Understanding the way in which specifiers search for building products online is becoming increasingly vital for building product and manufacturing companies to deliver effective sales and marketing strategies.  

With now nearly limitless access to information online from a range of sources, including thousands of manufacturer websites but also product directories, search is an integral part of how specifiers discover new solutions and find information about products. 

In fact, our research shows that once a specifier has reached the point in a project when they start actively searching for and researching products and materials, 98% turn to online research. 

In most cases, the starting point at this stage will be a search engine. 

However, as those who are familiar with search engine marketing will know, the search terms and keywords used can have a significant impact on both the search results shown and websites visited.  

This can be an obstacle for manufacturers when trying to get a product in front of specifiers searching for solutions that will meet their design needs or functionality requirements. Particularly as search terms for almost all building product categories are highly competitive. 

Understanding specifiers' search term preferences 

It is often the case that the terminology that a manufacturer uses to describe its building products, including what they are and what they do, does not completely match the terms that specifiers use when searching online. This may be because the product manufacturer’s team becomes accustomed to the official, technical terms or descriptions for a particular product, or they adopt an internal term, which appears clear and sensible from their perspective. But this can lead to a search marketing strategy being built around terms that are not commonly used by specifiers, resulting in limited visibility within search engines and opportunities for specification being missed.

Additionally, specifiers may be searching for a solution rather than a product; for example, ‘door security systems,’ instead of ‘digital keypad lock'. They may also be using a more simplistic term, such as 'door lock' compared with 'digital keypad lock,’ or a different but similar term, for example 'heater’ versus 'radiator’. 

It is important that manufacturers consider a number of areas within their search marketing strategy. 

3 ways to ensure your building products are found by specifiers online  

One way is to speak to specifiers to understand more about how they describe the products they need and how they would go about searching for a particular solution. This direct approach provides manufacturers with valuable information on the specific search terms their customers use during their research process and helps to bridge the gap between manufacturer terminology and specifier preferences.  

Another action worth considering is to step-back and list what the specific product(s) may be an alternative to, as specifiers may simply not know of other options are available. While specifiers may have a solution in mind, they may not be aware of other options which could better suit their needs. By proactively researching into alternative products and solutions, manufacturers can expand their potential customer base and address a wider range of specifier requirements.  

Thirdly, consider utilising a well-established product directory which enables manufacturers to overcome the challenges of search and ensure products are found by thousands of specifiers when they are searching for them online (even if they have never heard of the brand before!).

As well as understanding search term preferences, it is also worth remembering how specifiers like to find, research and compare products online. This is most easily done via an online product directory and is often the first port of call for specifiers during the research phase. Product directories act as a valuable resource for specifiers, assisting them in the time consuming task of identifying the best products for their projects.

One thing which is very clear is that engaging specifiers online has never been more important, and will continue to become even more so. 

How can Causeway SpecifiedBy help increase brand visibility?

Causeway SpecifiedBy can help to ensure your products are seen by specifiers.

The online directory attracts over 70,000 monthly users and is dedicated to helping manufacturers market their products, while also providing a powerful research and comparison tool for specifiers. The solution’s unique search engine makes every product attribute searchable, meaning it is easy for specifiers to find the right products even if they are not familiar with the brand or do not know that the products will meet their needs. 

And unlike other online product directories, Causeway SpecifiedBy has a much broader scope of possible searchable fields compared with other product directories. It also provide users with detailed analytics and insights, as well as named leads of anyone who is actively searching for products. This provides specifiers with access to request quotes immediately and allows manufacturers to engage with them directly.  

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