Robert Allen | Smart Insights | Thu, 13 Oct 2016 11:00:00 +0000

SEO isn’t dead. It’s never felt more alive.

I’d like to introduce a new rule for marketers everywhere. When something is declared ‘dead’ by a self-proclaimed ‘thought leader’ at a marketing conference, right thinking marketers should invariably assume that its prospects have probably never been better.

The rule certainly holds true for SEO as a revenue driver for eCommerce businesses. Although plenty of search conferences this year will have speakers declaring the coming death of SEO, the data shows it’s scarcely ever been more critical.

As you can see from the chart below, organic search traffic makes up a massive 43% of all eCommerce traffic, almost double the next biggest driver – Google AdWords, which is also significant. This data comes from a Wolfgang digital study which analysed the traffic of 87 million website sessions, accounting for $230 million in eCommerce revenue. Our other summaries from data from YotPo and Custora tells a similar story.

google-source-of-ecommerce-traffic

Compared to the massive 43% chunk coming from organic, and the other sizeable chunks from Adwords and Direct, the other traffic drivers are really pennies on the dollar. Email is still important, but even big social sites like Facebook are driving only small fractions of what comes from organic. That’s not to say social is useless – it’s still important for customer retention, engagement and advoacy, but when it comes to prioritising how to draw in new customers the data is clear – Focus on SEO and where that is not working use AdWords.