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The author

Heather Millar

Marketing Executive

I recently came across this statement, in an article discussing the projections of the increase in number of online searches made in the UK:

“It currently takes the UK a fortnight to make a billion searches; by next year that will be down to 12 days and by 2015 it will take just over nine days."

One billion searches. In nine days. That’s just in the UK, remember.

What’s more, those figures don’t even include the rapid growth of the use of mobile internet.

That’s staggering, isn’t it?

As internet users become increasingly reliant on search engines, the focus on SEO becomes exponentially more important to marketers and to the success of a digital marketing strategy.

Successful search marketing is, and undoubtedly always will be, focused stringently on relevance.  In order to devise an effective search marketing campaign, it is essential to develop an intricate understanding of:

  • How potential customers are searching for a product or service
  • Different behaviours or needs at different stages of the decision making process specific to the product/service
  • How target market consumers interact with brands through different channels. Bearing in mind that how they expect to and how they might want to be able to engage or communicate are very different things!

Of course, both as an industry and in how it is implemented, SEO will naturally continue to evolve and develop over time, as more people are coming to depend on the internet for an increasing percentage of their daily activities.

Understanding every customer behind every search query

So, UK consumers are spending more time online, using search engines more and we also know that they are increasingly making more complex and specifically detailed searches than they ever used to.

In order for a campaign to achieve objectives, digital marketers must understand the impact that these developments of the consumer landscape will have; ensuring that they hold priority of establishing relevance to the constantly shifting demands of the digital-savvy modern consumer.

The majority of consumers already expect a seamless experience, regardless of the channel they might be using to engage with a brand at any given time, to research or to purchase.

So, if you haven’t begun to already, now is the time to cooperatively eradicate the barriers between different areas of digital teams within a company. Though that’s another subject in itself, I’ll come back to that another time.

I think that this analogy of how SEO fits in to a marketing campaign is quite apt: “Search is the glue that holds digital together; strengthening the effectiveness of social, email and advertising strategies.”

You can see this through the recent increase in marketing campaigns which strategically connect several different advertising channels and communication platforms. Many big brands have done this to great effect recently, here are some excellent examples.

With rigorous demands recently for marketing departments to prove ROI, utilising SEO in this way, as the backbone to boost the performance of every other marketing tool in the belt, will become even more important in the near future.

A substantial success factor for brands over the next year or two will be the utilisation of search marketing to establish an integrated, complex and creative multi-channel digital strategy.