People often want to know what the most effective digital marketing channels are so that they can allocate their resources wisely — find the highest-ROI channels, prioritize them, profit. The ever-growing list of digital mediums, however, has not made this easy.
How are enterprises spending their marketing budgets?
A recent Nielsen report surveyed 165 top marketing executives. When asked “What are your most important digital media channels?”, 38% of marketers ranked search as “extremely important,” coming in at the top of the list followed by channels such as social media (37%), email (28%), and video (24%).
That prioritization correlates with what marketers are deeming their most effective digital channels. That same survey found that 69% of marketers say search is either “extremely effective” or “very effective,” tying with social media as the channel with the highest perceived effectiveness.
So what makes search such a worthy channel investment for enterprises?
Why invest in organic search?
Organic traffic, accomplished through search engine optimization (SEO), has the potential to be an organization’s biggest digital revenue driver.
A study by Shareaholic looked at externally referred traffic from 400+ million people to 250,000+ mobile and desktop sites and found that search was the top driver of website visits with 35% of all traffic, outpacing social’s 26% share of referrals.
A recent analysis of clickstream data found that Google sends 10x more traffic to websites than any other major referrer, coming in ahead of sites like Facebook, Yahoo, Reddit, Wikipedia, and Amazon.
Studies have also found that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. When you know your audience is using search to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, you can’t afford not to be there.
The returns are also exponential. With SEO, you can keep earning organic traffic over time without having to pay for it.
Common objections to organic search, answered
Despite these statistics, some are still quick to write off SEO as a worthy channel investment, citing a few common objections:
“Traffic from SEO doesn’t convert well.”
Many people think that paid advertising has a better ROI because it gets brands targeted exposure to people who are ready to buy, while SEO brings traffic that doesn’t convert.
While it’s true that paid advertising can bring purchase-ready consumers to your website, SEO can bring qualified visitors to your website at any stage of their purchase journey.
SEO allows you to answer your audience’s questions, help them weigh their options, and ultimately, convert. It all comes down to knowing the real ways your audience is searching. If you know what words and phrases your audience is using to find what you offer, what devices they’re searching from, and where they’re searching from, you can create highly targeted content that converts or assists conversions.
“SEO takes too long to start working.”
If you’ve looked into SEO before, you may have heard the phrase “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” in reference to how long it takes to see results from SEO.
SEO isn’t pay-to-play, like paid advertising, so growth follows sustained effort over time. Once you’ve earned search engine visibility through SEO, you can continue to benefit from organic traffic for months or even years. There is no “end date” to the traffic you can earn through SEO, making the long up-front investment more than worthwhile.
“SEO is too unpredictable.”
Many view Google’s algorithm as unknowable and unwieldy. It’s true that only Google knows the exact components of their search algorithm, keeping the specifics a closely-guarded secret. It’s also true that Google makes hundreds of updates to that algorithm every year.
While we may not know the details of the algorithm or its changes, we don’t need to. What’s important is why Google is making these changes.
At the end of the day, Google wants to deliver the most relevant, trustworthy content to its users as quickly as possible. Every change is made in pursuit of that goal. This means that when we create content that provides the best answer to real searchers’ questions, and we do so in a way that Google can find and understand, we’ll be rewarded in the SERPs.
“SEO isn’t scalable. We just don’t have the resources to execute.”
Historically, SEO has been viewed as a highly manual process, but breakthroughs in technology have started to automate repeatable tasks. This has made SEO not only more manageable, but more effective due to better data and transparency.
Search is one of the most effective digital channels for enterprises and Botify exists to help brands like yours make the most of it. Our platform gives you visibility into the entire search process, from crawling to conversion, so that you can quickly identify the highest-impact opportunities.
If you’re considering an investment in the organic search channel, and you’re looking for the tools you need to do it well, we invite you to request a Botify demo today and see what we’re all about!