Almost three quarters (72%) of buyers planning to purchase a business product begin their research with a Google search, according to a recent report by Pardot.

After an initial search, 70% of buyers then return online 2-3 times to do additional research, and 12% return online more than three times. Just under one in five (18%) do all of their online research in a single sitting.

Besides Google, B2B buyers also use personal networks (15.5%), Yahoo (5.5%), Bing (2.7%), and LinkedIn (2.5%) as starting points for their research.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 400 B2B buyers.

Content Preferences 

  • 76% of B2B buyers surveyed prefer different content at each stage of their research process.
  • 89% agree that the cost of the item they are purchasing affects the amount of research they do.
  • 98% say their search terms usually become more refined as their research deepens on a purchase.
  • 70% of buyers say written B2B content such as whitepapers and case studies should be under five pages.
  • 2% prefer content longer than five pages, and 28% think the content should be as long as it takes to inform.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 400 B2B buyers (53% employed by small businesses, 22% by mid-market companies, and 25% by enterprise companies). The majority (75%) of respondents were not marketers.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji