R2i partnered with research firm Clutch to survey mid-market and enterprise organizations across U.S.-based B2B and B2C brands to explore the channels, technologies, challenges, and priorities of today’s marketers. The survey was conducted with 500 marketing professionals at companies with at least 500 employees; about half surveyed have over 1,000 employees and more than $100M in annual revenue. The following is the first part of a series of insights on this research with an overview of how marketers leverage and prioritize search in their strategy. The complete data and additional interviews can be found on Clutch.co.
THE STATE OF SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
SEM: Proving ROI is #1 Challenge & Traffic Volume is Top Metric
Few marketers consider search marketing to be a near-term priority with TV, social, and the brand website ranking as the top three priority channels. Perhaps this is because they believe that proving ROI is the biggest challenge of SEM. The same group of surveyed marketers also ranked traffic volume as the most important success metric for SEO. It’s no wonder that recognizing ROI is a challenge when traffic volume is still identified as an indicator of success. When the combination of qualified traffic from paid and organic search campaigns is tied to conversions as part of a more holistic multi-channel strategy, this level of multi-touch or last-touch attribution will lend itself to serving as a more useful success metric and ultimately reveal ROI.
Marketers Need More Quality Content to Improve SEO Results
Content tends to be the most obvious requirement for successful SEO results so it’s understandable that that the majority of marketers identified developing more quality content as their top near-term priority. Yet, getting content marketing right cannot be all about the SEO value. It has to connect to the needs of the customer and correspond to a known customer journey. The combination of content types that are both relevant and useful, as well as optimized for SEO and the channel on which they are served, is a result of leveraging a comprehensive and connected set of data about the customer from how they search to where they convert.