$447BENCHMARKREPORT2012 Search Marketing - SEO EditionResearch and Insights onCreating and Capitalizing on aRich End-User ...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition2012 Search Marketing – SEO EditionBenchmark ReportRes...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionTABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents ......................
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition        Chart: SEO campaign management, by primary cha...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition       Chart: Quality of leads from organic search ......
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition  Many content products require high level of time, ef...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition       Chart: Organizations claiming local business li...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChapter 10: Agency Perspectives .........................
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionEXECUTIVE SUMMARYNEW RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS FOR CREATIN...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionKEY FINDING: DEVELOPING A STRATEGY IS A TOP CHALLENGE ...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionKEY FINDING: CONTENT CREATION WORKS THE BEST, BUT TAKE...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionKEY FINDING: INCREMENTAL SEO IMPROVEMENTS ADD UP TO LA...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionKEY FINDING: FUTURE INVESTMENTS IN SEO BACKED BY HAVIN...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionKEY FINDING: LOCAL BUSINESS LISTING TACTICS ARE UNDERU...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionCHAPTER 1: SEO OBJECTIVES AND CHALLENGESIncreasing tra...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Organizations in each phase of SEO marketing ma...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Organizations in each phase of SEO marketing ma...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionCHALLENGES HAMPERING SEO EFFECTIVENESS OVER LAST 12 MO...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by SEO maturit...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by primary cha...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by organizatio...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by industry   ...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionOBJECTIVES FOR SEO PROGRAMS IN NEXT 12 MONTHSChart: In...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most important SEO objectives, by SEO maturity ...
MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most important SEO objectives, by primary chann...
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  1. 1. $447BENCHMARKREPORT2012 Search Marketing - SEO EditionResearch and Insights onCreating and Capitalizing on aRich End-User Search Experiencesponsored by
  2. 2. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition2012 Search Marketing – SEO EditionBenchmark ReportResearch and Insights for Creating and Capitalizing on a Rich End-User SearchExperienceAuthorKaci Bower, Research AnalystContributorsSergio Balegno, Research DirectorJen Doyle, Senior Research ManagerJeff Rice, Senior Research AnalystAdam Sutton, ReporterAmie Bolton, Research AnalystProduction EditorBrad Bortone, Associate Editor 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition US $447 / ISBN: 978-1-936390-17-5 Copyright © 2011 by MarketingSherpa LLC All rights reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, faxing, emailing, posting online or by any information storage and retrieval system, with out written permission from the Publisher. To purchase additional copies of this report, please visit http://www.SherpaStore.com Bulk discounts are available for multiple copies. Contact: Customer Service MarketingSherpa LLC +1 (877) 895-1717 (outside US, call +401-247-7655) Service@SherpaStore. i © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  3. 3. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionTABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents .................................................................................................................... iiExecutive Summary ................................................................................................................ 1 New Research and Insights for Creating and Capitalizing on a Rich End-User Search Experience ..... 1 Key finding: Developing a strategy is a top challenge … but a bottom objective ................................. 2 Chart: Comparing most frustrating SEO challenges with most important SEO objectives ............. 2 Key finding: Content creation works the best, but takes the most work ............................................... 3 Chart: Three-dimensional view of SEO tactics .............................................................................. 3 Key finding: Incremental SEO improvements add up to large gains .................................................... 4 Chart: Organic traffic lead quality and conversion rates, by SEO maturity phase .......................... 4 Key finding: Future investments in SEO backed by having SEO process in place .............................. 5 Chart: Expected 12-month SEO budget change, by SEO maturity phase ..................................... 5 Key finding: Local business listing tactics are underutilized ................................................................. 6 Chart: Local business listing tactics used for local search purposes ............................................. 6Chapter 1: SEO Objectives and Challenges ........................................................................ 7 Informal processes still define SEO marketing maturity ........................................................................ 7 Chart: Organizations with a process for planning, executing and measuring SEO programs ........ 7 Chart: Organizations in each phase of SEO marketing maturity, by primary channel ................... 8 Chart: Organizations in each phase of SEO marketing maturity, by industry ................................ 9 Challenges hampering SEO effectiveness over last 12 months.......................................................... 10 Chart: Web traffic and lead generation are top challenges for SEO ............................................ 10 Chart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by SEO maturity phase ................................................ 11 Chart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by primary channel ...................................................... 12 Chart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by organization size ..................................................... 13 Chart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by industry ................................................................... 14 Objectives for SEO programs in next 12 months ................................................................................ 15 Chart: Increasing Web traffic and lead generation top the list for SEO objectives ....................... 15 Chart: Most important SEO objectives, by SEO maturity phase .................................................. 16 Chart: Most important SEO objectives, by primary channel ......................................................... 17 Chart: Most important SEO objectives, by organization size ....................................................... 