How important is Search Engine Optimization for your Business?

Every company knows that search engine optimization is a vital piece in any online marketing strategy, but is SEO more important than paid search? A new study published by User Centric, a user experience research firm, demonstrates just how valuable the organic listings can be over the paid listings. The study was aimed at eye-tracking of data searchers and analyzing that persons experience as they perform a search query. The participants were given specific search terms and were told to search for them on Google and Bing.

Their findings were pretty interesting. 100% of the users viewed the organic listings versus 91% viewing the paid. The study actually showed that the majority of search users overlooked the paid ads and went directly to the organics. Don’t get me wrong, this post is about the importance of SEO, but I am sure that the results vary depending on the type of search query and I just want to throw that out there.

So what does this all mean for you? Search consumers are getting saturated with paid ads and are starting to overlook them. This happened with display/banner ads several years back as you are probably aware of. The click through rates on those types of ads started to drop intensely as people started ignoring them out of their internet experience. If this is the case that means that search users place a higher level of trust in the unpaid organic listings. If you don’t have very high search placements naturally, you should probably focus more of your efforts now before the paid traffic starts to level off or decrease. In the long term, search engine optimization is far more cost effective as the only fees that you would be paying would be the continued maintenance of your SEO efforts. Make sure you choose a White Hat SEO firm to manage your campaign or hire knowledgeable people. If they don’t know what they are doing, they could get you very little results or even worse, canned.

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