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Business.com Research Reveals B2B Search Marketing Best Practices

Note: This is an archived blog post Links in this post have been removed because the SEO White Paper from Business.com has been removed.

Business.com has released the 2008 B2B Search Marketing Strategy Guide: Advice from the Pros, a free SEO white paper that helps business to business marketing pros deliver better ROI for their company using search engine marketing.

Business.com has gathered insights from over 140 search engine marketing companies. They suggest that core principles and the typical toolkit are similar for B2C and B2B, but the overall marketing strategy must reflect typical business to business characteristics.

2008 B2B Search Marketing Strategy Guide: Advice from the Pros guide is based on survey responses from 144 marketing agencies that currently manage paid search (PPC pay per click) and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts for business-to-business clients.

According to those who responded to the survey, certain B2B trade characteristics, including the length of the sales cycle, target audience attributes, and search engine dynamics and features, lead to different goals, strategies and tactical priorities for B2B search marketing.

Here’s some of the topics covered in the white paper:
— How B2B search marketing differs from B2C
— Top 10 tips for improving B2B paid search campaigns
— Top 10 tips for B2B SEO
— B2B search marketing strategy checklist

The whitepaper also includes a comprehensive B2B search marketing agency directory, including agency services, location and contact information.

Here’s some interesting information from the white paper:

Based on our observations, industry statistics and knowledgeable B2B search marketing experts, it’s clear that B2B search marketing is rapidly moving into the mainstream. A 2006 Forrester study1 found that 59% of B2B marketers already use search marketing, and MarketingSherpa’s recent research2 pegs search marketing (paid search and search engine optimization) as 9-10% of the overall B2B marketing budget. Private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson predicts that B2B spending on all forms of e-media will grow from 9.9% of the overall B2B marketing budget in 2006 to 20.3% in 2011.

How B2B Search Marketing Differs from B2C
Is B2B search marketing the same as B2C? The short answer – it is, and it isn’t..

The fundamental marketing principles and “toolkit” of paid search and SEO tactics are the same for B2B and B2C, but strategy and tactical priorities differ. As Christine Churchill of Key Relevance LLC so clearly describes:

There is no magical difference in approach when it comes to a search marketing campaign aimed at other businesses as opposed to one targeting consumers. In all search marketing settings, the objectives of the site owners and an understanding of the intended audiences are essential. A business sale may involve longer buying cycles, larger purchases, smaller audiences, or a deeper understanding of potential changes within specific industries, but essentially the practice of marketing remains the same.”

The complete whitepaper is available as a free download here.

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