Businesses looking to improve their web presence and build website leads can do so with a well-developed search engine optimization campaign, according to a recent report from Fleishman-Hillard. The company found that 89 percent of consumers turn to Google, Bing or another search engine to find information on products, services or businesses prior to making purchases.

The study points to dependence on search for shopping research as a “key insight into the influence the internet wields in consumers’ lives,” demonstrating the need for strong SEO strategies from brands. Brafton has argued that content is key for search optimization. Fleishman-Hillard’s findings support the idea that creating original content aimed at informing consumers or B2B buyers without aggressive selling language will help businesses appeal to new prospects. The web has become, more than anything else, a massive portal of information. Businesses can leverage this trend by implementing a content marketing strategy focused on original articles about their industry.

Search isn’t the only place consumers are looking for product information – 62 percent also research on Facebook before buying. Check out this recent article for more insights.

Moreover, pairing a content marketing campaign with a social media marketing initiative may help businesses further reach consumers making purchase decisions. According to Fleishman-Hillard, 79 percent of consumers said they Like or follow brands on social networks to get more information about the company and its products and services.

“Today, the collective voice of the internet is eclipsing the persuasive power of family, friends or colleagues when it comes to influencing purchase decisions,” Dave Senay, CEO of Fleishman-Hillard, said in a release.

In the B2B sector, content marketing campaigns with an SEO element are proving especially important to success. Brafton recently reported that more than 70 percent of enterprise purchase decisions begin on search engines.