Over the past five years, the marketing industry has changed almost unrecognisably, with businesses having to look at more innovative ways to target customers and prospects, as well as starting to build a two way dialogue rather than just pushing their marketing messages.
Search marketing has a vital part in the new marketing mix, with a recent BIG study showing that 89% of people regularly or occasionally research online before buying products offline. However, only 7% of retail sales actually occur online, so it is difficult to see the full effect that search engine optimisation is having on profitability as a whole, without asking every customer who comes through your door whether they browsed the website beforehand.
With so many new ways of communicating to the customer base and potential customers, such as social media, it is easy to ignore traditional marketing methods and media. However, you should not abandon traditional media outlets if these are seeing success and search engine optimisation should function as an extension of these marketing efforts, generating more brand awareness and encouraging customers and prospects through the conversion funnel.
Many big businesses have found that combining online and offline marketing has seen the highest success. True integration with consistent messaging can help you realise greater results in the long term.
Once a marketing campaign has leverage and customers are looking for you online, the best way to maximise this interest is in search marketing, both optimising your organic search results and paid for search. A recent comScore Networks study found that when your company’s website appears prominently in the paid for search results and the organic search results, the user is more likely to visit your website, as you are seen to have authority in the area that they have searched.
So it’s best not to look at SEO in isolation, but rather in the grand scheme of your entire marketing plan to garner the best results. Integrating search marketing with other marketing channels is where you can potentially find that extra edge over the competition.