Search Engine Marketing in the UK
More and more organizations implement digital marketing strategies to attract a growing number of consumers. Through the use of social media, companies are not only able to promote their marketing message to millions of potential customers, but also use social media as mouth-to-mouth advertising.
Search engine marketing (SEM) focuses on the promotion of websites through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO as a part of SEM, is associated with paid listings and search engine related services with the aim of increasing traffic to the website (the data received and sent by visitors to the website), thus achieving higher ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The importance of Optimization
SEO monitors performance in order to improve the website's exposure and traffic volume. Optimizing for search engines requires using the proper keywords so that the website ranks higher in the SERPs. Optimizing for people requires using the proper content to increase the website's visibility through more visitors.
Content marketing is the ongoing practice of creating and distributing relevant and reliable content to consumers with the intention to attract a greater audience and change or enhance consumer behavior. In fact, content marketing communicates the brand's marketing message to consumers by being integrated in the marketing strategy and providing more information about the product without actually selling. The concept of this key marketing trend is that the more the businesses deliver consistent information to consumers, the more likely are consumers to reward business with purchases and customer loyalty.
Introducing a holistic marketing approach
According to the UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report 2013, 52% of agencies in the UK provided their clients with "a full range of digital marketing services" compared to 12% of agencies who offered only SEO services and 7% of companies with an exclusive focus on paid search. Additionally, 58% of companies engaged fully or partially in paid search or display advertising or in both disciplines, whereas the "no integration" option was 11% lower than 2012. In fact, a holistic approach to search engine marketing is becoming increasingly vital to a brand's success. Consumers become more sophisticated and expect a consistent experience in their interaction with the brand. Therefore, companies offer a full range of marketing services to satisfy increasing consumer demand for an integrated approach.
A new shift in UK market
A survey by Martini Media reports a global shift towards digital marketing in the UK. 95% of the questioned UK marketers and agencies responded that they were willing to increase their digital marketing spending in 2013 by attributing 48% of their budget to digital media. The reason for this shift is that 80% of UK marketers consider digital marketing as a branding tool for building brand credibility and loyalty, 71% think that it can help them build a positive brand association with their customers, whereas 60% believe that digital marketing helps building brand awareness through the use of social media.
In 2013, 23% of social media users in the UK (an increase of 6% from 2012) have researched a product or service and 13% of social media users in the UK (an increase of 7% from 2012) have made a purchase as a result of reading something on social media sites, YouGov reports. This trend suggests that brands are using digital marketing as a tool to increase their customer base.
UK Search Engine Marketing Statistics
In January 2014, Google.co.uk and Google.com received a joint UK search volume of 88.7%, down by 0.03% from December 2013. Bing was up by 6.26% and Yahoo by 3.3% compared to September 2013 figures. The major players in the UK include Ask Jeeves, AOL, Snap.do, and AVG Search, StatCounter reports.
In 2014, Google is expected to remain the leading search engine in the UK, mainly as a result of the recent improvements made in January in areas like the (£1.96bn) deal with Nest, a home technology company and the 17% increase in Q4 2013 reported earnings.
In conclusion, digital marketing and its associated channels are vital to a brand's success. Companies need to know their customers, predict their needs and find effective ways to communicate their message to them. Search engine marketing is a reliable branding tool, which if used correctly, can anticipate consistent and successful customer experiences, which will then drive profitable business operations.
Services and Products:
DittoDigital are a digital marketing consultancy offering search engine optimisation, content marketing and social media promotion for UK businesses.