18 Chart: Most important SEO objectives, by industry...................................................................... 19 Marketer insights on developing SEO marketing strategies ................................................................ 20 Trial Phase Marketers.................................................................................................................. 20 Transition Phase Marketers ......................................................................................................... 20 Strategic Phase Marketers .......................................................................................................... 22Chapter 2: SEO Tactics........................................................................................................ 25 Majority of organizations run SEO campaigns in-house ..................................................................... 25 Chart: Popularity of in-house versus outsourced SEO campaign management .......................... 25 Chart: SEO campaign management, by SEO maturity phase ..................................................... 26 ii © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  4. 4. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition Chart: SEO campaign management, by primary channel ............................................................ 27 Chart: SEO campaign management, by organization size .......................................................... 28 Chart: SEO campaign management, by industry ......................................................................... 29 Keyword-focused tactics are the most popular ................................................................................... 30 Chart: SEO tactics used by organizations cover many angles .................................................... 30 Chart: SEO tactics, by SEO maturity phase ................................................................................ 31 Chart: SEO tactics, by primary channel ....................................................................................... 32 Chart: SEO tactics, by organization size...................................................................................... 33 Chart: SEO tactics, by industry .................................................................................................... 34 Good content is great link bait…but difficult to create ......................................................................... 35 Chart: SEO tactics vary widely in their degree of difficulty to execute ......................................... 35 Chart: SEO tactics deemed very or somewhat difficult, by SEO maturity phase ......................... 36 Chart: SEO tactics deemed very or somewhat difficult, by primary channel ................................ 37 Chart: SEO tactics deemed very or somewhat difficult, by organization size .............................. 38 Chart: Top 8 SEO tactics deemed very or somewhat difficult, by industry................................... 39 Content creation may be difficult, but it is effective ............................................................................. 40 Chart: Content creation and keyword research considered most effective SEO tactics .............. 40 Chart: SEO tactics deemed very effective, by SEO maturity phase ............................................ 41 Chart: SEO tactics deemed very effective, by primary channel ................................................... 42 Chart: SEO tactics deemed very effective, by organization size .................................................. 43 Chart: Top 8 SEO tactics deemed very effective, by industry ...................................................... 44 Marketer insights on success with SEO tactics ................................................................................... 45Chapter 3: Monitoring and Tracking Metrics ..................................................................... 47 Web conversion often defined as multiple-field form completion ........................................................ 47 Chart: How organizations define a website conversion ............................................................... 47 Chart: Definition of website conversion, by primary channel ....................................................... 48 Chart: Definition of website conversion, by industry .................................................................... 49 Median conversion rate on organic traffic is 4%.................................................................................. 50 Chart: Organizations experience wide variability in conversion rates on organic traffic ............... 50 Page 1 of SERPs not out of reach for most marketers ....................................................................... 51 Chart: Targeted key terms yield good rankings for many ............................................................ 51 Chart: Organic ranking for targeted key terms, by SEO maturity phase ...................................... 52 Chart: Organic ranking for targeted key terms, by primary channel ............................................. 53 Chart: Organic ranking for targeted key terms, by organization size ........................................... 54 Chart: Organic ranking for targeted key terms, by industry .......................................................... 55 Organic search plays minor role in total lead volume .......................................................................... 56 Chart: Percentage of total lead volume from organic search ....................................................... 56 Chart: Percentage of total lead volume from organic search, by SEO maturity phase ................ 57 Chart: Percentage of total lead volume from organic search, by primary channel ....................... 58 Chart: Percentage of total lead volume from organic search, by organization size ..................... 59 Chart: Percentage of total lead volume from organic search, by industry .................................... 60 Organic search yields mixed results for lead quality, with some standouts ......................................... 61 iii © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  5. 5. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition Chart: Quality of leads from organic search ................................................................................. 61 Chart: Quality of leads from organic search, by SEO maturity phase .......................................... 62 Chart: Quality of leads from organic search, by primary channel ................................................ 63 Chart: Quality of leads from organic search, by organization size ............................................... 64 Chart: Quality of leads from organic search, by industry ............................................................. 65 Free analytics solutions are the most widely used .............................................................................. 66 Chart: Analytics and monitoring solutions for tracking SEO metrics ............................................ 66 Chart: SEO analytics and monitoring solutions, by SEO maturity phase ..................................... 67 Chart: SEO analytics and monitoring solutions, by primary channel ........................................... 68 Chart: SEO analytics and monitoring solutions, by organization size .......................................... 69 Marketer insights on using analytics to optimize SEO performance ................................................... 