generation.” - Dale Hursh “Its not about the B2B or B2C difference…it’s all about ROI regardless of who you’re targeting.” - Mike Tatge The answer is “yes”… …and “no” Does B2B Search Marketing Differ from B2C?
  • Does B2B Search Marketing Differ from B2C? Yes • Longer sales cycle – Product/service complexity and cost – Multiple decision makers – “Rational” decision process – Evaluate both solution and vendor • Unique audience – Limited number of buyers – More experience – Different tolerance for search • Search marketing challenges – Multiple keyword meanings – Audience targeting capabilities – Competitive intensity Yes • Longer sales cycle – Product/service complexity and cost – Multiple decision makers – “Rational” decision process – Evaluate both solution and vendor • Unique audience – Limited number of buyers – More experience – Different tolerance for search • Search marketing challenges – Multiple keyword meanings – Audience targeting capabilities – Competitive intensity No • Its still all about… – Right audience – Right message – Right offer – Positive ROI • Tactical approach is the same – Selecting keywords – Developing ads and offers – Creating landing pages – Optimizing pages for search engines – Etc. • General search engines play a key role (but not the only role) No • Its still all about… – Right audience – Right message – Right offer – Positive ROI • Tactical approach is the same – Selecting keywords – Developing ads and offers – Creating landing pages – Optimizing pages for search engines – Etc. • General search engines play a key role (but not the only role)
  • Rule #1: Cover the Entire Buying Cycle • Match your search marketing strategy to the buying process – Target ads, keywords and offers to different buyer roles and buying stages • Establish campaigns on the following types of sites – 1st tier general search engines – where people start early in process – B2B general search – strong presence on 1st tier engines and support research/negotiation – B2B niche search – attract a very specific type of user who knows what they want Vs. Awareness Negotiation
  • Rule #2: Focus on Traffic Quality • Poor quality costs you money • Use targeting tactics – Add B2B sites to your program • Deliver more targeted customer “out of the box” but at lower volume – Tune your campaigns on general search engines • Avoid keywords that overlap significantly with consumer terms • Avoid worthless clicks – make sure ads speak to your target audience • Build out keyword list with long-tail terms • Utilize site and demographic targeting
  • • Target key audience(s) and list specific offers in your ads (see rule #1) • Design simple landing pages to focus visitors on the offer – Exchanging basic contact info for valuable content is a fair trade for interested business buyers • Utilize same qualification rules for search visitors & leads from other channels – Search visitors may be earlier in the buying process – Giving these leads directly to Sales could result in complaints about poor lead quality • Establish and/or improve your lead nurture programs – Develop your own – Consider automated solutions from Eloqua, Market2Lead, Manticore, Marketo, Pardot or other vendors “B2B needs an email nurturing program for opt-ins so that you don't find yourself creating interest and contact information without following-up – ROI is really hurt by this as well as poor integration with sales.” – Karen Breen Vogel “B2B needs an email nurturing program for opt-ins so that you don't find yourself creating interest and contact information without following-up – ROI is really hurt by this as well as poor integration with sales.” – Karen Breen Vogel Rule #3: Drive Visitors to Action & Your Strong Points
  • • Measuring B2B search marketing impact is tough • B2B search marketers are pulled in many directions* – Tend to focus on easily observable metrics • Develop your program in simple, prioritized steps – Give yourself a break – you don’t have to be a metrics pro overnight • Accept the value of different metrics • Avoid substituting guesses for real insights *Source: Business.com Search Marketer Study January, 2008. Percentages are for B2B direct search marketer respondents (non- agency, 50%+ of revenue from sales to other businesses) Activity Average % of Time Spent per Week Online Marketing Overall 67% Paid Search 19% SEO 18% Email Marketing 13% Social Media Programs 7% Managing Affiliate Programs 5% Banner Advertising 3% Managing eCommerce Listings 2% Submitting to Shopping Engines 2% Activity Average % of Time Spent per Week Online Marketing Overall 67% Paid Search 19% SEO 18% Email Marketing 13% Social Media Programs 7% Managing Affiliate Programs 5% Banner Advertising 3% Managing eCommerce Listings 2% Submitting to Shopping Engines 2% Top 5 metrics tracked: 1. Cost per click (69%) 2. Online conversions (62%) 3. Click through rate (53%) 4. Traffic volume (53%) 5. Total clicks (43%) Top 5 metrics tracked: 1. Cost per click (69%) 2. Online conversions (62%) 3. Click through rate (53%) 4. Traffic volume (53%) 5. Total clicks (43%) Rule #4: Measure What You Can & Acknowledge Limits
  • • Return on ad spend (ROAS) is clearly important – 40% of B2B direct search marketers track this • Return on time spent is also key but often overlooked – 20% of B2B direct search marketers track this • Recall rules #1 and #2 – Cover the entire buying cycle – Focus on traffic quality • To boost return on time spent, work from the niche outward – Start with campaigns on B2B sites – Then allocate time to tuning campaigns on general search engines “Utilize search engine targeting capabilities and devote some budget to vertical search engines to attempt to qualify your clicks with more targeted [visitors].” – Leslie Jackson “Utilize search engine targeting capabilities and devote some budget to vertical search engines to attempt to qualify your clicks with more targeted [visitors].” – Leslie Jackson + Rule #5: Master Both Return on Ad Spend & Time
  • Questions? Sarabjit Singh ssingh@globalspec.com Ryan Gibson ryan@rimmkaufman.com Chris Hulse chulse@business.com