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Organic Search Severely Undervalued by Marketers

A recent study conducted by marketing firm Slingshot SEO determined that companies should invest more time and effort in organic search, which is when customers type terms into internet search engines, and discover companies products. The study tracked the online conversion process for over 30 domains, including large retailers, and covered 23 million multiple interaction conversions.

Before making a purchase, users typically navigate several channels including organic search, paid advertising, referrals and direct visits. To determine the value of each channel in the purchasing process, the study gave equal weight to the various steps that lead to a conversion as explained by Slingshot SEO:
Organic Search ($20) > Referral ($20) > Social Network ($20) > Email ($20) > Direct ($20) = $100 conversion. In this case, each channel receives the conversion value divided by the number of interactions in the chain.

Companies typically give the direct visit to a website the most credit for the purchase, as it is often the last interaction before a conversion. However, the results of Slingshot’s study show that direct visits get far too much credit.

It seems logical for these companies to assign the most value to a direct visit—after all you have to go to a site to purchase the site’s product or service. But the numbers are quite striking across all industries. Organic searches don’t get nearly enough attention considering the value they bring into the conversion process.

This study paid special attention to the steps and channels through which customers found their purchasing destination and these results cannot be ignored. Organic search is the most undervalued avenue, by about 77.25%.

It should be noted that this study was conducted by a SEO marketing firm who tend to favor these undervalued avenues. However, given the wide reach of the study and that consumer research studies in the past have used this same model, these results demand attention. Compared to traditional marketing streams, internet marketing is practically in its infancy, having been around a mere 18 years. But given the rapidly changing landscape of online advertising, studies like this one conducted by Slingshot SEO should be given the utmost consideration. It is apparent that companies are not investing enough in search engine optimization.

Forward thinking organizations are always trying to stay ahead of the curve, but doing this requires effort and research. Fortunately Slingshot has provided its results, now it’s up to companies to adapt. If you want to know more about improving organic search, email a Fahrenheit team member through our contact form.