70Chapter 4: Planning and Tracking Budgets ...................................................................... 73 Biggest budget increases expected in inbound marketing .................................................................. 73 Chart: Expected marketing budget changes over 12 months ...................................................... 73 Chart: Percentage of organizations increasing budgets over 12 months, by SEO maturity phase74 Chart: Percentage of organizations increasing budgets over 12 months, by primary channel ..... 75 Chart: Percentage of organizations increasing budgets over 12 months, by organization size ... 76 Chart: Percentage of organizations increasing budgets over 12 months, by industry ................. 77 Half of marketing budgets go to online marketing, on average ........................................................... 78 Chart: Percentage of total marketing budget allocated to online marketing varies widely ........... 78 PPC, SEO and Website take big share of online marketing budget .................................................... 79 Chart: Allocation of online marketing dollars ................................................................................ 79 Chart: Percentage allocation of online marketing dollars, by SEO maturity phase ...................... 80 Chart: Percentage allocation of online marketing dollars, by primary channel ............................. 81 Chart: Percentage allocation of online marketing dollars, by organization size ........................... 82 Chart: Percentage allocation of online marketing dollars, by industry.......................................... 83 Staff salaries comprise the largest portion of total SEO budgets ........................................................ 84 Chart: Total SEO budget allocation, by SEO maturity phase....................................................... 84 SEO budgets expected to stay the same or grow ............................................................................... 85 Chart: Expected 12-month SEO budget change, by SEO maturity phase ................................... 85 Chart: Expected 12-month SEO budget change, by industry ...................................................... 86 Marketer insights on the value returned from SEO budget invested ................................................... 87 Trial Phase Marketers.................................................................................................................. 87 Transition Phase Marketers ......................................................................................................... 87 Strategic Phase Marketers .......................................................................................................... 89Chapter 5: The Importance of Content in a Search Marketing Strategy ......................... 91 Web pages and social media are the most used content products ..................................................... 91 Chart: Mix of content products used as part of total search marketing strategy .......................... 92 Chart: Content marketing products, by SEO maturity phase ....................................................... 93 Chart: Content marketing products, by primary channel .............................................................. 94 Chart: Content marketing products, by organization size ............................................................ 95 Chart: Top 12 content marketing products, by industry ............................................................... 96 iv © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  6. 6. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition Many content products require high level of time, effort, expense ...................................................... 97 Chart: Degree of difficulty required in creating content products ................................................. 97 Content products deemed very or somewhat difficult to create, by SEO maturity phase............. 98 Chart: Content products deemed very or somewhat difficult to create, by primary channel ........ 99 Content products deemed very or somewhat difficult to create, by organization size ................ 100 Top 12 content products deemed very or somewhat difficult to create, by industry ................... 101 Customer reviews considered the most effective content product .................................................... 102 Chart: Level of effectiveness in achieving marketing objectives, by content product ................. 102 Chart: Content products deemed very effective in achieving marketing objectives, by SEO maturity phase ......................................................................................................................................... 103 Chart: Content products deemed very effective in achieving marketing objectives, by primary channel ...................................................................................................................................... 104 Chart: Content products deemed very effective in achieving marketing objectives, by organization size ............................................................................................................................................ 105 Chart: Top 12 content products deemed very effective in achieving marketing objectives, by industry ...................................................................................................................................... 106 Chart: The effect of content creation as an SEO tactic on lead quality and conversion rates .... 107Chapter 6: Integrating Social Media and SEO ................................................................. 109 Chart: Top goals for integrating social media with SEO ............................................................. 109 Chart: Goals for integrating social media with SEO, by SEO maturity phase ............................ 110 Chart: Goals for integrating social media with SEO, by primary channel ................................... 111 Chart: Goals for integrating social media with SEO, by organization size ................................. 112 Chart: Goals for integrating social media with SEO, by industry ................................................ 113 Blogs considered most effective social media platform ..................................................................... 114 Chart: Level of effectiveness by social media platform .............................................................. 114 Chart: Social media platforms deemed very or somewhat effective, by SEO maturity phase .... 115 Chart: Social media platforms deemed very or somewhat effective, by primary channel .......... 116 Chart: Social media platforms deemed very or somewhat effective, by organization size ......... 117 Chart: Social media platforms deemed very or somewhat effective, by industry ....................... 118 Inbound marketing lead sources are growing in importance ............................................................. 119 Chart: Lead sources increasing and decreasing in importance over last 12 months ................. 119 Chart: Lead sources growing in importance over last 12 months, by SEO maturity phase ........ 120 Chart: Lead sources growing in importance over last 12 months, by primary channel .............. 121 Chart: Lead sources growing in importance over last 12 months, by organization size ............. 