Searching for sales, traffic and branding.
According to a joint study by Econsultancy and search engine optimization (SEO) firm Guava, online marketers around the globe (particularly in the UK) are increasingly turning to search marketing tactics.
Fifty-five percent of respondents said they planned to raise spending on SEO, and 45% said the same of paid search.
In addition, 31% of SEO and 32% of paid search users said they intended to maintain their budgets.
Savvy search marketers use paid search and SEO to accomplish different tasks, however.
In 2008, marketers said that the main objectives of paid search were (in order) to capture online sales, generate sales leads, drive Website traffic and enhance the brand. As for SEO, most marketers said its primary purpose was to drive traffic, create leads, generate sales and brand.
In 2009, marketers’ perceptions are in similar (but lower) proportions across the board.
With the global economy faltering, and money in short supply, search marketing is often the tool that marketers rely on to attract new customers.
“Search marketing is the best customer acquisition tool in the online space,” said eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman.
In addition, SEO offers pluses over paid search—though its advantages must be built up over time, which some marketers have little of in today’s economy.
“SEO improves organic listings, which Internet users prefer over paid search, and it is cost-effective,” said Mr. Hallerman. “Furthermore, optimization works across all search engines, and an optimized site does not drop off the first results page even when marketer spending slows or stops—as it can with paid search.”
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