Attribution: SEO Is Woefully Undervalued

Top Converting Customer Journeys

A SEO brand search features in half of all top-converting user journeys

Attribution matters. Take search, for example. In e-commerce, SEO is the most powerful converter to a sale outside of direct-to-site navigation. Yet marketers direct the bulk of their search efforts – not to mention search spend – into PPC.

“Search is great, but you probably don’t understand what the real story is,” says Jon Baron, TagMan’s chief revenue officer and co-founder. “You’ve been overvaluing paid search but undervaluing the SEO element. It’s amazing how many marketers just don’t get that. SEO is more involved in conversions than PPC.”

Baron is discussing the results of an e-tail attribution case study conducted in April, 2011.

“Google PPC is good but it isn’t great. We looked at some clients’ data to see the real impact of search across all the channels, particularly SEO – the free stuff versus SEM – the paid stuff. SEO is a closer, particularly in brand search. Even in generic searches it seems to be performing a lot better than PPC.”

Is SEO a Quick Converter?

Is SEO a quick converter?

•As expected SEO brand search is a strong converter. Users search for brand terms when they’re close to making the purchase decision.

SEO generic search is the strongest non-brand campaign element as compared to display, re-targeting and email, with an 8.3% ratio of straight-to-conversion sales. This makes it easier to forecast sales for. It’s also less affected by changes to the media mix. Moreover, it’s a channel that drives direct ROI due to the self contained conversions.

Generic SEO Initiates Customer Journey

What happens when a generic SEO search initiates the customer journey?

From all journeys initiated by an SEO generic search, the majority of searchers convert via direct navigation or a SEO brand search.

SEO: Indicator or Converter?

Is SEO an indicator or a convertor?

  • Analyzing the purchase funnel provides clear insight into the role SEO plays in the marketing mix.
  • SEO generic search is an initiator. Over 91 percent of clicks are not last events.
  • SEO generic search has over 3X the amount of first events as compared to an affiliate campaign.

You probably don’t want to abandon brand PPC entirely, but until you’re absolutely clear on attribution and the role SEO plays in conversions, you don’t want to mis-allocate the marketing budget. Only looking beyond last click reveals these hidden conversion paths, the simple fact is some channels are bound to look better than others with so simple as last-click attribution. While these results are for a single retailer in April 2011, the findings that organic search out-performs PPC has come up so often that we decided to cut our PPC spend and develop a content strategy.

By reading this post, you are kind of proving the point!

 

 

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