Compete found that consumers are increasingly turning to search and website content to find information that equips them to make the best purchases.

Compete’s Summer 2012 Online Shopper Intelligence Survey relayed by eMarketer suggests that most industries can improve website traffic and conversions by building a better presence on the internet. The report focused on industries most frequently associated with the B2C sector and found that more than half of consumers access different forms of web content to research their purchases in the grocery, health and beauty, household essentials and pet supply industries.

Using search to find different vendors ranks among the most frequently used methods, with at least 13 percent naming it as a channel used to research brands in these industries. Similarly accessing website content is increasingly common for consumers, with at least 24 percent saying they navigate to company sites to look into new products and services.

Developing a content marketing strategy that reaches consumers on multiple fronts will help organizations appeal to the growing habit of online product and service research. Website articles, blog posts and more can focus on trends and other developments in the industry that prospects will likely use to decide which purchases they should pursue.

Moreover, content builds trust with prospects that can help lead to conversions. Brafton recently cited data from an About.com study that found more than 80 percent of consumers won’t buy from companies they don’t trust. Many of these consumers said they hold more favorable views of companies that provide information demonstrating authority within their industries.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.