June 28, 2012 Scott Russell

Why SEO Should Be Your Primary Marketing Strategy

As an online marketing agency, we have an ever-growing arsenal of tactics and strategies to help our clients attract leads and increase sales. But almost invariably, when a new client comes onboard, we end up recommending that they start with an SEO campaign before or at least concurrent with ramping up other strategies.

Why this emphasis on SEO? Simply put, SEO offers by far and away the best value of all the marketing options available today, online or offline. In fact, one recent survey of ecommerce website owners showed that, on average, SEO leads convert to sales at an astonishing 15%. When you compare this to conversion rates of just 4% for leads from social media and 2% for leads from direct mail, email, and print ads, you’ll understand why we believe it’s just crazy to start with any other marketing strategy before you get going with SEO. With conversion rates 650% higher than these other marketing methods, SEO just makes good sense for ecommerce stores.

The top ecommerce sites already know this

The superiority of SEO leads is no secret to the biggest players in ecommerce. In any given ecommerce niche, you will find that the top companies all rely heavily on intensive SEO campaigns and organic (free) search traffic as the primary source for their leads. Amazon, Overstock, Target, and Walmart all have invested substantially in SEO and have reaped massive rewards for their efforts.

As the big boys know, today’s shoppers go to Google (and the other search engines) when they want to buy. Therefore, as an ecommerce business, you absolutely must be found as high in the search results as possible in order to grow your business and substantially increase market share. If you’re not there at the top of the search results, your competitors will be, and they will be the ones making all the sales.

Need more reasons to get started with SEO? Below are some very compelling statistics that show why your ecommerce site needs to be found at the top of the search results and how leads driven by SEO convert better than leads from any other available source.

How consumers look for you today:

  • 92% of Internet users use search engines to find the sites they want. – RedCroix.com (January 2010)
  • 71% of all U.S. adults shop online. – Pew Internet & American Life Project (August 2010)
  • 75% of Internet users have the intent to purchase when using search engines. – RedCroix.com (January 2010)

How SEO leads convert:

  • Overall, 15% of SEO leads convert to sales. Comparatively, Social Media leads convert at just 4%, while leads from outbound marketing techniques like email marketing, print campaigns, direct marketing, etc convert at just 2%. – HubSpot.com State of Inbound Marketing (2012)
  • SEO traffic converts 200% better than social referrals. – Econsultancy (August 2010)
  • 77% of search users click on organic listings over paid (Adwords) listings. – Intraspin.com (January 2010)

The bottom line is this: while SEO leads cost about the same as social media leads and less than half as much as leads from direct mail, email, and print ads, leads driven by SEO and organic search traffic convert far, far better than any of these other methods. This combination of low lead price and superior conversion rates really make SEO a no-brainer for any business looking to attract more customers and increase market share.

Now I know there are a few businesses out there that actually don’t want to grow or can’t expand their capacity due to logistical restraints. But for the rest of you, if you haven’t yet begun an SEO campaign for your ecommerce business, what are you waiting for?


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