If you’re running a local plumbing, appliance repair or other similar business, then Google Adwords are a powerful tool. But how effective are they for business-to-business searches?

They key is to look at your customers’ behaviour. If your toilet breaks and you need a plumber fast, you search for plumber, and you’ll probably click the first result, regardless of whether it’s a paid ad or not.

But in my business we often deal with engineers in utilities, or major projects and plants. These guys undoubtedly use the internet to research, but it’s a slower process. Instead of clicking and buying the top result, they are looking for quality information, and answers to their questions.

Ads that come up top are not so appealing if they don’t appear to contain the required information.

This is why b2b businesses, particularly those that supply engineered solutions that are either hi-tech, or high value, need to focus on maximising their organic search results, ie the search results that can’t be paid for and can only be earned.

I’ve written about SEO many times before, and the principles still apply. You won’t get much benefit from cheap tricks as the only way to get attention from the people you want on your site is by having genuine content that these buyers need. It all comes back to quality content – create information your customers need, help solve their problems and answer their questions. There is no better way to demonstrate that your company knows what it’s doing.

There are also opportunities to get your content on other sites, whether industry magazines, industry directories, and other association, event and technical sites. Again, avoid link farms, or dodgy sites, and only go for genuine sites that are specific to your industry.

The end result will be that when a potential buyer is searching for information, they’ll be greeted with not just your own site, but plenty of information about your products and services on other reputable sites as well.