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New Corporate Survey on SEO & Online Marketing 
Posted by blog - Wednesday, October 19, 2005
There's a very interesting Benchmark Survey on SEO run by MarketingProfs with some help from OneUpWeb on now how corporate marketers and marketing consultants value and are using search engine optimization in their marketing mix.

There were about 1700 respondents and survey questions are split between the following categories:
  • Perception of SEO
  • Your Organization and SEO
  • Your Organization and Return on Investment
  • Respondent Demographic Information
I am not sure when Marketing Profs will be coming out with a formal report on the survey results, but here are some insights:
  • Most respondents rated themselves as average or below average in their knowledge of SEO.
  • The problems most respondents felt SEO could solve dealt with establishing metrics, measuring results and planning marketing.
  • Almost half reported SEO as more important or most important future marketing priority.
  • Top marketing tactics were: direct marketing, online advertising (banners, PPC), public relations and newspaper/magazine advertising.
  • The top online marketing activity was having a web site, with email and then using offline tactics to drive traffic to the web site third.
  • Now this is amazing. A web site is the top online marketing activity and search engine optimization ranked lower than offline promotion to drive web site traffic.
  • Less than 10% of marketing budgets are allocated to online marketing.
  • SEO is most commonly perceived as one of many online marketing tactics. Although just under a third replied SEO plays an integral part.
  • About a third do not use SEO at all and just under half have been using SEO less than 2 years. SEO is still the new kid on the block for sure.
  • Watch out traditional offline and online media: SEO is most likely to replace online advertising, advertising in newspapers/magazines and print advertising. I hear a giant sucking sound in the next year or so from traditional advertising to search. Heck, it's happening now. I wouldn't want to be in the newspaper business, that's for sure.
  • Also, SEO is least likely to replace public relations. That's good news since I have a SEO firm and a PR firm.
  • Interestingly, the greatest challenge facing online marketing is demonstrating results. At the same time most respondents felt SEO would be effective at solving problems with establishing metrics and measuring results.
  • Innefficient staff and budget are problems most companies face along with cost of outsourcing SEO.
  • Most respondents reported their companies do not effectively use SEO.
  • Here's a big red flag: Most companies do not measure marketing ROI. Otherwise, tracking leads and sales from a specific campaign is the most common marketing effectiveness measurement.
  • The majority companies do not know if SEO affects their marketing ROI. Of course, most of them don't measure marketing ROI!
  • The vast majority of respondents were corporate marketers or consultants working for companies that focus on BtoB marketing or a combination of BtoB and BtoC marketing with revenues under $10,000,000.
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