Internet Marketing Tools Ranked. Conclusion? Search Rocks.

Ian Lurie

This tool should help you decide the internet marketing medium (organic search, pay per click, e-mail, banners, etc.) on which you should focus first:

Internet Marketing overview

You can download it in PDF format here.

How I Created It

I’ve spent the last year collecting data from various client sites. I averaged sales, conversion rates and time-to-conversion across the sites. The sites included:

7 e-commerce sites, all B2C except for one B2B site.

2 sites where a conversion was a sales lead.

1 site where a conversion was a minimum time on site.

I can’t provide the numbers, I’m afraid, as that’d violate confidentiality. The e-commerce sites varied in gross internet sales, though, from $10,000 to $400,000 per month.

How to Read It

The upper left is the sweet spot, conversion-wise. That’s the highest conversion rate and lowest latency. The largest circles indicate the highest sales or conversions generated.


First, house e-mail lists occupy the sweet spot. So why is it so hard to convince folks to invest heavily in building their house list? I dunno…

While I split out organic and paid search (PPC), bear in mind that they support each other. Together they dwarf all other revenue or conversion sources.

While many other media are poor sales generators, they still bear consideration. A blogging campaign will often boost your organic search rankings, for instance, thereby improving your sales from organic search. Social networks may not do a thing for sales, but may make more consumers aware of your brand.


Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Ian, looking at this it appears that direct, natural and ppc convert quicker and at a better rate because the consumer is already aware of the retailer, brand and the products?
    What I found with b2c ecommerce sites i’ve been involved in is that online is benefiting because of their offline presence?

  2. Hi Fraser,
    That certainly helps in many cases. That’s also why I don’t recommend folks just give up on banners and other online display ads. Even if they don’t directly produce, they’re helping.
    That said, if you took search away, offline ads and display ads would not take up the slack. Search is a unique beast because it has an air of objectivity (even if that’s untrue). People trust it, and use it, more than any other online medium.
    Also, of the 10 sites I used, maybe 2 had any strong offline presence.

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