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BizReport : Search Marketing : June 06, 2007

Marketers may need to rethink SEO

Traditional search engine optimization methods may have worked to increase website traffic in 2005 or 2006, but users' search habits are changing and marketers may need to change how they target the market through search.

by Kristina Knight

One study suggests that while technology buyers begin their search for product information through a major search portal, most also include so-called alternative search methods.

According to a recent KnowledgeStorm and Marketing Sherpa study, 84% of tech buyers use multiple online channels to research product purchases. Because they use three or more words in a search keyword and often employ the use of words like "and" and "or", the results they receive go much deeper than simply search queries. They will scan as many as five pages of search results while looking for the information they deem most helpful.

That means paid search campaigns are pointless, right? Wrong! These tech buyers also admit that they click on sponsored and paid listings within search results. However, white papers are still the most popular search result. Tech buyers also forward helpful white papers (57%) and read a minimum of three white papers (85%) before making a buying decision.

What this means is that marketers need to employ a broad base of online content to attract and persuade buyers. White papers and even user reviews are helpful, investing in a paid search campaign is useful and optimizing site content through SEO will also boost results. Another tip from the study is to spend a bit of money offline as well because in many cases offline content will drive tech buyers online for research and even purchases.

Tags: online search, paid search, search engine optimization

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  • Brazil ...

    great post, learned a lot. Now I'll put it into practice.

  • Good points but try not to forget that a good SEO marketing strategy is only as good as the website it comes back to. Successfully integrating and SEO strategy with a strong website user experience could be your winning ticket.

    Biggest thing to remember is you can bring 12457120571025 of visitors to your site but if you don't have "call-to-actions" they aren't qualified leads anymore just those people that walk in and out of a store.

  • TJ McCue


    You write some great articles on terrific topics. Thanks!

    With this SEO one, does this pertain to consumer tech buyers or B2B tech buyers? What type of a buyer are we talking about? I have a client that sells an SMS-based sales management tool that is creating huge ROI, but it is oriented at a company buyer, not a consumer. I'd be curious as to results you've seen for paid search with b2b plays.


  • Marketing offline is just as important as online. SEO is only part of what I see to be a major digital marketing campaign!



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