eMarketer, one of the leading digital media analysis firms, projects growth in search spending over the course of the next few years, reaching $30 billion by 2016. Fueled in 2012 by national elections and the Summer Olympic Games, search spending trends will secure the crown on Google’s head as the king of Internet search, but Microsoft will continue to solidify its presence at court.
But, of course, you don’t follow spending trends just because they’re spending trends. What did your mother tell you about following the crowd? But these spending trends are significant because they point to the power of Internet search in business marketing.
What Is Search Engine Marketing?
Essentially, there are two kinds of search engine marketing:
- Paid search—like the “Sponsored Ads” that are the top 1 or 2 listings on every Google search results page (also often listed in the right hand column of every search) and the “Promoted” Worldwide Trends on Twitter.
- Organic search—where you end up on the search engine results pages (SERPs) without paying Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, or whomever to be at the top.
Organic search isn’t necessarily free. It’s true you don’t have to invest anything more than the cost of your domain name and a WordPress account to create your own website eligible for indexing by search engines. But without further investment in search engine optimization (SEO) services, it’s unlikely that your website will rank very high on the SERPs. And that matters.
Consumer Search Engine Use
It’s clear why businesses need to capitalize on Internet search marketing opportunities:
- 93% of consumers worldwide use search engines to find and access websites (Forrester Research)
- 85% of qualified internet traffic is driven through search engines; however, 75% of search engine users never scroll past the first page of results (Seventh WWW User Survey, Georgia Institute of Technology)
As the Forrester Research Media Field Survey summarizes, “Attracting a loyal audience to your website is best achieved through top search engine listings.”
So if you aren’t already investing in search engine marketing, your business may be suffering. If you’re not at the top of the SERPRs, you’re risking invisibility to potential customers, you’re sacrificing leads and you’re hindering your sales potential.
The Best Search Engine Marketing Value
Both paid and SEO-enhanced organic search engine marketing strategies can be effective. They’ll get you visible at the top of the SERPs. And that matters, but that’s not all that matters.
There’s lots of research (and just relevant experience) that indicates people trust organic search results more than paid results. According to SEOMoz:
- SEO drives 75%+ of all search traffic
- PPC receives less than 25% of all search traffic
That means that the best value for your search engine marketing dollar may be SEO services over paid advertisements, links and listings.
Not only does SEO provide trustworthy links more likely to be clicked by users, but SEO, in the long run, is more cost-effective. Paid ads and listings can get you on the top of the SERPs and increase your visibility, but only for as long as you can pay for it. And that can get expensive.
SEO, on the other hand, (if provided by a reputable full-service company like SonicSEO.com), can help you maintain top search engine rankings through vigilant monitoring, analysis and proactive adaptation for the life of your relationship with your SEO service provider.
Whether or not you should invest in search engine marketing is no longer the question—it’s how. And user preference and long-term cost-effectiveness point to SEO as the better value.
If you’re looking for an SEO company to help you tap into the power of the search engine marketing, contact SonicSEO.com today!