Most people think one aspect of marketing is more important than the other. But we can tell you there is no single type of marketing that works effectively on its own. While we talk so much about social media marketing, we also can’t ignore the value of search engines in the overall anatomy of digital marketing as an amalgam of strategies.
Before social media took a huge chunk in the marketing budgets of companies, there was search engine marketing. Guess what, for many companies, SEM still takes a significant amount of their investment. For many, it’s still an effective means of generating inbound traffic. In fact, a lot of website owners still look to search engines as the life-giving veins of digital marketing.
We’re not making up stuff. When we say, for instance, that 96% of marketers use SEM to generate content, we mean virtually all web content produced is for the purposes of being indexed by search engines. Marketers understand that people use search engines to find solutions to their everyday concerns and search engines can show your content if you have put out something out there.
We see social media is driving significant traffic to websites. What many people ignore is that more than 60% of website traffic comes from search engines. Consumers are still turning to the old way of looking for information. We love recommendations from people we trust on social media. But in the absence of such, we turn to search engines, which offer a straightforward way of looking for information. You most likely will go to Google to look for a local coffee shop or find new cameras. You don’t look up new services on Facebook or Twitter (unless you already know who to look for).
In terms of conversion rates, search engines are still way up there (10 times higher than from social media). This doesn’t necessarily mean social media is useless. We know how much social media influences brand awareness, but conversion happens when people actually go to a company’s website and check out what’s there. Search engine results drive people to website more readily than social media channels.
Maybe we should ask the B2B marketers. 57% of them confirm that search engine optimization still has the biggest impact on lead. Four in every five B2B purchase cycles start with searching the web.
Do these things mean you have to abandon your social media accounts? No! It means you have to diversify your marketing efforts and keep search engines in mind.
Many marketers say SEM is ineffective. That’s because they don’t quite grasp its intricacies. Just like other modes of digital marketing, it’s becoming more complex. It’s so much more than using keywords and putting them in your content. It’s more than just putting links here and there. It’s more about making the right choices and consistency.