February 24 2023


To Understand User Intent, Just B-SMART: How the B-SMART Method® Continues to Help Clients Show Up In Search

Analyzing Buyer Intent for Almost 20 Years 

In our 20 years of industrial digital marketing, we’ve learned a lot about how our Customers’ buyers search, which led us to develop the B-SMART Method®. From website content to keyword research, this tried-and-true method is the foundation of our marketing strategies, and at the center is the idea that the search defines the user. This methodology around user intent allows us to identify the audience most likely searching for your products or services, attracting traffic that is more likely to drive new business opportunities.   

As we approach this two-decade milestone, we look back on how this method allows us to be smart when creating an integrated search strategy for our Client partners. In this blog, we remember how the B-SMART Method® came to fruition, discuss its staying power, and explain its importance in the future of search. Plus, we explore how B-SMART shapes our Customer’s success via our data, experiences, and what we know to be true about how industrial buyers search. 

The B-Smart Method
B-SMART has been a part of TopSpot’s approach from the beginning. 

The Methodology’s Evolution 

In 2003, TopSpot entered a young internet marketing space focused on buyer intent-based terminology that defined a specific audience. Google Analytics was still three years away, so a manual behavioral analysis informed our understanding of user intent and what content resulted in great leads for our Clients. It was at this time the list that made up the method evolved:  

  • Brand  
  • Size/Shape/SKU  
  • Material  
  • Application/Area or Industry  
  • Requirements  
  • Type  

It became clear that whether B2B or B2C, these intent categories were all-encompassing, catching every area users employ in their search queries.     

Introducing the Acronym  

Around 2015, while the Team was preparing for a conference on conversion strategies, the idea to simplify the method and make it memorable helped to align the intent categories into the acronym B-SMART. The B-SMART Method® was trademarked in 2016 to differentiate ourselves and our Customers’ businesses via an effective message illustrating expertise and approach.  

In 2017, we created LOOP Analytics to fully inform this strategy and bring lead visibility to our Customers, bridging the gaps other tools presented, including user behavior and form submission data. The combination of tools our Teams utilizes continues to support these six areas of user intent.  

Remember, according to Google, 15% of all searches are unique, which emphasizes the importance of a strategy that has this in mind. B-SMART provides marketers and business owners with a structure to target their specific audience via a simplified approach that maximizes marketing resources. 

B-SMART’s Staying Power 

The Team has become user historians over the last two decades, looking at data from all angles as analytics tools and search engine technologies continue changing. One thing that stays consistent in search, however, is user behavior. Can you imagine not searching for brands or sizes when looking for shoes or clothing? For our industrial and manufacturing partners and their customers: 

  • Ordering parts requires materials, shapes, sizes, SKUs, and types 
  • There are requirements for regulation purposes critical to success 
  • Areas of industry matter from aerospace to personal use 
  • Accuracy is key because, like in metal alloys, being off can result in costly errors 

Without these details, the traffic resulting from broad searches will take away budget and resources better spent on quality leads. 

Example of B-SMART elements found in an industrial search. 

Can We B-SMART in the Future? 

Anything can change at any time, and there’s a possibility that the acronym could expand. However, given the elements that make up B-SMART are essential to narrow things down in a search query, its relevancy in the future is likely. What we can say is the experience and conviction TopSpot has gained thanks to the method’s development and Clients’ success will continue.   

For example, data privacy is a concern for people and governments globally, so the data available in tools currently is likely to change. However, even as things become unavailable to track, the knowledge developed using B-SMART means we have a foundation to start strategizing and testing without any tools at all. Additionally, as search enters the age of artificial intelligence, B-SMART criteria are necessary to input and generate an answer that matches user intent. As advanced as AI is becoming, it only works based on what a user feeds it.   

What’s Your Takeaway 

It’s easy to discount extensive terminology, but if a buyer is in a specific industry, they know what they need and what to search for. This trust in a user supports the notion that volume doesn’t always equate to the right traffic. A smarter way to go about volume is defining all the variations of terminology and products that make sense for your business versus a handful of broader keywords. This is where B-SMART comes in, informing those variations and garnering the right volume of search terms. 

The benefit of being an early adopter of search data is the experience gained by piecing data together using critical thinking and drawing conclusions before tools were available to provide automated analysis. This intention to strategy remains, and a strong conviction in what we know to be true has resulted. We’ve viewed hundreds of thousands of leads and spoken to thousands of organizations—that knowledge drives those convictions and creates a personal approach for our Clients, built on experience.  

If your search strategies are not being informed by the B-SMART method, contact TopSpot to learn more and get an integrated approach to your internet marketing. 

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