122 Chart: Lead sources growing in importance over last 12 months, by industry ........................... 123 Inbound leads cost 66% less than outbound leads, on average ....................................................... 124 Chart: Cost of inbound versus outbound lead ............................................................................ 124 Social search viewed as having some impact on objectives ............................................................. 125 Chart: Degree of importance social search plays in achieving search marketing objectives ..... 125Chapter 7: Capitalizing on Local Search ......................................................................... 127 Local search viewed as having positive impact on objectives ........................................................... 127 Chart: Degree of importance local search plays in achieving search marketing objectives ....... 127 Many still have no local business listing on search engines.............................................................. 128 v © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  7. 7. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition Chart: Organizations claiming local business listing on search engines .................................... 128 Optimizing for local terms is not commonly practiced by most .......................................................... 129 Chart: Organizations optimizing for local terms as part of organic search strategy ................... 129 Chart: Organizations claiming local business listing vs. optimizing for local terms as part of organic search strategy, by SEO maturity phase ................................................................................... 130 Chart: Organizations claiming local business listing vs. optimizing for local terms as part of organic search strategy, by primary channel .......................................................................................... 131 Chart: Organizations claiming local business listing vs. optimizing for local terms as part of organic search strategy, by organization size......................................................................................... 132 Chart: Organizations claiming local business listing vs. optimizing for local terms as part of organic search strategy, by industry ....................................................................................................... 133 Many local business listing tactics are not being put into play .......................................................... 134 Chart: Local business listing tactics used by those with local business listing ........................... 134 Chart: Local business listing tactics used for local search, by SEO maturity phase .................. 135 Chart: Local business listing tactics used for local search, by primary channel ......................... 136 Chart: Local business listing tactics used for local search, by organization size ....................... 137 Chart: Local business listing tactics used for local search, by industry ...................................... 138 Developing local content is top local optimization tactic .................................................................... 139 Chart: Top local search optimization tactics .............................................................................. 139 Chart: Local search optimization tactics, by SEO maturity phase .............................................. 140 Chart: Local search optimization tactics, by primary channel .................................................... 141 Chart: Local search optimization tactics, by organization size ................................................... 142 Chart: Local search optimization tactics, by industry ................................................................. 143 Marketer insights on the challenges of optimizing for local search ................................................... 144 Marketer insights on successfully optimizing for local search ........................................................... 147Chapter 8: Making Sense of Mobile Search..................................................................... 149 Mobile search viewed as having positive impact on objectives ......................................................... 149 Chart: Degree of importance mobile search plays in achieving search marketing objectives .... 149 Less than half of organizations have a mobile version of their website ............................................. 150 Chart: Mobile search tactics are not widely exercised ............................................................... 150 Chart: Mobile search tactic usage, by SEO maturity phase ....................................................... 151 Chart: Mobile search tactic usage, by primary channel ............................................................. 152 Chart: Mobile search tactic usage, by organization size ............................................................ 153 Chart: Mobile search tactic usage, by industry .......................................................................... 154 Marketer insights on their challenges with mobile search ................................................................. 155 Marketer insights on their successes with mobile search ................................................................. 157Chapter 9: Search Marketing Success Stories ............................................................... 159 Case Briefing: Optimizing early to capture future seasonal traffic lifts .............................................. 159 Case Briefing: Finding and testing niche content increases organic traffic 40% ............................... 160 Case Briefing: Content marketing campaign generates surge in traffic ............................................ 161 Case Briefing: Turning a YouTube channel into a powerful inbound marketing hub ......................... 162 Case Briefing: Revamped and optimized web content doubles lead conversions ............................ 163 vi © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  8. 8. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChapter 10: Agency Perspectives .................................................................................... 165 Client investment in SEO is driven by measurable ROI .................................................................... 165 Chart: Client perception of SEOs ability to produce ROI ........................................................... 165 Majority of client organizations get Page 1 organic rankings ............................................................ 166 Chart: Typical organic ranking on targeted key terms ................................................................ 166 Agencies and clients agree on Top 3 most effective SEO tactics ..................................................... 167 Chart: Level of effectiveness of SEO tactics, rated by agencies ................................................ 167 Agency insights on their successes with SEO campaigns ................................................................ 168 Agency insights on most effective tactics for improving rankings...................................................... 172 Social media part of search marketing mix for over 50% of clients ................................................... 176 Chart: Extent of social media integration by clients ................................................................... 