Here’s a few factoids you might find interesting.
A study by Hotwire found that 79% of marketers don’t include SEO in their budgets with the majority instead spending money on paid SEM advertising. And, a recent Pew Research Study indicates only 15% of Americans do NOT use the internet. How many of those 15% do you know? Think about that –
85% of all adults in America are actively engaged with the internet
Expand Ramblings sited the amount of monthly Google searches in 2014 averaged 11.944 billion. The 2015 data hasn’t published but I’m sure a year later Google’s monthly search number exceeds 12 billion.
So with 85% of the 18 years+ population actively engaged in the internet and 12 billion monthly searches conducted by those 85% adults, why are only 21% of marketers setting aside budget for SEO? Do they seriously believe SEO isn’t important? That’s just crazy! But not the least bit surprising.
Those 3 alphabet letters – SEO – strike fear in the average marketer. Now for the most part fear originates from the unknown but given Google just celebrated their 18th birthday SEO is hardly an unknown to any marketing professional on planet earth. But marketers aren’t alone in their groans over SEO. I have yet to meet a web developer that’s enthusiastic on the subject. Fortunately for them SEO in 2015 is on the marketer’s plate more than theirs. Yes – keywords, titles and meta tags matter but that’s just a sliver of the pie.
Optimization is a complex process that takes keyword popularity, density and semantic relationship into account while also remaining relevant to real readers, not machines. Content development.
Twenty years ago Bill Gates may have been the first to declare Content Is King but the phrase reached new heights in 2011 when Panda’s first algorithm released. Since then sites with thin content, duplicate content or sites lacking in fresh, new and original content are liable to suffer significant demotion in search results, and in turn high-quality, unique and UX (user experience) focused sites rank more prominently. Search engine algorithms have one purpose:
Serve human search engine users better.
Algorithms send one site surging to the first page of results and relegate others to back pages where they’ll rarely if ever be seen – and all to deliver a positive search experience to the human. Which let’s face it we’ve all come to expect or maybe a better word is demand. Our patience, attention span and time starved existence requires nothing less than instant gratification for what we search.
Most marketers are overwhelmed by the numerous attributes for developing, implementing and maintaining effective SEO that signify how search engines should index while adding value to human searchers. Solid SEO strategies should take into account the importance of
• Easily navigable website design
• Strong graphics
• Back linking
• Rich content
• Ongoing keyword analysis
Linking strategies are pivotal to quality SEO. A poor linking strategy does more than lower your traffic volume it could even penalize and drop your rankings. Off-page elements, including inbound and outbound links, have a tremendous impact on your site’s ranking.
Search engines prioritize highly relevant, informative sites and they use constantly evolving techniques to index that content. Allocating SEO budget allows marketers to stay on top of the latest updates and adapt quickly to search engine’s changes through on-site SEO, off-site link strategies and submissions.
Like it or not marketers, SEO is part of your new normal so face your fears and lobby for budget allocation. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect. With autumn in the air most businesses have begun or are about to begin 2016 budget discussions.
B2B companies – here’s an interesting factoid that may help you bite the bullet even if your marketing team’s not lobbying for SEO budget.
94% of B2B buyers research online for purchase decisions
So B2B’s – the professionals your company interacts with are arguably 100% on the internet (not 85%) and 94% of those 100% seek your business via search. How in the world can SEO not have a line item in your 2016 budget?
Effective search engine optimization positions your organization in the forefront of prospects at precisely the most important moment. And it’s an ongoing process, not a one-time event (I think I just heard more groans). The algorithm search engine’s use are continually changing and your online content needs to change with them.
That’s exactly why 79% of marketers want nothing to do with budgeting SEO. There’s a lot of ongoing research and education to stay abreast of SEO that literally changes on a daily basis. There’s no standing back and admiring your creation. In short order that beautiful digital creation will need freshening, adjusting, modifications and constant, ongoing improvements to meet search engine’s increasingly higher quality standards. There’s gloss and glamour in marketing – just watch an episode of Mad Men – but there’s little glamour to monitoring conversions, analyzing click-through rates and using other key metrics to determine actual SEO performance. It’s an unglamorous commitment of time, money and resources but when done correctly the investment more than pays for itself – and there’s glamour in that right?
The reality is without achieving high rankings on search engines results pages (SERP’s) your website won’t generate vital visibility required to generate new site traffic.
New site traffic = New customer opportunities = Increased growth = Bottom line $$
Is SEO important to marketing? Absolutely! SEO has never been more important than it is today. Digital assets simply can’t monetize without it. Tell that to the bean counters for budget approval.
What’s your marketing team’s 2016 SEO strategy? Do you fight tooth and nail for SEO budget allocation? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!
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