EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3101 - July 04, 2013     3 of 4

Best Customer Acquisition - Organic Search, Email or Twitter?

By David A. Utter

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The message regarding organic search results and driving website traffic has been a consistent one. A site owner, be it an ecommerce pro or anyone else, wants to see their online presence appear in relevant organic search results, preferably as far up the first page of results as possible.

Such desire is justified, considering the drop-off in click-throughs that happens from the first result to the second, and to the third, and beyond. Changes in position not only means a gain or loss in organic search-driven site traffic, it may mean chances for a site to acquire a customer change as well.

Aaron Goodman at predictive analytics startup Custora discussed the findings of his company's E-commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot, in a metric that company called Customer Lifetime Value. Their look at Q2 2013 data for the highest-value customers found that group arriving via organic search.

On the social media side, Twitter seems to drive customers when sites tweet discounts to their followers via that channel. Custora found these shoppers have 23 percent lower value than average to a site. Conversely, the venerable email channel still performs well, with Custora finding email customer acquisition quadrupling since 2009.

As with most things, attaining solid and consistent quality placement in search engine results requires effort. Search Engine Journal suggested several tips on optimizing one's site for search engines.

One tip comes in the form of knowing one's competition, and having a list of keywords for which those competitors rank well in organic search. That should give an online seller a good idea of what they should be testing based on their niche and the customers they wish to attract.

About the author:

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.

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