The importance of social media marketing has been highlighted in a new report that has collated anonymised data collected from 200 Google Analytics accounts and 548 Google AdWords accounts.
Pure SEO's 2018 New Zealand Internet Search Trends and Insights report analyses the search habits of New Zealanders’ for the year 1 January to 31 December 2017, identifying how New Zealanders have been engaging with search engines and what the coming year's trends are likely to be.
Pure SEO's chief executive officer Richard Conway says the analysis showed that in 2017 there was a 31.3% increase in website visits from social sources such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn compared with the same period in 2016.
An estimated 95% of those visits came from Facebook.
Conway attributes the increase to social media technology becoming increasingly advanced, attracting more attention from New Zealand businesses.
He notes that Facebook, in particular, continues to improve its targetting capabilities, allowing businesses to market straight to their existing audiences and attract new ones.
"We expect the upward trend to continue as more New Zealand businesses discover the power of social media marketing," he adds.
Conway advises businesses to continue focusing on social media marketing: "As our statistics show, it is clearly a powerful tool for driving website visits and building brand authority – this all aids more clicks and better rankings."
However, simply having a social media presence will not necessarily boost the Google rankings for a business's website.
"While it is important to continue building a loyal audience and boosting brand visibility and authority through social media, digital marketing strategies should also focus on earning authoritative links from external websites and activities that build a loyal audience.
Although social media is an undeniably important channel for driving web traffic, Conway cautions businesses to broaden their focus when developing their digital marketing strategy.
"Search engine marketing (organic and paid) is a highly specialised discipline that is constantly evolving, creating new challenges and opportunities for business owners, marketers and advertisers.”
“So much so, that what held true a year ago may no longer be true today.”
"There is no magic bullet and no quick fix, so cover the business for all possibilities by having a range of organic and paid search components that complement each other.”
Conway concludes. “If SEO growth slows, then Google product listing advertisements and paid search advertisements will still have the business covered."