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Studies still show that many users reach their desired destination through a search engine. So it’s clear that one of Marketing’s most important tasks is to raise the company’s ranking and visibility in search engine listings.
How important? Online ad network Chitika analyzed many millions of ad impressions in which the user was referred to a landing page by a Google search result. And the data, first generated in 2010 then repeated with similar results in 2013, is stunning, to say the least.
In this particular study, which is not B2B-focused, but which nevertheless has useful perspectives, the top-ranked listing received 32.5 percent of traffic. The second-ranked listing received 17.5 percent of the attention and things dropped off sharply from there, with number 11 on the list appealing to a mere one percent of searchers. There are, of course, many factors that play into these results, but it’s worth noting that Google results on the first page got 92 percent of traffic for the average search—and that should be food for thought for B2B marketers who already know that their company rarely figures on that coveted page.
It follows then, that if you aren’t in the search results when your customers or prospects are searching, then you are probably giving away business to your competitors.
B2B marketers have two basic choices for boosting their search performance:
Many marketers have still to realize just how complex ‘organic’ or ‘unpaid’ SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is—and that it is a moving target that demands a significant, on-going effort. With thousands of SEO specialists out there working to exploit the way search engines work, and its own commercial agenda, Google regularly changes the underlying algorithms, requiring marketers to update their SEO strategies just as often.
For most B2B companies, implementing SEO is best left to specialists in the field. That doesn’t change, however, the fact that SEO is an essential marketing capability, and B2B marketers who have yet to properly invest in its benefits are doing themselves a great disservice. In fact, ignoring SEO completely will push your company’s messages far down the search results list, leaving prospects in the hands of competitors who have made the right on-going investments.
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