You know why online search is so valuable for B2B marketing, so I won't go into that. What I will do is list out key points of interest from Mediative's The Buyersphere Project's eyetracking research about the way your buyers are using online search.
The competition to capture your buyers' attention in search results is as fierce as ever, so B2B marketers need to do the following in order to stand out:
1. Know the keywords your buyers don't use.
This is an eye-opener. Some keywords are in the back of your buyers' minds even though they don't type it into the search engine. It could be a big brand they trust, desired features, differentiated value offerings, or pricing information.
For example, words like "reliable", "customisable", may reduce friction and build trust. Each speaks to a different intent and requirement.
This is why it's so important to invest energy in profiling your buyer personas in detail so you understand their selection criteria. Know your buyer persona's goals, as well as their typical objections at the very least. Marketers should aim to mitigate risk with their messaging and copy.
2. Make your search listing scan-friendly.
Your buyers scan, they don't read.
Mediative found that users scan the search engine results page for 2-3 seconds (enough time to read less than half a line of text).
All of us - including your buyers - interact with search results in a certain way:
- We tend to go to the upper-left corner by habit
- We scan the first few words of the title of the top 3-4 listings
- We scan in the shape of an F (first down, then to the right)
- If the first 3-4 listings look relevant, we tend to click through to 2 and compare the information on the page we land on, pressing back to get to the initial search results (this is called "pogo sticking")
- If we are unhappy with the initial set, we will keep chunking results into sets of 3-4 listings for consideration until we find what we're looking for
Also, consider that our eyes are drawn to variations in patterns. Use symbols and numbers to break up text patterns so that your buyers' eyes focus in on it. For example, your pricing or the number of customers you service.
3. Deliver the most amount of information scent in the shortest amount of time.
By information "scent", we mean intrigue to click through. The words have to make them think yes, this is what I'm looking for! - so it needs to line up with their intent while searching:
If they're just doing research on something, then choose a title that shows them you will answer their burning questions! This is best done through blog posts. Of course, you have to deliver once they click. Be their trusted teacher and they will remember you later on when they realise that you can solve their problem.
They know that they need to solve their problem, so now they're evaluating the different ways they can do that. Find out the information they (and their influencers need) to make them click through and pick you, by giving it to them on your website. Pricing may be a key consideration.
If your buyers are ready to buy, then it's a question of making sure you use words that tell them you tick off all their requirements. Difficult to do with a small character limit, but remember that buyers will chunk results, so you get another shot at it as long as they click through to your landing page.
Of course, you're going to need to get to the prime spot first - that coveted first page. If you're interested in learning more about Google's updates and how that affects your rank, download our free ebook: