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The Power of SEO: How do People Search?

Written by Erika Josephison on Oct 31, 2017 9:08:00 AM

In B2B Marketing Technology

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy focused on growing visibility in organic (not paid) search engine results. In the past, it was mostly B2C organizations that needed to focus on SEO. But modern marketing world, SEO is incredibly important for all types of business, including B2B organizations. Businesses are now searching for solutions to problems in much the same as individual consumers. This is why understanding how people search is a vital first step to optimizing your SEO. 

How does SEO work for my business?

Chances are you already know what SEO is and how it should, theoretically, help your business become more prominent in organic search engine results powered by search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, thus getting more people to click onto your website. But maybe you’re not quite sure how to go about actually doing SEO, or maybe the strategy you have doesn’t seem to be working.

If something isn’t quite right with your SEO, you’ll want to fix it as soon as possible. But the only way to truly make a B2B SEO strategy work is to start from the beginning. And by the beginning, we mean the people.

Related: Do You Understand Your Customer's Behaviour

The ultimate goal of SEO is getting your target audience to click onto your website, so it makes sense that understanding this audience is key. In all likelihood, your customers use search engines just like anyone else. Even if your customers are business, the decision makers in that business will be using search engines to find a solution to the problem they are facing. 

How are my customers using search engines?

So what happens when a customer needs to search for something?

First, consider how do people search? Once they have come up with the right way to phrase the problem or question they have, and entered it into the search engine, they start looking through the page for something that looks like a solution.

Here’s the thing: they’re not going to look very far. A 2011 study by Slingshot SEO revealed that the number one position in Google’s search results receives 18.2% of all click-through traffic. The second position receives 10.1%, the third 7.2%, the fourth 4.8%, and all the rest in the (often thousands of) pages to follow under 2%. And though this survey was conducted five years ago, it’s more than likely the trends have stayed the same, perhaps with the top few even increasing in percentage.

What this says about customers using search engines is that they are drawn to the top search results for a variety of reasons. It’s probable that they view whichever company appears first on the page as trustworthy and reliable.

But be careful when it comes to paid search results. Just because paid search results often appear first on the page doesn’t mean they’re going to get the most click-through traffic. According to a study published on the blog User Centric, people’s eyes are drawn to organic search results over paid.

The searchers themselves are smart. They know when something is paid, and they will take that into account. An organic search result will appear more genuine and reliable than something paid to most search engine users.

How to Improve SEO Strategy?

This all boils down to the fact that knowing your target personas well enough to know what they are searching for is the key to improving the SEO strategy for your B2B organization. Once you understand this, you can use keywords, usability, content, and SEO tools to get your business, and solutions it provides to customers, to the top of the search page. And the rest is history.

Stay tuned to the Flawless Inbound blogs in the coming weeks for more on the Power of SEO, including Keywords and Content and SEO Mistakes and Myths.

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