The last time we spoke with Optify’s CMO Doug Wheeler we learned about the impact of Google’s SSL enhancement on SEO data. To investigate its impact, Optify conducted a study to see the effect that these keywords were having on organic search results. As it turns out, “not provided” accounted for almost 40% of referring traffic data from organic search. Today, Optify has released a new report chronicling the performance of the primary sources of traffic to B2B websites. Forget what you thought you knew about how your clients or company compare against industry benchmarks. You're going to want to see this.

Google is the King of Search

Every now and again, rumors about the true nature of Google’s share of the search market emerge, leaving digital marketers to second guess themselves. As a result, they may diversify their investments in search engines. Instead of giving it all to Google, they’re convinced this is the year that Bing really turns things around. The next time you have an urge to doubt King Google, think about this -- Google is responsible for almost 90% of all organic search, making it the single most important referring source of traffic (36% of all traffic comes from Google).

Additionally, branded searches (searches that include the name of the company) show the highest engagement of any other source (3.71 page views per visit) and account for 31% of all visits from organic search. It’s never been more important for prospective customers to know who you are more than what you represent (semantically speaking), as Optify’s study revealed that recognized, non-branded keywords (the non-branded available for analysis) dropped to 35% of all organic search visits.


While we crown Google King, it’s worth mentioning that Bing is still pulling its weight when it comes to engagement. According to the study, organic search visits from Bing show better engagement rates (more pageviews per visit) and better conversion rates than Google.

Email Isn’t Dead

Email may be burdensome and ineffective when it comes to social business, but where B2B marketing is concerned, email shows high engagement rates as well as strong conversion rates with an average 2.9% lead conversion rate. Digital marketers thinking about streamlining or cutting back on emails may want to reconsider, as these trends seem to indicate that email can help with lead nurturing as well as lead generation.

To get the most from your email, Optify recommends using opt-ins where you can to help build email lists with prospective, interested customers. As well, social media can help generate leads for email sign ups, so don’t be afraid to promote with links driving traffic back to your site.

Social Media Doesn’t Always Work, But When it Does Twitter Leads

When it comes to social media, there’s a difference between the platforms that drive the most traffic and the platforms that generate the most leads. The study showed that Facebook is the strongest driver of traffic among the top three (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), but Twitter is the strongest social media channel for generating leads.

While social media is a consistent driver of traffic and leads, it still only represents a small fraction of traffic and leads to B2B websites, contributing on average less than 5% of all traffic and leads.

Learning Opportunities

Paid Search is Dying

Paid search usage showed a constant decline among B2B marketers in 2012. Over 10% of companies in the report discontinued their paid search campaigns during 2012.

Even though conversion rates for paid search might be high, engagement levels (as measured by pageviews per visit) are low. According to Optify, both data points can be explained by the nature of paid search -- dedicated campaigns designed to quickly convert visitors to leads.

However, for companies who kept running their campaigns, paid search has shown a healthy, above average conversion rate and contributed a considerable percentage of visits (23%) and leads (16%). As such, Optify says that if paid search makes “financial sense” for your business, put your efforts there. But not all companies can, or should, run paid search campaigns. It’s essential that marketers analyze their paid search potential (price point, average cost per lead, realistic conversion rates, resources, etc.) to find out if this source makes sense.


Any Source Worth Using, Is Worth Using Right

While some of this may throw your B2B digital marketing strategy for a loop, it’s important to keep in mind that no matter what types of marketing you deploy, you should always have a baseline of your marketing activities and campaigns so you can monitor your own success rate to determine what’s working and what isn’t.

Because technologies and solutions are constantly evolving, it’s important to check under the hood consistently to best understand and optimize your marketing efforts. Doing so can help save you time and money, while successful nurturing and generating the right leads.