Digital marketers perplexed by SEO survey results
In their 2018 Digital Marketing Survey, Clutch asked 501 marketers from companies of various sizes (100 employees+) what marketing channels they’re spending money on this year. The results were really surprising, both to Clutch and to those of us in the digital marketing industry as a whole: SEO is dead last.
[bctt tweet=”SEO comes in dead last in top digital marketing channel survey by @clutch_co. What is going on here?? #SEO #digitalmarketing #webmarketing”]
Only 44% of marketers surveyed said that their company is investing in SEO services. That’s the lowest number on the list, even below paid search marketing (online ads), which got 47%.
Why aren’t more businesses investing in SEO?
Clutch seemed just as confused by their own results as all of us were in the digital marketing industry. SEO has been the cornerstone of digital strategies for years, and that’s not about to change. So, how is it possible that over half of the companies surveyed aren’t investing in SEO?
The most likely answer to this question: instant gratification. Everything else on the list is more tangible. You can clearly see the work being done, and you see the numbers reflected in your visitors and your leads almost instantly with most of the other tactics on the list. They’re easily measurable and instantly obvious that work is being done.
Warning: Do not forgo SEO just because it takes time!
Clutch also contemplated why the number was so low within the blog post they wrote about their survey results. This particular paragraph in their response is spot-on:
Although the results aren’t as obvious, businesses should reconsider their lack of investment in SEO because many find success with that channel. Failure to invest in SEO can also undermine the success of other digital marketing channels.
Thrive recently wrote a piece for UpCity about how long it takes to rank on page 1 in Google search. The short answer: a long time. Years, even!
While cultivating great rankings takes time, it (SEO) still should be the cornerstone of any digital marketing campaign. Just think about it: you invest in SEO now, and in the future, you get more visits to your website that result in more qualified leads, and you don’t have to pay per click to get them.
Need proof? Just look at this real SEO client of Thrive’s. We started working with them in 2015. This is a graph of the number of keywords that are ranking in the top 5 results in a search for them.
See how it increases year over year over year? All these keyword rankings have led to steadily increasing website visits and qualified leads, and now they’re really reaping the rewards from years of investing in an SEO company. They’re busier than ever!
Read more on how SEO takes time but is ultimately worth it:
- How long does it take to see results from an SEO campaign?
- A Timeline: Ranking on the First Page of Google Results
- How long does it take to rank in Google? (A study by Ahrefs)
How to Get Buy-in from Decision Makers on SEO Services
So maybe you, reader, are convinced about the benefits of SEO, but like the companies in the Clutch survey, your marketing tactics are focused elsewhere.
We’re definitely not saying that any of the tactics that beat out SEO in the survey are unimportant. In fact, depending on your business’s audience and your objectives, it may even make sense that you’re using those tactics first and foremost.
However, running SEO alongside any or several of those tactics is highly recommended by most digital marketing experts.
Sometimes, it’s really hard to convince the right people that SEO is a necessary investment. It’s much harder to wrap your mind around how exactly it works in comparison with, say, social media marketing or email marketing.
Luckily, digital marketing agencies like Thrive spend time explaining SEO to prospective clients on a daily basis.
We keep real SEO case studies around, ready to help in explaining how it all works. We’ve also worked with many different companies across various industries and may be able to provide real numbers from a company related to your own field. Just ask!
How SEO Brings in More Revenue
According to Clutch’s survey, the number one reason companies invest in digital marketing is to increase their sales and revenue. The second top marketing goal in 2018 was to improve brand awareness, followed by converting leads.
So, when investing in digital marketing, these are the goals that businesses are focused on.
What’s confusing here is that SEO was so far down on the list of tactics businesses are using, yet it’s one of the best ways to go about increasing sales and revenue! Here’s how: