Zazzle Media’s second annual “State of SEO survey” has assessed the value and ROI of SEO, looking at its impact in securing funds or resources.
The data suggested that 60% of marketers find that resources and a shortage of budget are the main reasons they don’t spend more on organic search activity. However, almost a third of surveyed marketers still don’t know how to measure the impact of SEO on their results.
The survey reviewed 70% of in-house marketers and 30% of agency heads from various companies. It called for marketers to develop a better understanding of attribution models, measurement tools, brand value, and purpose when it comes to spending more on SEO.
The main reasons cited for marketers struggling to secure investment are competitor awareness, revealing that marketers are too aware of their competitor’s activity, even noting that their branded keywords were being targeted by their competitors.
The report noted that data-led objectives can act as investment enablers as they can easily quantify and measure consumer traffic. They also help marketers prove ROI, by reviewing how marketing practices are improving year on year.
Yet the survey revealed that there is still a lack of understanding around best practices for marketers to use. A quarter of those surveyed called for clearer guidelines on best practice from Google Webmasters, revealing that there is, in fact, a knowledge and skills gap around SEO.
Zazzle Media’s head of search and strategy, Stuart Shaw, said
“As an industry, we’ve needed to educate, educate, educate – at almost every level of client infrastructure. That challenge still remains, in fact, it probably changes monthly but now with more noise than ever.
However knowledge has always been power in this industry, keeping up with updates, marketing news and best practice guidelines across Google and Bing can be the difference in the results marketers need to secure that extra budget.”
You can download the full results of The State of SEO here, and check out the top-line stats on the infographic below.
If you do it everyday, digital marketing is routine, but for many small business owners it’s just too overwhelming to even think about. That’s a shame, because a few simple steps can make a big difference in the life or death of a small business.
Brandmuscle, the local marketing software company, put together an infographic outlining the three areas that SMB’s need to master if they want to make it in 2015.
It’s time to get back to the basics with email, social media and online reputation.
Why: 66% of consumers have made an online purchase after reading a marketing email. That’s huge. What’s even huge-er(?) is the return on investment. Brandmuscle figures that the ROI on email marketing is 4,300%.
How: Give people a reason to subscribe and make it easy to do. Sign up your own company newsletter and see how many hoops you have to jump through. Some companies make it incredibly tough. Also, make sure your marketing emails show up properly on mobile. If not, you’re losing out on a lot of potential sales.
Why: 74% of online adults use social. Facebook sends 63% of traffic to Shopify stores.
How: Make sure all of your business contact information is easy to find on your social media channels. (You’d be surprised by how many online companies don’t have a link and offline companies don’t have an address.) Use lots of images and don’t try to do it all. Pick one or two social networks so you can focus on updating them regularly.
Why: 79% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. On Yelp, a one-star increase in ratings results in a 5-9% increase in revenue.
How: Monitor the web and social media for mentions and respond quickly when a customer is unhappy. Respond just as quickly when a customer posts something nice about you. They’ll appreciate that you appreciate their efforts.
If your business isn’t looking so good online, you might need the help of a reputable, reputation management company. If you need one. . . I know a guy.
Paid search is a great way to kick off a new website or marketing campaign, offering the ability to immediately send traffic with just a few clicks of the mouse. Pay-per-click marketing can be used to test landing pages, gauge the interest and conversion rate of an offer, or simply start generating revenue while a search engine optimization campaign is laid out and in the early stages.
Heck, some campaigns are full-on PPC and don’t even rely on SEO in order to drive traffic. In very competitive industries this is common as it makes more financial sense to develop a very strong paid search marketing effort instead. When it comes to paid search, we all tend to focus on AdWords, and while that is a great pay-per-click resource (number one, we all know!) it is time to stop treating the Yahoo! Bing Network like the red-headed stepchild.
There are several benefits to adding this neglected PPC option into a paid search campaign (this isn’t to say that Google should be abandoned at all, because that would be campaign suicide). However, there are many reasons why also allocating some of the spend to the Yahoo! Bing Network is a good idea. Take a look at this quick snapshot:
This was a quick test that was run for a few hours the other day before the weekend, and the total spend was less than $ 17. These are incredibly competitive financial keywords that sometimes cost more per click on AdWords than the total spend for this initial test. This client pays between $ 16 and $ 22 per click for these same keywords on AdWords depending on the ad position. The bid was set at a quarter to see what would come of this. Yes, a whole shiny QUARTER per click. As you can see from the screen grab above one keyword had a decent 7/10 quality score and the other was a 2/10, yet both averaged around the number 5 ad position.
There were a lot of impressions, a horrible click-through-rate, but a mind blowing 15 cent and 11 cent average cost-per-click. This little test resulted in two conversions. Now, we aren’t talking email submits or information requests. These are full-blown sales with the online shopping cart singing “cha-ching!” Each conversion is worth about $ 150 monthly for a year to this client. That is $ 3,600 in revenue from a $ 17 test. Now the ads and website can be tweaked, optimized, and further tested to get a higher ad position, CTR, more conversions…and more revenue!
There is no denying that there is search volume via Bing and Yahoo, meaning there are clicks, conversions, and revenue opportunities waiting. Take the same raw data in terms of impressions above and imagine a better CTR. It only makes sense that it would lead to more conversions and revenue, right?
There is so much opportunity, yet the Yahoo! Bing Network continues to sit in the corner saying, “Hey, look at me!”
I am not saying you will automatically get dirt cheap clicks and huge ROIs, but what I am saying is that you owe it to yourself to at least try. There is also the opportunity to test ads and websites on a smaller (and less expensive) scale, find the perfect combination that delivers a nice CTR and then migrate what has been learned over to AdWords.
It is well worth running small tests on the Yahoo! Bing Network, as the payoff can be a massive ROI and an additional traffic source for paid search. The infographic below outlines some reasons why the YBN should not be ignored. Take a look at our below infographic to learn more.
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
(click image to enlarge)