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Keep Track of Trends in Marketing Through Search Engine & Social Media Statistics

Search engines have now been around for a number of years and marketers understand how to best leverage them, but is your website optimized for long term success and ROI?  If you have yet to invest in search engine optimization (SEO) and take a look at these trends in digital marketing and you’ll see why SEO is one of the smartest investments you can make.

The new kid on the block, social media, is not replacing search engine optimization but is in fact helping assist search engine results.  In fact, the average person ran 47% more searches in 2009 than in 2008.  Of those searches, 25% are totally unique and have never been run before (Google, 2010).  This emphasizes the importance of long-tail, longer worded searches.  “For the majority of categories measured at Hitwise, search is the top source of traffic referrals and the share has increased year-over-year,” writes Heather Dougherty.

According to the Hitwise, only three of 15 categories saw fewer natural search referrals in April 2009 than they did in April 2008 — Government, Community, and News & Media. (source: Hitwise)

Marketing Trends for Blogs:
Another metric that shows specific, long-tail traffic is the fact that 80% of all blog traffic is coming from a first time reader.  So it seems blogs are often not as much a tool for engaging with a specific audience member as they are a wide net capturing new prospects from the search engines.

The majority of first time visitors will happen across your blog via a search engine results page.  Blog optimization is just as important as any other website.  Be sure you’re using tags, keyword rich titles, and that your posts are engaging.  (Compendium, March 2010)

Why Invest In SEO? These compelling search engine marketing statistics are reason enough:

  • For every 1 click on a paid search result, the organic results generate 8.5 clicks (this is on a keyword parity basis, not counting those search results that have no paid ads)
  • Based on action/conversion tracking, paid search clicks convert, on average, at 1.5X the rate of organic clicks (customized landing pages help drive this number up)
  • From the numbers above, we can see that the opportunity from organic search is 5.66X that of paid search
  • According to Marketing Sherpa (2009), SEO was proved to be the most effective form of marketing compared to house email, viral video, house blogs, social site profiles, Twitter and RSS feeds.
  • 75% of Americans use search engines on a regular basis.  Your website should be targeting the keywords that viewers are using to find services and products like yours.

Despite these compelling numbers on the ROI for SEO, SEMPO reports the ad spending numbers for PPC are much greater.  In general spend on SEO is 1/8th of PPC.  There are many theories as to why this is but if companies are open to SEO and willing to put some work into website edits and have some patience with generating results (usually 2 months) then they will reap bigger rewards than what PPC can offer. (Source: Enquisite 2009;  http://www.seomoz.org/blog/via-enquisite-ppc-agencies-make-45x-what-seos-do-for-the-same-value)

International Search Engine Statistics:

On the international front, we see in 2009, search queries in Russia and France grew at a jaw-dropping 92% and 61%, respectively, and search in Brazil was close behind with a 53% increase.  (Source: SearchEngineLand.com April 2010) If you haven’t already, use these these search engine statistics to consider marketing to these countries.  Total worldwide search grew at 46% from 2008 to 2009, and included more than 131 billion searches.  Comprised of this volume, US searches accounted for a mere 17% of that total.  In other words, global markets represent 83% of the total search audience.  comScore Reports Global Search Market Growth of 46% in 2009. Google Sites Accounts for Two-Thirds of 131 Billion Searches Conducted Worldwide in December while Introduction of Bing Helps Microsoft Post Significant Gains During the Year. (comScore, January 2010)

Local Digital Marketing Trends:

Local web marketing is making a big splash this year and for good reason. As searchers get smarter and more specific about how they search, they also have stepped away from the global market place to a more local one.  It is reported that 20% of searches on Google are related to location.  By contrast comScore has previously reported that 11% or 12% of searches are local. According to comScore, in March 2010 Google had 14.3 billion search queries. Twenty percent of that would represent roughly 2.8 billion local queries. It’s no surprise that 54% of Americans regularly use the internet instead of the phone book to find local services (that number climbs every year), so if you’re not listed in local searches like Google and Yahoo Local, you’re missing out on a huge potential client base. 92% of all local searches will eventually convert into a sale.  This is a huge percentage, so you definitely want to be sure that your website is competing for a spot on the first page of search engine results. There are new locally enhanced listings available that integrate into local organic rankings. Contact us to learn how you can get listed with premium exposure.

Digital Marketing Trend to Watch: Online Video

There seems to be no end to our collective appetite for watching video online. According to the latest comScore numbers, more than 180 million U.S. internet users watched video online during March. That number is a 3.5% jump from the February video viewing audience.  YouTube visitors watched an average of 96 videos each during March. Hulu was second at 27 videos per viewer.

Here are a few interesting Twitter trends and social media statistics:

These Twitter trends are good to keep in mind because whatever your social media usage is, it needs to be relevant and it needs to serve an end goal.  Before you launch a social media campaign, take a look at which mediums your target audience uses the most.  Twitter may be a very successful tool for some companies but nothing works for everyone across the board.

  • 72.5% of all Twitter accounts were created in the first half of 2009.  This means that most of Twitter’s current users are fairly new.  But a lot of these late adopters are very active users.  They themselves may not Tweet more than once a day but they are loyal followers.
  • 50% of all tweets are created using tools or mobile devices instead of logging into Twitter.com.  This means that your Tweets need to be accessible.  If you’re promoting a new product or sale, don’t ask your followers to go to a website for more information.  Even though your number of characters is limited, you need to be able to provide all the relevant information up front.
  • Don’t hire a Twittertern (Twitter intern).  With so many management tools available like HootSuite and Tweetdeck, monitoring and managing is easier that ever, there’s no need to hire someone to do it for you.
  • 93.6% of Twitter profiles have less than 100 followers and 92.4% follow less than 100 profiles.  Make sure your Tweets are meaningful and offer something to your followers, get their attention then drive it to your goal.
  • New York has the most Twitter profiles with Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco, and Boston right behind.  This is good to keep in mind in terms of targeting your demographic.  If your target audience is a small town in middle America, Twitter might not be a useful resource.

A few digital marketing trends and search engine statistics to keep in mind…

  • One sign-in fits all.  Many websites are now allowing users to sign in with other accounts like their Facebook login.  If your website requires or asks users to sign in, consider using something like Facebook Connect.
  • More Flash.  Over use of Flash can be a detriment to search engine optimization and can stop local traffic altogether. Note that Flash is not friendly with most smart phones including iPhone and Blackberrys.
Social Media Trends:Social media is a fairly new and still evolving beast.  Remember when MySpace was the hottest new thing that everyone wanted to be a part of?  Or what about when Facebook was just for college students?  Then we were all challenged to cast our pearls of wisdom in 140 characters on Twitter.  What will the next big social media giant be?  Websites that are locally focused have recently gotten more attention, internet users are becoming more interested in connecting with their immediate community.

Keeping an eye on social media statistics- things like Twitter trends, digital marketing trends, and search engine rankings- is important to keep in mind as the average internet user’s activity shifts. Keep yourself updated by checking some of the following sites for search engine and social media statistics:
eMarketer.com
Hitwise.com
Sempo.org
comScore.com
SearchEngineLand.com

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