<< by Tad Miller on November 26th, 2012
Business to Business (B2B) search marketing can be tricky. It’s hard to dispute the value of getting into the consideration set of potential undecided customers that search on non-branded keyword phrases, but visibility isn’t necessarily always going to translate into a lead that a sales force can follow up on and turn into a sale, especially if your product or service has a big price tag or requires a major commitment.
The art of generating B2B leads online doesn’t get the credit that it deserves, especially on those big-ticket, high commitment, complicated sales. Typically these leads have very high costs per acquisition and very low conversion rates. The pool of ideal customers for these kind of products is relatively small, especially compared to consumer products or services.
When it comes to search marketing, both natural and paid, keyword selection can be tricky for B2B niches. What your ideal customer demographic may search for isn’t always abundantly clear. Say your company offers services to battery manufacturers to do testing on the batteries they make. The keyword “battery testing” has approximately 320 searches per month according to Google. But “battery testing” can mean different things to different people. For consumers it’s mostly an informational search query about how to test your car’s battery. A smaller niche of both consumers and businesses might be interested in figuring out how to test laptop computer batteries. And, an even smaller niche might be battery manufacturers (your ideal customers). Battery testing has “horizontal relevance” in that it means different things to different people.
The hard part about horizontal relevance is that search engines like Google favor what the majority are looking for in top ten natural search results, in other words if it’s mostly an informational search query and mostly searched by consumers the results will likely favor those type of pages.