Who Gets the Credit?

Katherine Bennett - October 19, 2009

It’s been said, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.” So, this is a squeak for search engine marketing. Many times companies underestimate and under credit the value of search engine marketing on their bottom line revenue dollars. A company will credit call-in sales and organic traffic but fail to realize that search engine marketing is a key component in driving sales from those mediums. 

Search engine marketing loses a lot of credit to inbound sales calls, especially if the person on the phone doesn’t ask the buyer how they heard about their particular site or product. Think about it, a searcher clicks on an ad and goes to a company’s website. They browse and find products that they like or want to buy. They are a little wary of putting their credit card info in because they are new to the site, so they pick up the phone and call. Another scenario, is that a searcher comes to the site, but feels that the online paying process is too tedious (that’s why you don’t make a searcher create an account before buying), and again, they pick up the phone and call. In both cases, search engine marketing didn’t get the credit. It’s assumed that they saw an ad on TV, heard a radio spot or came in from an organic listing. Sometimes, no one, except the advertiser thinks to credit search engine marketing.

With regard to organic traffic, search engine marketing plays a huge role in crediting organic traffic with sales. When a searcher is looking for a product, they see the ads that come up, even if they don’t click on them. Later on in the week, they remember seeing an ad and they do a search. Bingo, the organic listing comes up and they buy the product online. Search engine marketing drove the sale, but the organic traffic took the credit.

It is important for companies not to devalue the power of search engine marketing. Although search engine marketing may not take the spot light for sales all the time, it’s important to remember that it is doing its part in bringing in the sales.  It’s similar to the sports adage that says “Offense sells tickets, but defense when championships.” Don’t devalue search engine marketing or you may lose sales.


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