Is Search Marketing Still Worth Investing In?

Is Search Marketing Still Worth Investing In?


Because of Google’s increasingly sophisticated algorithm, getting good rankings on unpaid search results is becoming more and more difficult.

It’s no longer simply about making a few tweaks to your website: It’s about creating a useful online resource that your target market will engage with. And, it doesn’t help that paid Google listings are becoming progressively more expensive, as more and more advertisers join the auction-based advertising platform.

Related: 7 Ways to Make Advertising a Sure Thing

Given that it’s a much more challenging, pricey and time-consuming task to be visible on search engines, is it still worth investing in? Yes it is. Here are seven reasons why.

1. Everyone uses Google

Ok maybe not everyone, but Google now processes over 3 billion queries a day, which translates to 90 billion searches a month or 1.1 trillion searches a year.

That’s a lot of attention from your target market and it’s where most people start their hunt for products or services.

2. People are in search mode

Few other marketing channels have a target audience that’s as receptive to what you’re selling. Think about it: Your customers are proactively looking for what you’re offering, rather than you trying to push your marketing message onto them.

This makes them better sales prospects, which means your ROI on search marketing is likely to be much higher than other more traditional marketing channels.

3. It’s measurable

Like other forms of digital marketing, you can see exactly how many people are visiting your site from search engines, and how many are converting into leads and customers.

This means you can work back to exactly how much your search marketing efforts are costing you, so you can justify your budget. This is difficult if not impossible with something like a TV ad or a print feature.

Related: The Complete Guide to Writing a Marketing Plan

4. SEO is the gift that keeps on givingSearch-engine-optimisation

While it’s true that SEO is a medium to long term commitment, once you get those natural (unpaid) results on search engines, you don’t pay for them. So while there’s an upfront investment in making your site a good resource, you don’t pay each time someone visits your sites when coming via Google.

5. Paid results are becoming more legitimate

With Google now rewarding advertisers for having useful ads that users respond to, paid search listings are getting more relevant to searches.

This means people are beginning to trust paid search results a lot more than they used to. And as always, you only pay when a user actually clicks on your ad.

6. Search marketing benefits all your other marketing

Marketing isn’t a siloed affair: What benefits you in the digital space will have an impact offline too.

By investing in good SEO or having a paid search campaign, you build up your brand’s credibility online, which can help convert customers better on offline channels too.

Related: 7 Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Adwords Agency

7. Your competitors are doing it

For all the reasons above, your competitors are very likely to be involved in a search strategy. If you don’t join in, you’re leaving yourself out in the cold.

Catherine Black
Catherine is a search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist, social media strategist and web copywriter with a Business Science degree from UCT at Black Mountain. With over 12 years’ experience in paid and organic search, she began working on the agency side (Quirk in Cape Town, Greenlight Digital in London and iProspect in San Francisco) before heading the internal SEO team at CBS Interactive in San Francisco. Back in South Africa, Catherine has provided SEO, social media and web copywriting services to clients since 2009. She’s the author of the book, “301 Ways to Use Social Media To Boost Your Marketing” (McGraw Hill, 2010), and has been a convener and course writer for GetSmarter, one of South Africa’s fastest growing online education companies.