When someone searches the web through either Google, MSN, or Yahoo, they are somewhere in the buying cycle, whether simply researching, comparing products or trying to satisfy an immediate or future need. This makes search engine results from a great source for targeted leads. Research shows that leads referred from a content-based site convert at a higher rate than those referred by a banner ad.
Search engine traffic is unique in the following ways:
- Search engine traffic is a non-intrusive method of Internet marketing. The majority of offline advertising intrudes on the audience, interrupting their activities. Search is unique in tapping a searcher at the exact moment they are seeking information. Searchers are on a mission. We call it “just-in-time marketing.”
- Search engine traffic originates from a voluntary, audience-driven search. This means the visitors from a search results page have not only selected your listing but chose the search query that resulted in your listing is shown.
- Search engine traffic results from a fixed inventory of searches. To truly qualify as search engine traffic (or pure search traffic), the search must be one that the searcher initiated as a search (Google), either by clicking a search link in a directory style portal (Yahoo) or by filling out a search query box.
- Organic search engine marketing (achieved from SEO) combines the best practices of technology, usability, copy/linguistics and online PR. This is because many search engines base their relevancy algorithms on a combination of the text they see on a page or site, combined with external elements such as links and user behaviors/preferences.
Search marketing has already proven itself a valuable part of an overall integrated campaign, for both branders and direct marketers. Today, marketers can easily benefit from a dialogue with a searcher; whether that searcher is ready to purchase, is in need of information, or, is facing a crisis.