176 Clients expected to increase usage of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter ................................................ 177 Chart: Expected usage levels of social media platforms by clients ............................................ 177 Agency insights on using Inbound Marketing tactics for extraordinary results .................................. 178Appendix .............................................................................................................................. 181 Benchmark survey demographics ..................................................................................................... 181 Chart: In which geographic region is your organization based? ................................................ 181 Chart: Which best describes the type of organization you work for? ......................................... 182 Chart: Which best describes your organizations primary sales channel? ................................. 183 Chart: Please select the approximate number of employees in your organization. ................... 184 Chart: Which best describes your role and decision-making authority in the organization? ...... 185 Search Engine marketing glossary ................................................................................................... 186 An A-to-Z glossary of common search marketing terms ........................................................... 186 vii © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  9. 9. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionEXECUTIVE SUMMARYNEW RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS FOR CREATING AND CAPITALIZING ON A RICH END-USERSEARCH EXPERIENCEA rich end-user experience has become the hallmark of search marketing. Searchers now receive instant,real-time, personalized and local information. Blended search supports these developments by generatingresults pages that include not only blue links, but also video, images, news, press releases, customerreviews and real-time social media content.This colorful backdrop of search activity is the setting for MarketingSherpa’s eighth annual benchmarkreport of search engine marketing. Last year’s study looked at managing the evolving search and socialclimate to achieve optimal results; this year’s report builds on that by examining the fast-paced andgrowing shift to inbound marketing efforts. The role of content, including optimized local content, alsocomes under study. Marketers rated content creation as the most difficult (yet most effective) SEO tactic.This comes as no surprise, since content marketing sits at the intersection of search and social. To achievegood organic rankings and ensure that their products and services are found across all formats and venues,organizations must be strategic with their planning and processes,and ever-savvy with the creation and optimization of all digitalassets. Simply put, good content makes for a better end-user Benchmark Reportexperience. MarketingSherpa BenchmarkOrganized for fast and easy reference Reports provide marketing executives and practitioners theThe 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition is a comprehensive research datacomprehensive reference guide containing more than 150 charts and insights needed to comparewith analytical commentary, hundreds of informative insights from an organization’s practices andyour peers, several abridged case studies of real-life search and performance against industryinbound marketing campaigns and more. To help you quickly locate benchmarks in order to guidethe information most relevant to your marketing situation, we have strategic decisions and tacticalsegmented data throughout this report by: planning.  Average of all respondents  Phases of SEO marketing maturity  Primary marketing channels  Organization size  Key industry sectorsHighlights of this year’s study  The alignment of search marketing objectives against the most difficult SEO challenges  The usage, effectiveness and level of effort required for SEO tactics and content products  How organizations are allocating marketing dollars and where they are shifting their efforts  What marketers are doing to fare well in local and mobile search results  How agencies view their clients’ SEO and inbound marketing efforts 1 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  10. 10. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionKEY FINDING: DEVELOPING A STRATEGY IS A TOP CHALLENGE … BUT A BOTTOM OBJECTIVEIn planning for the upcoming year, marketers’ SEO program objectives frequently addressed the previousyear’s challenges head-on. Bringing in more website traffic and increasing the volume and quantity of leadsgenerated were cited as last year’s top challenges. These now are top objectives for the coming year.Developing a strategy should be a top objective, especially in light of the fact that developing an effectivestrategy had been a top challenge for the previous 12 months. A strategy would also serve to guideprioritization decisions for other objectives. Nevertheless, many organizations sidestepped this and zeroedin on clear revenue drivers such as Web traffic, leads, online sales and brand awareness. Interestingly,increasing measurable ROI ranked higher as an objective than developing an actual strategy to do so!Chart: Comparing most frustrating SEO challenges with most important SEO objectives 53% Increasing website traffic 72% 48% Increasing lead generation 62% Developing an effective 42% and methodical strategy 27% 39% Achieving or increasing measurable ROI 47% 37% Integrating with social media 38% Improving brand/product 31% awareness or reputation 55% 29% Increasing online sales revenue 44% Integrating search marketing 27% analytics into a single dashboard 14% Integrating search marketing data 26% with CRM and other marketing systems 20% 17% Challenges from last 12 months Increasing offline sales revenue 20% Objectives for next 12 months 11% Improving public relations 11% Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530 2 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  11. 11. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionKEY FINDING: CONTENT CREATION WORKS THE BEST, BUT TAKES THE MOST WORKKeyword and keyphrase research is an old standby. When done well, this research delivers results andcreates a competitive advantage, explaining its popular levels of usage. Creating title tags is anotherkeyword-related and commonly used tactic – one which marketers considered to be equally effective.Content creation stands apart in the cluster of tactics, both for its difficulty and its effectiveness. Goodcontent creates buzz and attracts links. For this reason, marketers who commit to the effort required increating quality content can improve their SEO positions.Chart: Three-dimensional view of SEO tactics Sphere size indicates level of usage 60% Content 50% creation Keyword and Title tags keyphrase 40% research SEO landing pages External Level of Effectiveness URL link building Meta 30% description tags structure Digital asset Social optimization media Blogging Internal integration 20% linking Competitor Benchmarking 10% 0% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Degree of Difficulty Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530But, what is good and effective content? From the perspective of marketers surveyed, Web pages rankedhighly, with half of marketers stating that they are very effective in helping them achieve their marketingobjectives. Many Web pages also act as SEO landing pages if they serve as an entry point from searchresults. When pages have strong customer-oriented language, good layouts and clear call-to-actions, thereis a greater likelihood of “clickthrough” than “click back.”Webinars and whitepapers were other leading examples of good content, with 46 percent and 40 percentof marketers, respectively, rating these as very effective content products. 3 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  12. 12. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionKEY FINDING: INCREMENTAL SEO IMPROVEMENTS ADD UP TO LARGE GAINSOrganizations that routinely follow a formal process and thorough guidelines for their SEO practices andprograms reap the biggest bottom-line benefits. One example is lead quality. Organizations in the Trial orTransition phases for SEO performance management each had a percentage of natural search leadsdeemed "low-quality." In contrast, only organizations in the Strategic phase could declare that all leadsfrom natural search traffic were either of the highest quality or of mixed quality.Chart: Organic traffic lead quality and conversion rates, by SEO maturity phase % Organizations Rating Leads from Organic Search as Highest-Quality Median Conversion Rate on Organic Traffic Average Conversion Rate on Organic Traffic12% 30% 10%10% 25% 9% 8% 8% 20% 6% 15% 5% 4% 4% 10% 2% 2% 5% 3% 24% 27% 0% 0% TRIAL TRANSITION STRATEGIC We have no process or We have an informal process We have a formal process guidelines for performing SEO with a few guidelines we with thorough guidelines we sporadically perform routinely perform Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Not only do the efforts of strategically minded organizations pay off through a larger percentage of high-quality leads from organic search traffic, but they also convert more of these leads. When looking atmedian conversion rates, Strategic organizations tend to convert 150 percent more leads than Trialorganizations and 25 percent more than Transition organizations, or those with informal processes andguidelines. 4 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  13. 13. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionKEY FINDING: FUTURE INVESTMENTS IN SEO BACKED BY HAVING SEO PROCESS IN PLACEWho doesn’t like to get the biggest bang for the buck? Organizations in the Transition and Strategic phasesof SEO maturity convert more high-quality leads from natural search visits. As such, it makes sense fororganizations to put more money into these programs.Chart: Expected 12-month SEO budget change, by SEO maturity phase 5% 3% 9% 11% 16% 18% Increase > 50% 5% 28% Increase 20% to 50% 14% Increase < 20% No change Decrease < 20% 47% Decrease 20% to 50% 36% 44% 5% 5% TRIAL TRANSITION STRATEGIC We have no process or We have an informal We have a formal process guidelines for performing process with a few with thorough guidelines SEO guidelines we sporadically we routinely perform perform Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Organizations that are relatively immature with their SEO processes are still investing money into SEO. Theoverwhelming majority of these organizations spend their SEO budgets on staff salaries, whereas Transitionand Strategic organizations tend to divide their budgets across staff salaries, outsourced agency services,and for-fee SEO marketing and analytics tools. 5 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  14. 14. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionKEY FINDING: LOCAL BUSINESS LISTING TACTICS ARE UNDERUTILIZEDLocal business listings and reviews now sit atop natural search results; therefore, it is critical to be foundthrough local search. Despite this reality, only 37 percent of organizations surveyed claimed a local businesslisting on one or more search engines. Of those, most did not fully employ available listing tactics.Chart: Local business listing tactics used for local search purposes Phone number included with listing 81% Listing description optimized 60% with target keywords Images added to listing 48% Listing enhanced with custom details 48% Google Tags 47% Listing associated with a range of 43% related business categories Videos added to listing 20% Coupons added to listing 16% Google Boost 11% Mobile coupons added to listing 5% Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Even fewer organizations – 27 percent – had optimized for local search as part of their organic search (SEO)strategy. Adding local content to Web pages, blog posts and titles was the most popular local optimizationtactic for this group, with 81 percent committed to this effort. By contrast, posting customer reviews ormaking customers aware of a customer review site (e.g. Yelp, Places) were efforts that ranked low in theirexecution. With local search algorithms placing weight on the quantity of reviews and citations, theimportance of encouraging more (unbiased, non-incentivized) reviews cannot be overrated. Interestingly,marketers indirectly agreed with this in another question, where 88 percent said that customer reviewswere the most effective content product for helping them achieve their marketing objectives. 6 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  15. 15. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionCHAPTER 1: SEO OBJECTIVES AND CHALLENGESIncreasing traffic and generating more qualified leads are the top two challenges and objectives fororganizations with respect to SEO campaigns. Organizations that have been most successful at facing downthese challenges over the last year are those with a process in place for planning, executing and measuringthe performance of their SEO programs.INFORMAL PROCESSES STILL DEFINE SEO MARKETING MATURITYChart: Organizations with a process for planning, executing and measuring SEO programsQ. Which statement best describes the process your organization uses to plan, execute and measure theperformance of your SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) programs and practices? 48% 29% 21% TRIAL TRANSITION STRATEGIC We have no process or We have an informal process We have a formal process with guidelines for performing SEO with a few guidelines we thorough guidelines we sporadically perform routinely perform Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530The disciplined application of a methodical process for planning, executing and measuring SEO programsstill eludes many organizations. Twenty-one percent of organizations have no defined process for their SEOprograms, essentially adopting a “hit-or-miss” approach. Strategic organizations, by comparison, view SEOas part of a larger marketing strategy. Planning to this degree requires more of a coordinated andintegrated effort. As such, only 29 percent of organizations claim to be in this phase. 7 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  16. 16. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Organizations in each phase of SEO marketing maturity, by primary channel 19% 18% 23% We have no process or guidelines for performing SEO 42% 50% We have an informal 50% process with a few guidelines we sporadically perform We have a formal process with thorough 39% guidelines we 28% routinely perform 26% B2B B2C B2B/B2C (Business) (Consumer) (Business/Consumer) Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Search engine optimization plays out differently for B2B and B2C companies. The SEO goal for a B2Corganization is typically more immediate, often just to generate an online sale in a single visit. The SEO goalfor a B2B organization, by contrast, is inclusion in the consideration set of providers for every step of thepurchase path. Business purchasers do much more research as part of the buying process, and they oftenuse different search terms for different phases of the cycle. To be successful with SEO, B2B organizationsneed to optimize for this broad set of search behaviors. This takes focused planning and execution. For thisreason, only 26 percent of B2B organizations have made the leap to the Strategic phase. “We develop content by business customer pain points and integrate key words. We outsource this to SEO firm. They submit keyword-rich articles off page to link to our site. We also utilize on-page optimization with a blog, articles, product descriptions, meta tags, and URLs.” – Marketer insight 8 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  17. 17. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Organizations in each phase of SEO marketing maturity, by industry 22% 19% 25% 24% 25% We have no process or guidelines for performing SEO 42% 50% 46% 43% We have an informal 51% process with a few guidelines we sporadically perform We have a formal 35% process with thorough 27% 30% 30% guidelines we 22% routinely perform Software/ Professional Retail or Media or Education or SaaS or Financial E-commerce Publishing Healthcare Services Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Software companies are the most strategic with their SEO programs and practices. This is a competitiveindustry, marked by many small- and mid-sized players racing to be first to market with their productreleases. For many of them, the Internet is their main (or even only) source of orders. Thus, softwarecompanies turn to SEO to help them reach potential customers.By contrast, educational institutions and healthcare organizations trail in their ability to formalize SEOpractices. Many educational institutions rely ondirectory sites which generate traffic for “We dont have a process in place. We are justcompetitive educational search terms and then now updating/optimizing our site to work withinresell the leads. Unfortunately, instead of an SEO world and hope to educate ourselvesoptimizing their own websites to bring students about strategies to employ.” – Marketer insightto an environment where they can control themessage and experience, many educational institutions rely on these lead gen sites for the majority of theirWeb traffic. In doing this, they forfeit a valuable opportunity to reach prospective students and create andmaintain a strong online name and reputation. 9 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  18. 18. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionCHALLENGES HAMPERING SEO EFFECTIVENESS OVER LAST 12 MONTHSChart: Web traffic and lead generation are top challenges for SEOQ. Which were the MOST FRUSTRATING CHALLENGES with respect to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)effectiveness for your organization in the last 12 months? Increasing website traffic 53% Increasing lead generation 48% Developing an effective and methodical strategy 42% Achieving or increasing measurable ROI 39% Integrating with social media 37% Improving brand/product awareness or 31% reputation Increasing online sales revenue 29% Integrating search marketing analytics into a 27% single dashboard Integrating search marketing data with CRM and 26% other marketing systems Increasing offline sales revenue 17% Improving public relations 11% Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Increasing website traffic and lead generation top the list for the most frustrating challenges with respect toSEO effectiveness. Traffic follows good rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs), and leads followtraffic. Organizations struggling in these areas need strategic solutions, evidenced by 42 percent oforganizations stating that the development of an effective and methodical SEO strategy was their third-most frustrating challenge.Increasing lead generation posed a greater challenge than increasing online sales revenue. This suggeststhat organizations are better at converting leads than they are at generating them. 10 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  19. 19. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by SEO maturity phase 69% Increasing website traffic 47% 43% 49% Increasing lead generation 51% 43% 43% Developing an effective and methodical strategy 54% 31% 43% Achieving or increasing measurable ROI 47% 35% 29% Integrating with social media 41% 33% Improving brand/product awareness or 37% Trial 32% Transition reputation 24% Strategic 34% Increasing online sales revenue 35% 24% Integrating search marketing analytics into a 17% 30% single dashboard 28% Integrating search marketing data with CRM and 23% 25% other marketing systems 31% 17% Increasing offline sales revenue 17% 12% 11% Improving public relations 9% 6% Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530A telling difference exists between Trial and Strategic organizations with respect to their most frustratingSEO challenges. Although website traffic is considered a top concern for all organizations, Trialorganizations struggled with this the most. The absence of formalized SEO procedures and guidelines is alikely explanation.Strategic organizations contend with many of the same challenges as the organizations in other phases, butto a lesser degree. The integration of search marketing data was the one challenge that Strategicorganizations faced to a greater degree. Search user behavior can be a powerful indicator of interest andintent (or lack thereof.) The better handle these organizations get on a prospect’s or customer’s onlinebehavior, the better they can generate and cultivate leads. 11 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  20. 20. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by primary channel 56% Increasing website traffic 53% 42% 62% Increasing lead generation 28% 39% 41% Developing an effective and methodical strategy 45% 44% 44% Achieving or increasing measurable ROI 30% 39% 33% Integrating with social media 38% 46% Improving brand/product awareness or 31% B2B 34% B2C reputation 29% B2B/B2C 18% Increasing online sales revenue 39% 51% Integrating search marketing analytics into a 23% 25% single dashboard 39% Integrating search marketing data with CRM and 29% 17% other marketing systems 32% 19% Increasing offline sales revenue 13% 22% 9% Improving public relations 16% 10% Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Generating more leads stands out as a top challenge for B2B marketers. Given their longer sales cycles –and the multiple steps through research, consideration and purchase – it is understandable that marketersare looking to bring more leads into the funnel.Increasing online sales revenue and integrating social media were key challenges hampering the SEOeffectiveness for B2B/B2C organizations. Similarly, nearly 40 percent of B2C organization also facedchallenges with these areas. Their top challenges, however, dealt with driving more traffic to their websites,and devising a strategy to do so. 12 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  21. 21. