Why It’s an Exciting Time for Search in the Enterprise
A while ago, Mavenlink.com released an infographic that pretty much showed how businesses are increasing their efforts on SEO. That was a result of a survey of marketers and business owners over the past year. It was good news for us in the search industry because it meant we could still put food on the table. More importantly, what does it have to do with you?
Now I am not going to explain every statistic in the infographic because most of them are pretty self-explanatory. However, there are some important trends I need to point out, and to explain their significance to startups and small businesses.
66% of marketers say their budgets have grown.
SEO is often called a race, though it is more often a marathon than a sprint. A constant effort is needed if you want to stay ahead of the competition at the rankings. As more businesses understand how search engine optimization can directly affect bottom lines, more of them are willing to invest more in SEO efforts. If you remain stagnant, or have not even started optimizing your website for search, you will stand to lose out.
Getting visibility on organic search is a great way to attract new visitors to your site. Although I would not stress search rankings as the most important contributor of traffic, it is still evident that you will get significantly less views the lower you are ranked on search results pages. Rankings are constantly changing, and you cannot rest on your laurels just because you are ranked top for your targeted keyword. If your rivals are revving up their SEO efforts, what are YOU doing to counter that?
Search is getting its own department, with increased headcount.
46% reported that SEO is under the jurisdiction of the Marketing department. 16% surveyed said that Search has its own department – and the number is climbing FAST. The number of people devoted to SEO is also increasing, and 60% of those polled said they are expecting to increase further.
Do you have a designated team member for search optimization? Does your webmaster have SEO knowledge, and is able to do on page optimization at the very least? Do you have a regular blogger to churn out quality content and who understands keyword targeting? Do you have time to do outreach and networking to build relationships with your peers, customers, and the online community?
I hope you can answer Yes to those, because they are essential to the longevity and success of a website.
63% of executives feel that their familiarity with SEO has increased.
Business leaders are feeling compelled to understand more about SEO. It makes perfect sense. If something can contribute directly to your company’s sales, wouldn’t you want to know how to improve it? If you are still in the state of mind of “I have heard of it, but I’m not sure how it can help”, please check out some SEO Blogs to get a little education 🙂
As a business owner, you also need to know whether your Search team is using the right methods to implement SEO. Are they putting the brand of the company first when they do manual outreaching? Are your external SEO consultants using black hat techniques instead of using white hat methods?
65% Agree that SEO has a role in the bottom line.
While optimizing for search may not bring significant advantages for every business in every industry, there is no denying that it will play a part most of the time. As more businesses shift online, and even brick and mortar shops understand the need for an online presence, it just shows the importance of getting search visibility.
SEO has been shown to give good ROI numbers, moreover, it can bring other intangible benefits other than revenue. For startups and small businesses that might not be able to compete in terms of brand recognition on the streets, solidifying their brand online with search dominance is a good alternative.
The Future Of SEO
SEO will take a greater role in a company’s activities than ever before. These are the top 5 search goals for marketers in 2013. Content developmental strategy is becoming a big part of SEO because of the rise of content marketing. As usual, keyword targeting is still a big focus in optimization efforts. There is also increased emphasis on social media – whether it is social media marketing or using Google+ to gain an upper hand on SERPS. Including these goals into your search strategy would be a good idea.
As you can see, you can no longer neglect Search Engine Optimization as part of your business development and marketing strategy. More businesses will invest in SEO as it gains prominence and the advantages it brings become more measurable. Startups have greater adaptability than big companies, and you should use that advantage to make sure you can keep up with the changes in the SEO landscape. If you do not stay ahead of the game, your competitors are more than willing to overtake you.
What are your search goals for 2013? How are you planning to increase your SEO efforts and stay ahead of the competition? Sound off in the comments below!