Search Marketing Remains Strong For Retailers: Survey

Search engine marketing — both pay-per-click and SEO — remains a strong source of traffic and sales for retailers. That’s according to an Internet Retailer survey conducted in April of 102 web-only retailers, chain retailers, catalogers and consumer brand manufacturers.

ir-surveyAccording to the survey, 27% of respondents say that search engine marketing is responsible for more than half of their online sales. (See chart at left.) 47% say that more than a quarter of their web sales stem from search engine marketing. That includes both PPC- and SEO-driven sales.

As far as traffic is concerned, 51.5% of respondents say that more than a quarter of their web site traffic comes from natural search; 28% say that more than a quarter comes from paid search advertising.

A whopping 89% of respondents said they get at least 50% of their search engine traffic from Google, with 19% saying Google sends more than 90% of the traffic they get. The survey doesn’t specify if that’s traffic from both paid and natural search, though.

There are some interesting numbers that relate specifically to paid search and Google vs. Bing/Yahoo.

44.6% of respondents say they increased their paid search budgets in the past year, and 49% say they plan to increase it in the year ahead. Almost half, 43.4% said they plan to shift some of their paid search advertising to Bing in the coming year. And of that 43.4%, 17.6% say they’ll be shifting money from their Google advertising budget.

The survey was shared in Internet Retailer’s latest e-mail newsletter. You can see several charts that summarize the survey results on

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Search Ads: General | Search Marketing: Branding | SEM Industry: Stats | Stats: General | Stats: Spend Projections


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • seo-hacker

    Really good article and interesting statistics. Again, SEO reminds us how powerful Search Engines are when it comes to online marketing.

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