Years ago, marketers talked about the huge distinction between B-to-C and B-to-B purchasing behavior. Today, however, the rise of the Internet and its effect on the way we access information has narrowed that gap.
While it is true a great B-to-B salesperson is invaluable, Google and other prominent search engines have made finding new and/or unique suppliers much more efficient, thus altering the way many B-to-B buyers purchase items in their private lives. It should be no surprise, then, that their consumer purchasing habits are spilling over into their work purchasing behaviors—which is precisely why your organic search needs to work harder than ever for your company to compete and win.
In many B-to-B instances, organic search is replacing yellow pages, so it is critical that your firm be a part of an RFP process, or, more important, that your firm be found by that perfect prospect at the exact moment that prospect needs what your company sells.
The statistics tell the story. A recent study by Optifly shows that 60% of clicks go to firms that rank in the top-three positions on page one of an organic search, with the top spot garnering a whopping 36.4%.
The same study also concluded that the higher the page ranking, the better the results for (a) higher searched, lower sales transactions and lower volume key search words/phrases, and (b) larger, longer term, higher sales transactions, with the larger sales showing better overall clickthrough rates. This means a greater likelihood that the searcher will buy from you.
How to Get Started: What You Need to Know
Organic search engine traffic: This is the basis of all search engine optimization metrics and still a key indicator. Type in some words and phrases and see where you rank. It’s different from (and oftentimes better than) paid search.
Percentage of all web traffic from organic search: The percentage will vary based on the different Internet marketing strategies you use, the type and amount of social media you employ, and how you use links and search engines.
Unique keywords sending visitors to your sites: Search engines like new content, so your firm should be continually building new content (that is being indexed by search engines). And make sure your content includes the keywords that are important to your company.
Search Engine Optimization Metrics to Measure
Conversion metrics from organic search engine traffic: Establish how your firm defines a conversion, and track conversions regularly. Also, establish which metrics matter the most to your organization. Data is your friend and THE key to your success.
Conversion rate from organic search engine traffic: Here you want to gauge your effectiveness compared to other interactive marketing channels.
Revenue from organic search engine traffic: If you can get to this metric, your C-suite will love you.
Percentage of search traffic from non-branded keyword/phrases search referrals: This is a key metric, especially when working with a known brand or product name.
Revenue from branded and non-branded keywords/phrases: Make sure that it is appropriate for you to track this metric. Brand advertisers sometimes don’t like it.
Percentage of search traffic from core keyword strategies/phrases: If a core set of keyword/phrases targets is defined, establishing their effectiveness (and the traffic and leads from those themes) is important.
Keyword/phrases and rank: Keyword rankings vary in their importance based on the results you track, but do keep in mind that there is a correlation between a better keyword ranking and likelihood that someone will click into your website and ultimately buy from you.
Establishing benchmarks for the creation of links, content and unique domains—and implementing them to provide visibility—should be a part of your overall SEO/SEM plan. Additionally, measuring the metrics that matter most to you over time periods like month-to-month and year-over-year will help you adjust and test the right phrases and words and their effectiveness for your company.
Competitive keyword intelligence should always be factored into your planning and used in conjunction with your statistics to determine where you are making inroads and where you need to improve. It can also provide insight into the direction your competitors are heading.
Organic search offers fertile ground for test-centric measurable marketers and the data allows you to prove or disprove sales associated with the strategies and tactics you employ.
Grant A. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Ambassador of Fun for Brookfield-Wisconsin based Johnson Direct LLC.