A recent online survey conducted by lead generation company MerchantCircle showed that SEO is the top marketing channel that local businesses use to capture leads and promote their products or services. The Merchant Confidence Survey was conducted in November from a sample of 2,500 small businesses from MerchantCircle's 1.6 million SMB member base.

The most notable question was: “If you had to put all your marketing time and budget into only one channel, what would it be?” As you can see in the graph below, SEO overwhelmed mobile media, paid search, traditional media, and social media.

Almost all marketers are spending their budgets on paid social ads nowadays, but I reckon that some of those marketers are clueless about the efficiency of SEO or SEM. So while every business is jumping Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, the social bandwagon doesn't hinder the continued growth and progress of SEO. As a matter of fact, with the launch of Google's social network, Google+, SEO will be enhanced in significant way as search marketing becomes more social. Great things are in store for SEO as social media platforms increase in use as well.