I was not surprised at all when I came across this statistic. A new “merchant confidence survey” from MerchantCircle/Reply.com, among 2,500 US small businesses, finds that search engine optimization (SEO) is the marketing channel they would choose if they could choose only one.
The question asked was: “If you had to put all your marketing time and budget into only one channel, what would it be?” Search Marketing (SEO + SEM) jointly got 43% of responses. Interestingly SMBs are giving up on traditional media advertising as their most important marketing channel. Note that the question was not asked to determine which is the best performing channel, but which channel to keep if you had to pick only one. If the question was about performance, I would say SEO and SEM would be at 70-80%, if not higher.
Great analysis from Search Engine Land:
Source, MerchantCycle Blog: