Search engine optimization is an indispensable part of internet marketing. Top search engine optimization is gaining importance over paid search due to the fact that internet users trust the natural search listings more than the paid ones. Traditionally SEO has been used for both, website traffic generation and online conversions. But marketers have shifted their primary SEO objective in the recent times.
According to the findings of a survey conducted by Econsutancy and SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization), a majority of companies are considering traffic generation as the primary objective for SEO. In 2010, marketers gave almost equal importance to both website traffic generation (34%) and lead generation (32%) as primary objectives for optimization. But this year, as many as 87% companies cited that they were focusing on driving traffic to their websites using SEO.
The results of a separate research conducted by MarketingSherpa were consistent with those of the Econsultancy and SEMPO survey. According to this study, a majority (57%) of search marketers in the US think that SEO is most effective in traffic generation compared to a minority (35%) who think that it is more useful for generating leads. Although traffic generation is given more emphasis, it does not indicate that marketers have abandoned other objectives like conversions and lead generation.
In line with the change in objective, there has also been a change in the metric being used to measure the success of SEO campaign. This year, 57% companies are considering traffic metrics to measure SEO success compared to 49% last year. Also, there has been a drop in the percentage of companies considering conversion rates and the number of sales/leads as the primary metrics. These results indicate that marketers are focusing on SEO strengths and adjusting their success measurement metrics accordingly.