What does the search marketing landscape look like in 2014?
There comes a time in every Internet marketing professional's life for serious reflection. With special attention paid to business-to-business tactics, search marketing is highly textured and requires constant attention. Whenever anyone talks about this particular brand of marketing, it's important to remember the clear differences in approaches, namely paid and organic search. The two online marketing strategies are used at different points in the sales funnel (1).
Many B2B-focused companies use paid and organic search to initiate the digital conversation with customers. Toward the beginning of the sales funnel, marketers depend on this channel to increase awareness and spur intent to purchase. Each company will have varying degrees of success with paid search marketing, which is one of the reasons that testing is so important to understand its impact (2). Timing is of the essence when trying to analyze how effective your paid search campaign is, meaning it's best to avoid testing during periods of instability. These can be seen throughout sales events, holidays and seasonal trends. By conducting tests at these times, you won't likely get an accurate picture of your paid search performance.
Meanwhile, organic search strategies are spread throughout the customer journey. When customers are in the process of seeking more information about products or services, organic search – including SEO landing pages, meta tags and responsive design – helps facilitate movement through the sales funnel.