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21.8 million Canadians access the Internet each month, that’s almost 70% of the population. For any given month Canadians conduct, on average, 55 searches. And it appears that the majority of us are searching in the same place. Google reigns with an overwhelming market share in Canada with over 81%. MSN and Yahoo combined account for approximately 16%.
What’s interesting is that paid Search Engine advertising is down. Hitwise US claims that compared to May ’08 – Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising in May ’09 declined by a whopping 26%. However, according to the announcement, while paid search’s share dropped, search traffic is on the rise.
It’s not hard to figure out why. During these tough times we’ve witnessed many of our own clients spending less on marketing – both online and offline. Whether this is wise, or not, is up for debate but one thing is becoming very clear – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) needs to take a more prominent role in your marketing strategy.
Another factor may also be contributing to this downward trend in PPC— organic listings carry more credibility and trust with searchers than their paid listing counterparts.
In the past few years, fast results with PPC advertising spurred a rapid increase in marketshare in the pay for performance model. Note – PPC can’t be overlooked as it still has the power to drive sizeable traffic referrals to your site. But hard times, combined with the change in search behaviour, underline the need for a well planned mix of both SEO and PPC.