Marketers Need To Place Equal Emphasis on SEO and SEM

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A recent study conducted by WebSideStory Inc. implies that in terms of generating conversion rates at e-commerce Web sites, paid and organic search are pretty much even.

Paid search has only a slight 9 percent edge in conversion rates over organic search. The findings of the study were surprising, as many thought paid conversion rates would be much higher.

"[Marketers place great emphasis on] paid search through pay-per-click outlets such as Google, MSN and Yahoo," said Erik Bratt, director of corporate communications at WebSideStory. "But organic search is not to be overlooked and is equally valuable in generating conversions."

The study analyzed about 57 million search engine visits during the period beginning January, ending August.

"There are arguments to be made on both sides - organic search has editorial integrity, which consumers seem to value," "But with paid search, marketers control the message and have the opportunity to eliminate under-performing keywords."

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