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Why Search Engine Marketing is Growing


According to a joint study by Econsultancy and search engine optimization (SEO) firm Guava, online marketers around the globe -- but particularly in the UK -- are increasingly turning to search engine marketing practices for growth.

eMarketer reports that fifty-five percent of respondents said they planned to raise spending on SEO, and 45 percent said the same of paid search.

In addition, 31 percent of SEO and 32 percent of paid search users said they intended to maintain their budgets.

However, search marketers use paid search and SEO to accomplish different tasks.

In 2008, marketers said that the main objectives of paid search were to capture online sales, generate sales leads, drive Website traffic and enhance the brand.

Regarding objectives for SEO, most marketers said its primary purpose was to drive traffic, create leads, generate sales and brand awareness. In 2009, marketer's perceptions are in similar proportions across the board.

With the global economy faltering, and money in short supply, search marketing is often the tool that marketers rely on most to attract new customers. In addition, SEO offers pluses over paid search -- though its advantages must be built up over time.

"SEO improves organic listings, which Internet users prefer over paid search, and it is cost-effective," said eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman. "Furthermore, optimization works across all search engines, and an optimized site does not drop off the first results page even when marketer spending slows or stops -- as it can with paid search."

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