Internet marketing firm Conductor has carried out some research (using Spyfu) to see what proportion of traffic to the top 10 big-box US retailers is coming from paid search compared to natural search.
In summary, they are spending a lot on paid search and natural search is still performing better in a number of cases. Of course the natural search traffic will include a lot of brand search (more than PPC) but it’s still interesting to see.
Collectively they are spending $678,000 per day on paid search which actually seems quite low to me – it works out at around Â£40k per day which for a big retailer isn’t much. Target for example spent $297,000 per day on PPC according to this study.
I always like to refer people to this chart from SEOmoz showing the distribution between natural search spend and paid search spend compared to the share of clicks each receives. I wonder what Target would say if somebody quoted $297,000 per day for natural search?