With the economy still sluggish and the anticipated recovery struggling to move forward it may seem that there is plenty of reason for firms to be cautious about promotional expenditure.
But figures are showing that online searches and shopping have proved more resilient during the recession than high street sales and, according to some analysts, may even account for up to 50% of sales within five years.
Being a visible and prominent presence on the web, then, is not a merely a nice option for those who work like that but a absolute 'must' for any company serious about interfacing with its customers.
Getting great products noticed by the wider public and generating fresh business is essential but just how far should one go in committing funds to the marketing budget when there are so many other calls?
With marketers exploring so many different ways to attract quality leads from online strategies, it is vital to understand what is working and what really produces results.
SEO has always proved itself an effective means of driving high-volume traffic to websites that are regularly and properly optimised. More than that, when maintained consistently SEO has shown itself to be one of the most cost effective marketing options available.
Now a report from a respected marketing analyst is indicating that SEO offers the best ROI anywhere on the web.
A recent eye-tracking study from User Centric revealed that while only 25% of users actually look at advertisements to the right of the search results, 100% look at the organic search result itself.
This is good news for those placing a high value on SEO - users are spending most of their time on Google and Bing looking at the results, which in turn means that the hard daily graft of ensuring that your keywords are doing their job and promoting you up the search rankings continues to yield impressive results.
It's not all doom and gloom for the search engine marketers, however, with ads placed above the results also being looked at by around 90% of users, but unquestionable the strongest performer in terms of grabbing attention remains SEO.
Budgets spent on improving your Google and Bing ranking is clearly money well spent, because if you work hard to achieve a good ranking and then keep it, you will see an increase level of traffic and most importantly, relevant traffic for your business.