Nov 05 2012

Is Search Engine Marketing Really Important to Your Business?

Posted by Immanuel Tang


Is Search Engine Marketing (Paid Search) an option that you have considered in your marketing strategy before? If so, I am sure some of these questions may be running through your mind.

Is it worth my time and effort to learn what Paid Search is?

Do people actually search for my business online?

What is the ROI of paid search going to be like?

Research done by Enquiro

Here is a quick recap of what Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is.

SEM is the use of monetary bids to broadcast digital advertisements (ads) on search engines. It allows the digital ads to be shown whenever the searcher enters keywords that are matched partially or exactly to the ads.

Enquiro, which was recently acquired by the Canada’s Yellow Pages Group, is well known for performing eye track studies in the digital media industry. In one of their studies, “The Role of Search in Business to Business Buying Decisions” tracked a study across a sample size of 1,500 participants responding to a 40 question survey and gave some compelling insights:

1)     93.2% of participants indicate that they would research on a product or service online before transaction.

2)     When asked where would be the first place they would go online to learn more about the product or service, search (63.9%) triumph over manufacturer’s sites and information portals (36.1%).

3)     Search Engines are used often in the early or mid research phase in the buying cycle.

4)     Search Engine research takes place at least one to two months before the buying decision.
5)     Position is a factor with over 60% clicking on the top three listings.


Insights from the Enquiro’s Tracking Study

Base on this research, we can see that a full 90% of your potential customers (assuming you have a business) categorically searches online to learn about your product/service or to do research and comparison of your products/services with other companies.

Similarly, it is also not good enough for your company to just have a website and assumes potential customers would know your company website by default and enter your website address in the web browser’s Uniform Resource Locator (URL) immediately. More than often, potential customers would go to a search engine and attempt to find their desired product and service in the search engine.

Therefore it is important for you to consider how you would optimize your webpage such that when people search for your product/service, they are able to find your webpage in a top position of their search result page.

As the research for your product/service takes place at least one to two months before purchase in the buying phase, you may also want to consider to have a search engine friendly webpage and to set up relatively high visible search touch points (e.g. digital ads) so that people can access your website easily during search.

Concluding Base on Data

Base on the Enquiro data that has been rigorously tested (considering where sample size n=1500 and 99% confidence interval giving 3.33% of margin error), it suggest that for a company that wants to be highly visible for potential customers to research upon or to buy, having a search engine friendly website and more importantly, a good search engine marketing campaign is almost a non-negotiable.

Given today’s modern landscape of fast growth of consumption of digital content where users are turning to the internet for answers, a good SEM campaign would help your potential customers to find and understand your solutions in a more accessible manner.

This would also indefinitely put you ahead of your numerous competitors who might be still trying to figure out what digital marketing is all about.
Learn how to set up a good SEM Campaign at Transforming your Google Search Engine Marketing Into a Low Cost Autobot with High Returns article.

Free WordPress Themes