The majority of retailers consider search engine marketing (SEM) to be the most effective channel for customer acquisition, according a new study conducted by and Forrester Research.

According to Search Engine Watch, when retailers were asked to name the “top three most effective sources used to acquire customers in the last year,” 85 per cent chose SEM – a definition that includes SEO and PPC.

Organic traffic and affiliate marketing were the next most effective channels named in the study, chosen by 41 per cent and 40 per cent of respondents respectively – followed by remarketing, with 29%.

The study presented a glowing picture of PPC performance, with 76 per cent of retailers reporting better revenue from pay per click marketing in 2013, compared to 2012. Paid search was also the channel most invested in, with 19 per cent of respondents saying they spent more than half their marketing budget on PPC alone.

But despite the positive results for paid search, Vicki Cantrell, executive director of had some words of caution for retailers: “While much of the ground work has been laid for perfecting paid search and how well it works for retailers’ customer acquisition goals, the fact of the matter is that retailers still have plenty of opportunities to learn more about their customers’ needs.”

News brought to you by ClickThrough – a provider of SEO Services & Pay Per Click strategies.

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About the author:

Oliver Pyper is senior online copywriter at ClickThrough Marketing. He writes on-page content, blogs, press releases and loads of other bits and pieces too numerous and brilliant to mention. He’s also responsible for Kate Bush: The Musical and a series of videos depicting a young man’s search for energy drinks in New York City. Drop him a line if you want to talk content solutions or Kate Bush.