A new survey of business-to-business (b2b) companies highlights the importance of investing in a web site that is designed and optimized to perform well on the major search engines and that has visibility on other related industry sites.
According to the Business to Business Survey 2007 by Enquiro, 65.3 percent of b2b buyers say they would start their research with a general search engine. Depending on which phase of the purchase cycle the buyer is in (awareness, research, negotiation, purchase), other online sources (b2b vertical web site, vendor web site, and industry information site) come into play as well to provide the buyers trusted information.
The survey points to the importance of having a company’s web site perform well on search engines and industry portals. The two factors cited as most influential in a buyer’s decision-making are the vendor’s web site and word-of-mouth recommendation. Given that nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents would begin their research with a search engine, it is critical that company web sites be found easily in the search engines.
Also covered in the survey was the type information that b2b buyers consider most important. In all cases, b2b buyers said they preferred to get information in a text format that could be downloaded and was portable. The reason cited for this preference was that in most cases, the person doing the product research is not the person making the purchase decision; therefore, the information needs to be available in a format that can be easily shared.