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by organization size 58% Increasing website traffic 52% 37% 48% Increasing lead generation 61% 34% 41% Developing an effective and methodical strategy 45% 44% 35% Achieving or increasing measurable ROI 43% 49% 37% Integrating with social media 39% 32% Improving brand/product awareness or 34% 30% reputation 24% 35% Increasing online sales revenue 23% 17% Integrating search marketing analytics into a 25% 25% single dashboard 37% Integrating search marketing data with CRM and 21% 29% other marketing systems 42% 18% Increasing offline sales revenue 14% 20% Small < 100 10% Improving public relations 9% Medium 100 - 1,000 15% Large > 1,000 Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Search engine optimization boosts the abilities of small- and medium-sized organizations to contend withlarger players in the marketplace. Good indicators of effectiveness are traffic and leads. As such, theseareas posed the most significant challenges.Achieving measurable ROI was the biggest challenge for large organizations. Data integration – morespecifically the ability to track, measure and use data – is fundamental for accurately establishing ROI. Largeorganizations, with their disparate and complex systems, also found search data integration to be achallenge. Whether they were trying to integrate search marketing analytics into a single dashboard forreporting purposes, or were working on integrating search marketing data into a marketing CRM solution,these types of initiatives proved daunting. 13 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  22. 22. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most frustrating SEO challenges, by industry 46% 52% Increasing website traffic 56% 50% 62% 50% 43% Increasing lead generation 19% 50% 60% 50% Developing an effective and 38% 38% methodical strategy 41% 44% 29% Achieving or increasing measurable 29% 34% ROI 47% 47% 29% 43% Integrating with social media 47% 31% 36% 58% Improving brand/product 24% 31% awareness or reputation 38% 20% 8% 52% Increasing online sales revenue 53% 31% 31% 29% Education or Healthcare Integrating search marketing 33% 28% Media or Publishing analytics into a single dashboard 25% Retail or E-commerce 20% Prof or Financial Svcs Integrating search marketing data 17% Software/SaaS 29% with CRM and other marketing 25% systems 25% 29% 17% 10% Increasing offline sales revenue 9% 25% 13% 25% 14% Improving public relations 13% 3% 13% Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Reputation is critical for all types of organizations, but it is especially important to organizations that offer aknowledge product. Educational and healthcare institutions acquire patients and recruit students based inlarge part on their reputation. As such, using SEO to improve their awareness and reputation is the mostpressing challenge faced by 58 percent of organizations in these industries. 14 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  23. 23. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionOBJECTIVES FOR SEO PROGRAMS IN NEXT 12 MONTHSChart: Increasing Web traffic and lead generation top the list for SEO objectivesQ. Which are the MOST IMPORTANT OBJECTIVES with respect to your organizations search engineoptimization (SEO) programs in the next 12 months? Increasing website traffic 72% Increasing lead generation 62% Improving brand/product awareness or reputation 55% Achieving or increasing measurable ROI 47% Increasing online sales revenue 44% Integrating with social media 38% Developing an effective and methodical strategy 27% Integrating search marketing data with CRM and 20% other marketing systems Increasing offline sales revenue 20% Integrating search marketing analytics into a single 14% dashboard Improving public relations 11% Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Increasing Web traffic and leads from SEO campaigns are the top objectives for all organizations surveyed.These objectives mirror the top two challenges faced by organizations over the past 12 months.The lack of an effective strategy was the third-most frustrating challenge faced by organizations. Despitethe clear need for a strategy, organizations relegated the development of one down to the seventh spot,choosing instead to focus on more “measurable” objectives – even if having a strategy would helporganizations deliver measurably better results.The impact of operating without a methodical SEO process and strategy is discussed throughout thisbenchmark report. 15 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  24. 24. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most important SEO objectives, by SEO maturity phase 70% Increasing website traffic 80% 61% 57% Increasing lead generation 66% 63% 57% Improving brand/product awareness or reputation 48% 46% 38% Achieving or increasing measurable ROI 53% 57% 41% Increasing online sales revenue 48% 54% 38% Trial Integrating with social media 34% Transition 32% Strategic 19% Developing an effective and methodical strategy 30% 26% Integrating search marketing data with CRM and 24% 19% other marketing systems 20% 22% Increasing offline sales revenue 19% 13% Integrating search marketing analytics into a single 5% 19% dashboard 17% 11% Improving public relations 6% 6% Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Strategic phase organizations, like organizations in other SEO maturity phases, want to increase traffic andleads. But they are not stopping there. More than half of Strategic organizations also want their SEOprograms to produce online sales revenue and a measurable, growing ROI. In other words, traffic and leadsprovide a good start, but are ultimately worthless if they do not result in revenue.Nearly one-third of Transition organizations expressed intent to develop an effective and methodical SEOstrategy. Unfortunately, this objective is still rated quite low when compared to the others, suggesting thatthis objective will be downgraded in terms of importance over the coming year.Trial organizations are directing their attention to social media integration. Social media supports SEOthrough content generation and link building. As such, integrating with social media augments anorganization’s ability to increase Web traffic, leads and online revenue, all top objectives for Trialorganizations. 16 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.
  25. 25. MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO EditionChart: Most important SEO objectives, by primary channel 70% Increasing website traffic 74% 69% 76% Increasing lead generation 52% 45% 62% Improving brand/product awareness or reputation 43% 57% 48% Achieving or increasing measurable ROI 45% 48% 24% Increasing online sales revenue 12% 21% 32% Integrating with social media 38% 52% 27% B2B Developing an effective and methodical strategy 25% B2C 31% B2B/B2C Integrating search marketing data with CRM and 26% 14% other marketing systems 17% 24% Increasing offline sales revenue 12% 21% Integrating search marketing analytics into a single 11% 14% dashboard 19% 10% Improving public relations 14% 7% Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530Increasing lead generation is the most important SEO objective for B2B organizations. Given the longersales cycles – including funnel steps to generate, qualify, score, nurture and hand-off leads – marketersknow that they have to maintain an adequate inflow of leads to keep the funnel full.Interestingly, this objective is more important for them than simply increasing website traffic. Web trafficdoes not necessarily produce good quality leads, and B2B marketers may be making this distinction whenthey choose to focus on lead generation rather than just more traffic. 17 © Copyright 2000–2011 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions, contact service@sherpastore.com.

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