SEO to Drive More Traffic for Marketers

Search engine marketing, one of the older forms of new media, shows no signs of slowing down. The sector is poised for another growth year. But marketers are changing the way they use search as they look for the best way to incorporate it into social media, local marketing and mobile marketing.

The 2011 State of Search Marketing report, by Econsultancy, projects that search marketing spending will reach $19.3 billion in 2011, which translates to a 16% growth rate over 2010. Part of this growth will be driven by spending on local search. Agencies who participated in this survey said that 34% of search budgets are now being spent on local pay per click (PPC) advertising.

In addition, nearly half of marketers, 47%,  are now using PPC campaigns on Facebook. SEMPO president Chris Boggs remarks that "The industry is evolving to encompass much more than the search engines. The increasing role of social media is re-​shaping the industry in surprising ways.”
The survey also shows that marketers are relying on search engine optimization (SEO) to increase site traffic. Here are the top objectives for SEO use this year:

  • Drive website traffic: 42%
  • Generate leads: 29%
  • Sell products/​services/​content directly online: 18%
  • Increase brand awareness/​reputation: 19%

These numbers show a significant shift from the past. Last year, lead generation was the top goal for marketer SEO campaigns. eMarketer analysts point out that SEO can build ongoing site traffic. By comparison, paid search may be more frequently used when a marketer wants to promote a sale or a new product and generate spikes in activity. And to measure the effectiveness of SEO, more marketers, 57%, are looking at site traffic metrics. Last year, only 49% did so.

As technologies rise and consumers respond, look for marketers to continue adjusting their use of search, both paid and SEO.

[Sources: SEMPO 2011 State of Search Marketing. SEMPO​.com. 13 Apr. 2011. Web. 13 May 2011; Marketers Shift Primary SEO Metrics and Objectives. Emarketer​.com. 2 May 2011. Web. 13 May 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.