If you want to sell something, tweaking your organic search is a great place to start. That’s the conclusion of a new study (PDF) published by Forbes.
The study found that:
- The tools seen as most effective for generating conversions were SEO (48 percent) email and e-newsletter marketing (46 percent), and pay-per-click/search marketing (32 percent).
- In the coming six months, respondents expect that ad networks will see the biggest declines in allocation of marketing spend; viral marketing and SEO will likely see the biggest increases. Behavioral Targeting is the category that is least likely to see any changes in spend.
Note that “effectiveness” is defined here as generating conversions, not mere page views — and that SEO is half again more effective than PPC. Notice also that SEO campaigns exceeded expectations of 45 percent of respondents; the next most satisfying tactic — PPC — exceeded expectations of only 25 percent of those surveyed.
And one more encouraging thing: the companies Forbes surveys understood that the important thing about search isn’t traffic (37 percent) or SERP position (34 percent.) It’s conversions: 70 percent.
Organic search = money. Remember that.