Search engine marketing can attract a significant proportion of visitors to the site if companies are successful at implementing it.
Visitors are searching for particular products or services so will often have a high intent to purchase – they are qualified visitors.
There are no media costs for ad display or click-through. Costs arise solely from the optimisation process where agencies are paid to improve positions in the search results.
The search engine robots will crawl the hope page of popular sites daily, so new content is included relatively quickly for the most popular pages of a site (less for deep links).
Compared with other media SEO is very unreliable in terms of the return on investment. It is difficult to predict the results for a given investment and is highly competitive.
The results from SEO may take months to be achieved, especially for new sites.
The search engines take hundreds of factors into account, yet the relative weightings are not published, so there is not a direct correlation between marketing actions and results – it is more an art than a science. Furthermore, the ranking factors change through time.
Investment needed to continue develop new content and generate new links.
Searchers already have to be familiar with a brand or service to find it. However, it offers the opportunity for less well-known brands to ‘punch above weight’ and to develop awareness following click through.
Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F., 2012. Digital marketing: strategy, implementation and practice (Vol. 5). Harlow: Pearson.