In a recent survey of 2,500 small business owners, Merchant Circle reported search engine optimization (SEO) was considered the top marketing channel for 2011. That statistic is good news for those that have been an evangelist, spreading the word that search must be included in overall business plans to remain and/or become more competitive.
The most notable question in the survey was framed as, what if you were on a deserted island; which would you choose, water or food? “If you had to put all your marketing time and budget into only one channel, what would it be?” SEO came out ahead as the channel of choice.
It was also noted that business owners are now considering online as their main source for lead generation, which gives assurance that it’s the right direction. As a side note, it came as no surprise that Facebook came in as the most commonly used social media marketing channel.
Traditional advertising has obviously taken a severe blow at the hands of the Internet, more notably Google. It will be interesting to see how advertising as a whole, plays out in 2012. My guess at this point? Search marketing will begin to finally flourish and become mainstream. Business owners will become more educated and comfortable making decisions that include SEO in their 2012 marketing plans.
by Dan DeRoeck