Search Marketing Predictions For 2010

Wow, 2009 flew by! Staring into the crystal ball, here are 4 predictions about search marketing in New Zealand during 2010…

Prediction #1 – Paid Search Takes Off

2010 will be the year paid search marketing is finally taken seriously by the NZ advertising industry. However for many agencies it will still be given token lip service because they:

  1. Don’t understand it
  2. Are uncomfortable with how measurable search is & the associated transparency of agency performance this brings (‘accountability’ – yikes!)
  3. The non-commission bearing nature of Google AdWords forces change in the ad industry’s traditional charging paradigm

Despite this, agencies will be compelled to include more than just token search buys into media plans because their clients will increasingly demand it. As a result we’ll continue to see growth in paid search spend at the expense of other traditional media, as has been case in Australia & UK.

Prediction #2 – More Focus on SEO

Associated with the increase in paid search marketing will be an increase in investment in SEO.

For most businesses their entry into the world of search marketing is through paid search (usually Google AdWords). Usually new paid search advertisers are blown away by how well search performs compared to traditional channels they’ve used. As a result, most wonder why they haven’t done this earlier & substantially increase their ongoing investment in search.

Smart move.

However shrewd players recognize the risk of putting all their eggs in the PPC (paid search) basket & also invest in improving their organic search performance using SEO (search engine optimisation).

Even smarter move – given that around 70% of all commercial search traffic is organic, rather than from paid search.

In 2010 NZ businesses will increasingly rely on search as a key component of their marketing mix. And those who do best will have a properly integrated search marketing strategy to maximise the synergistic benefits of paid & organic search.

Prediction #3 – Local Search Growsmobile search using the iPhone

New Zealand consumers will increasingly turn to using local search in preference to Yellow Pages – as is the global trend.

Switched on NZ businesses will ensure they are highly visible in local search results so they can exploit this growing opportunity. And grow it will, as more & more mobile phones are web enabled.

In fact, 2010 is likely to be the year mobile search really booms, thanks largely to the iPhone.

Of course it’s not all over for the Yellow Pages – people will still find them useful for raising the level of their computer monitors 😉

Prediction #4 – Money that should be invested in Search will be wasted on Social Media Marketing

All the breathless hype about social media will continue & increasingly NZ businesses will feel compelled to try & ride this new wave. Unfortunately with all the hype & perceived sexiness of social media marketing many NZ businesses will waste money on poorly conceived & badly executed campaigns.

Smart businesses instead will look to the lessons learned in the more advanced markets of Australia, UK & the USA to see what does & doesn’t work.

And really smart businesses will first ensure they’ve got their search marketing strategy well & truly sorted before diluting their focus by dabbling in social media marketing.

Why? Because search marketing consistently brings home the bacon, whereas social media marketing is more of a crap shoot –  i.e. it can sometimes have astounding results, but most times is a fizzer.

OK – that’s my admittedly biased perspective on what 2010 will bring.

About the Author Mark Sceats

Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting. Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations. Outside of work, his interests beyond his family are running, snowsports, diving and fishing (badly).

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