Why Search Engines Drive 10 Times More Traffic to Ecommerce Sites Than Social Media

As the marketing landscape becomes increasingly digital, search engines are becoming more and more integral to brands looking to expand their reach. Along with search engine marketing comes search engine optimization (SEO), which is an essential part of content marketing. SEO involves many strategies and techniques for websites to rank higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Hubspot research shows that 75% of people don’t go to the second page of SERPs. They stick to the first page results, trusting companies that rank among the best sources of reliable information. Thus, an integrated SEO strategy applied on the web pages is essential for a higher placement in the SERPs.

If that data isn’t convincing enough, additional research also highlights the importance of SEO today. SEO can drive up to 10 times more traffic to ecommerce websites than social media. While we may believe that we are living in a social media revolution, it is precisely the vastness of social media that is proving to be a huge downside for many brands. However, a higher ranking on the SERP is made clear and acts as the roadmap that a website needs to reach a potential lead.

Choose search engine marketing

There is some truth to the popular saying that the Internet is making traditional marketing (print marketing) obsolete. While traditional methods are by no means dead, SEO has a much bigger impact on conversion rates. Print marketing typically only increases conversion rates by 1.7%, while SEO boosts an impressive 14.6%.

Such a difference in boosts is mainly due to the number of strategies you can use in SEO versus print marketing. Good search engine marketing involves a judicious combination of onsite and offsite SEO practices that increase a website’s credibility under the complex search engine algorithm.

On-site SEO techniques include:

  • Optimize the use of keywords in your content
  • Keeping content (especially on blogs) fresh and relevant
  • Optimization of H1 / H2 titles and sections with keywords and engagement
  • Reduced loading speed
  • Increase in inbound links (links between web pages)
  • Optimization of image tags and metadata

Meanwhile, offsite practices include:

  • Use review sites for marketing
  • Back-linking, meaning having other important industry players link to your website so that Google sees the connections.
  • Social media marketing
  • Create unique content with viral potential

The combination of on-site and off-site practices guarantees the best results.

Now we come to the main question: why do search engines generate more traffic?

Paid advertising

One of the most important ways for SEO to trump social media is through sponsored links. With over 3.5 billion searches per minute on Google, your website can easily get lost. Sponsored links or paid search engine advertising can be a boon in such situations. There are also several advantages to using paid search engine marketing:

  • The search engine accurately targets your demographics by recognizing keywords
  • Create a paid campaign in one click
  • Ad can be infinitely optimized for maximum reach and desired results
  • PPC or pay-per-click is a profitable measure
  • You can quantitatively measure results to achieve various KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

But many of those same benefits can be attributed to paid social media campaigns. So what sets search engine marketing apart?

Potential customers use search engines to find businesses

Keywords are essential precisely because of targeted searches. When people go to Google, they are looking for a specific product. The likelihood of searching for “best headphones in 2021” on Instagram is much lower than on Google. Therefore, you need to place these keywords in your content for potential buyers to find you.

Econsultancy research confirms this, showing that 61% of shoppers research products on Google before making a purchase. Therefore, including relevant keywords in your content and metadata helps the search engine find you faster. Such practices therefore allow better targeted advertising, automatically increasing your reach.

Research tools adapted to algorithms

Search engines also help websites optimize themselves with tools like Google Adwords Keyword Tool. When analyzing headers and metadata, search engines determine which content is most relevant. So, integrating the above mentioned SEO techniques into unique content gives a website’s SERP ranking a much needed boost.

Search engine marketing is also less tied to trends than social media marketing, where trends change at the drop of the hat. Therefore, you can use SEO strategies for the long haul, changing content only when necessary rather than constantly researching and following popular but quickly fading trends. Such benefits drive more traffic to your website through search engine marketing.


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Rosemary S. Bishop