Second only to a supplier’s website, search is the most frequently used digital channel along the entire B2B buying journey, as it plays a dominant role in the early, middle and late stages of the purchase process.
From January to December 2018, organic search drove 57% of all desktop site traffic to manufacturing brand websites tracked in Gartner L2’s report on the topic. Keen on optimizing the ROI of their budgets, marketers have begun acknowledging search’s central place in customer buying journeys. According to Gartner data, SEO and search advertising combined account for over 11% of the total marketing budget. What’s more, 72% and 50% of B2B CMOs intend to increase spend on SEO and paid search, respectively, through year-end 2019. Despite stronger financial commitment, there are signs that manufacturing brands will have trouble defending the value of their SEO and paid search investments.
Data from Gartner L2’s report revealed that most studied brands achieve less than 2% organic visibility on unbranded category keywords. This creates a large opportunity for current competitors and future disruptors vying for valuable search traffic. Additional analysis shows the increasing difficulty of keeping up with well-funded digital natives, such as Amazon and eBay, which have much larger budgets to devote to paid search activities.