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Putting SEO Back in the Spotlight

November 30, 2009

When I look at SEO and PPC as part of the search marketing mix, I know how important the role of SEO is. I’ve heard what the experts have said and read the studies that tell me things like how searchers trust organic results more, and that searchers click on organic results more than paid.

Yet despite knowing this, when I look back at my past search marketing plans, 80% of the plan details were focused on PPC, whilst only 20% was on SEO; almost as if it were an after-thought. Maybe it was because it seemed easier to just throw money at paid search. Afterall, it requires less effort, is easier to control (you can turn it on or off in an instant), metrics are often easier to track, and since big media investments are being made then detailed targets and metrics have to be clearly set out up front.

But what about SEO?

The skewed PPC focus had been bothering me for a while. So with web tracking more in order than prior years, I was able to delve into comparative metrics.

When comparing SEO to PPC, I found that in the past year, SEO delivered:

  • 10% more clicks than PPC
  • 4X more key conversions

It was the conversion comparison that struck me most, since these were *big* numbers (a key conversion in this case was where the visitor provided information about themselves and indicated an intention to purchase). Yet this shouldn’t have been a big surprise. I guess seeing data specific to your business helps to bring the message closer to home.

So the moral of the story:

  • Don’t put SEO in the corner. Organic search delivers, so it should always be at the forefront of search marketing and your plans.
  • Yes, SEO is free where clicks are concerned but it doesn’t mean that you don’t invest in it. In order to flourish, it needs to be given the necessary time, resource, and commitment it so clearly deserves.
  • And last but not least, get your web tracking in order. It will provide you with the most valuable insight relevant to your business.

For me, at least, it is time to put SEO back into the spotlight.

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From → Search Marketing

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