Google Dominates the B2B Search Market and Twitter Outperforms Facebook
Optify, the leading innovator in digital marketing software, today announced the release of its annual B2B Marketing Benchmark Report in which it was revealed that Google’s market share in the B2B segment increased to 90 percent in 2012. Additionally, Optify’s report uncovered that organic search is still the strongest driver of known traffic to B2B sites, but shows relatively low conversion rates, while email shows the highest conversion and engagement rates.
Unlike more traditional market share reports such as the latest from ComScore, stating a 67% Search Share, Optify’s report shows that over the last year Google has increased its share of the search market to 90 percent in the B2B sector. Bing was revealed as a distant second with roughly only 5 percent of searches leading to B2B sites. Google’s dominance coupled with the increase in Google’s enhanced privacy setting, which now lists referring keywords from organic search as “not provided,” presents a challenge for B2B marketers and digital marketing agencies. As search continues to be a primary source of traffic, this study shows that marketers should build a diversified strategy, with organic search being only a part of their efforts.
A summary of the key findings include:
- Google’s share of the search market in the B2B segment in North America reaches 90%.
- While companies increase their investment in social media marketing, social media represented a small fraction of traffic and leads to B2B websites in 2012, contributing an average of 5% of all traffic and leads. Within social media, Twitter outperformed Facebook 9-to-1 in lead generation campaigns.
- Organic search is the strongest driver of known traffic to B2B sites with 41% of traffic. Google is responsible for over 35% of all traffic to B2B websites making it the single most important referring domain in 2012.
- Blocked data continues to be an issue as “not provided” exceeds 40% of all organic visits from Google. Combined with visits from branded search terms, known keyword data from organic search continues to drop, leaving marketers with less than 40% of referring keywords.
- Email still shows high engagement rates with an average 2.9% conversion rate (well above the 1.6% overall average). This is a trend that keeps increasing as more B2B marketers leverage email for lead nurturing as well as lead generation.
Optify’s study analyzed over 62 million visits from more than 600 small and medium-sized B2B websites from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 to determine the percentage of visits and leads from various sources to B2B websites. The parameters of this study included only US based .com sites with 100 to 100,000 monthly visits. Channel analysis included websites with a minimum of 10 visits per traffic source that month.
“Google has long proven to be the uncontested leader in the search market, and as our research shows, that authority will only continue into the foreseeable future,” said Doug Wheeler, CMO of Optify. “With such a clear domination of search, we believe that marketers should diversify their marketing programs beyond organic search. It will come as no surprise if Google decides to monetize elements of its organic search data such as referring keywords, access to analytics or other, currently free services, leaving marketers no choice but to adhere to its terms.”
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