SEO results still more popular than PPC

For as long as anyone can care to remember having strong page rankings for your most important key phrases in organic (non-paid) listings has been the holy grail as it is widely recognised that organic listings receive a lot more visitors in comparison to paid listings. New research recently released by GroupM and Nielsen reveals that the gulf in traffic maybe wider than anyone could of anticipated.

For some time now the general consensus has been that the split was 70% Organic listings to 30% Paid listings.  But this latest research, which has been carried out across 28 million UK internet users and 1.4 billion different searches (and 3.98 billion words for the real geeks among you) shows that a whopping 94% of users chose natural search with only 6% opting for paid listings.

Another interesting finding within the research is that when users search using a branded search term they do not tend to look beyond the top three positions. However, when a non-brand search term is used then there is a much stronger chance that the user will look well beyond the top 3 positions. This would suggest that devising an SEO strategy that includes non-branded search terms gives a much better opportunity for businesses to generate site visits without necessarily reaching the coveted top 3 positions.

The research also found that older internet users were more likely to click on a paid listing that those aged 24 and under.

So what we can we conclude from this research?

In spite of Google’s strategy to encourage more paid search, the research highlights how UK consumers are still far more trusting of naturally generated results. It is important for small businesses to recognise the benefits of forming their SEO strategy and make use of available expertise in this area to fill knowledge gaps, target the right search terms that are relevant to their business that will generate sufficient visits to make a positive return on investment.