I’m going to kick this off with an amazing statistic – on average, digital users only spend 1/5 the time searching on Google than they do on Facebook (1:47 hours per month versus 7:45 hours per month). But, search marketing gets more marketing dollars than display advertising (the kind you typically find on Facebook) – $55.7 is billion projected to be spent on search ads in 2104 versus only $51.8 billion for display advertising. When you consider the time variance of user activity online, this statistic shows that brands believe in the ROI of search:
Why is search marketing so important to brands? First, the ability to target a consumer based on a specific search query provides tremendous ROI to the marketer -IF in return the marketer provides a relevant path to conversion. If a consumer searches for “Michael Kors black pants”, and lets say Macy’s is on the first page of Google with a link to it’s retail page showing specifically Michael Kors black pants, the propensity for a consumer to convert on Macy’s would be very high. Now lets say I Google this term and Saks Fifth Avenue shows up first with a relevant text ad, but when I click through, it just goes to Saks home page. As a consumer, the conversion path isn’t relevant, so back I go to Google to find a truly relevant page.
Second, the ability to track ROI on search marketing is easier than with other types of media. When a brand sets up their ads, landing page and conversion pages to track correctly, Google Analytics and other analytics trackers are able to provide the advertiser the specific return – i.e., if I spent $5,000 on Google advertising for the keyterm “Michael Kors Black Pants,” I should know how many people clicked on the ad, and how many people purchased pants (or other items), from that ad click. It’s the combination of relevancy and ROI that makes search marketing a top digital channel for marketers – with the caveat that marketers need to use the channel correctly in order to realize the ROI potential.