Results of Search Engine Marketing Survey

The results of their yearly Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Survey have just been released by MarketingSherpa with some interesting findings. This year, the SEM field was getting so big that they broke their survey down into two parts, SEO and PPC. This survey report deals with SEO.

In the results of over 2,000 responses  from B2B and B2C marketers, the first thing that hit me was only a third of businesses use a formal SEO process. Almost half use what they call  ‘informal processes’ and 20% have no SEO plan at all!

Also, two twists in modern search engine marketing are ‘personalized’ search (which means different people get different search results depending on their search history) which screws up the metrics of your SEO program, and the advent of social media results showing up on search engine results pages (SERPS).

According to MarketingSherpa,

Because personalized search causes different search engine users to receive different results, it’s possible that personalized search may have a negative impact on some organization’s SEO efforts by decreasing their exposure and this has created much speculation among the SEO community.

Another recent addition, real time search, is also expected to have a significant impact. As the popularity of using social media for marketing purposes grows, so will expectations of this search innovation’s impact.

They dig a little deeper into the effects of social media marketing and found that it was more effective for improving your brand (public relations and reputation) but less effective at increasing website traffic, lead generation and sales revenue.

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However, while social media marketing doesn’t necessarily rise your site in the search engine results, another chart shows that companies that use social media have a conversion rate of 27% vs. non-social media marketers who have a conversion rate of 17%, so having a social media marketing strategy does seem to help the bottom line.

Just saying it’s less effective doesn’t mean it has no effect.

MarketingSherpa’s full SEO marketing report is available for $397 for the PDF version (TIP: at the bottom of the Executive Summary there’s a coupon for $100 off).

Like everything else on the Internet, search engine marketing is a rapidly changing field and it pays to keep up if you want your business to succeed.