Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Most SEO Friendly Industries

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Reader Polls

reader poll

A participant of the DMA Search Engine Marketing Certification program emailed me with some feedback about the program (very positive) and also posed a question about what industries need the least amount of education about search marketing. What industries are hiring in particular? Which I thought was a great question.

Many search marketing and interactive marketing agencies focus on certain vertical categories, so I don’t think you’d get too many consistent answers. However, if a hundred more different agencies, in-house marketers and consultants participated in such a survey, I think we’d get some pretty interesting data. And that leads me to this week’s reader poll:

What industries are most search marketing savvy?

  • Internet (26%, 34 Votes)
  • Real Estate (14%, 19 Votes)
  • Computer Hardware/Software (14%, 18 Votes)
  • Financial Services (8%, 10 Votes)
  • Insurance (5%, 7 Votes)
  • Entertainment (5%, 7 Votes)
  • Retail (5%, 6 Votes)
  • Media (5%, 6 Votes)
  • Automotive (4%, 5 Votes)
  • Drugs (4%, 5 Votes)
  • Transportation (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Consumer Products (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Banking (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Electronics (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Health Services (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Utilities (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Telecommunications (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Aerospace and Defense (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Wholesale (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Manufacturing (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Food and Beverage (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Energy (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Chemicals (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 133

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You’ll notice I left PPC industries out, as in “pills, porn and casino”. We already know those industries are highly SEO friendly and I’m leaving them out because I can. 🙂

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. You didn’t leave out pills…you have drugs there…

  2. It is very clever to invite folks to this poll via myBlogLog messages. Now that’s a cool idea for a mailing list which can be targeted, like SU, to user interests. I hope Lee shares analytic anecdotes regarding the tactic of driving traffic from MBL. 🙂

    We voted for “Internet” because Internet companies at least know what they don’t know. It’s a characteristic the of SEM trade, which certainly falls under the Internet category.

  3. Hi Lee

    My answer was internet, but it was somewhat biased because I haven’t dealt with some of the industries listed.

    Why not follow up this post with another poll: Which is the least search marketing savvy?

    Both savvy and non savvy clients pose different challenges for an agency.


  4. Hello Reuben, no need of poll. Least search marketing savvy industry is my industry. “Real Estate”!

  5. Jill, um yeah. Good call. I guess I’m just leaving out PC then. 🙂

  6. I am not sure that Internet should have been included because it’s almost a given. After all, the Internet is the reason for needing good SEO, right?

    If the question were “What industry is best suited for SEO?”, I would say health services because those sites often contain lots of well formatted content and all they need is a little tweaking and a bit of link juice (well, lots of link juice).

    Happy 4th!

    – OldSchool

  7. I am disappointed in MyBlogLog for allowing mass spamming. Usually it’s the “Make Money @ Home Crowd” that mine MBL so.

    Some people need to take a break, live a little and quit pressing so hard!

  8. Agree with Anthony… umm… what’s your thought there Lee? Isn’t Internet going to reach the top of the list by default?

  9. I was way out! Interesting poll.

    I believe two of the most lucrative markets are also the least savvy and fall for every scam merchant out there

    Auto Dealers and Realtors

    If I ran a scam I could make a lot of money from these two niche markets

    I am # 1 on Goog for Auto Dealers SEO (and variations) but trying to sell to an Auto Dealer is like talking in Sesame Street terms – and they still don’t get it…

    I have decided to sell the site http://www.automodo.com if anyone’s interested…… 704.947.8048

  10. Your poll seems to be missing the most savvy industry. Adult.

  11. 2 EZ – internet, naturally – I got it right

  12. I left internet out of it… seems a bit of a cop out.

    Insurance all the way.

  13. The poll leads me to believe even more so that Real Estate Agents and Auto Dealers are big losers here….

    With Real Estate Agents I have been building high ranking blogs and then flipping them to the more “savvy Realtor”

    Seems to be the only way to give them a good deal without cheating…

  14. Lee,

    Great way to leverage your MyBlogLog community. I wish you could allow for multiple choices–are you using Survey Gizmo?

  15. Go Health Industry

  16. Hard call Lee, I think lots are ‘getting it’ these days, some more than others, multiple choice would have been good 🙂

  17. I agree Rob and Tom, multiple choice would have been better. The poll plugin we use doesn’t support that though. If Survey Gizmo is a WP plugin, I’ll certainly check it out.

  18. Mike, I just noticed the feature in MBL that allows you to send a single message to an entire community today and decided to test it.

    I’m not so sure joining a community and then getting an email from the community site qualifies as spamming, but if it does in your book I am sorry about that.

    Part of the value of being a part in the TopRankBlog MBL community is participation in reader polls from time to time. If getting a ping about that kind of participation is of no interest to you, then the TopRankBlog MBL community might not be a good fit.

  19. Duly noted: Internet should be excluded for better representation of other industries and no drugs next time.

  20. Lee, Not that you need it, but I’ll back you up on the spam issue. Sending a one time message to a community of which you are apart of that serves a common goal, shouldn’t be considered spam. Wikipedia uses the word “indiscriminately” to describe spam, and your message is very specific and delivered to a specific group of people with whom you have an established relationship, albeit via an electronic forum.

    Don’t ask why I get on these tangents, but as a professional marketing who uses email, I am very quick to correct those who don’t understand what does and does not qualify as spam as I have been falsely accused of spam on occasion. Truth be told, I have helped draft anti-spam legislation, so that would be quite the irony for me to turn around and spam.

    ok, back to my holiday workload 🙂

  21. Great angle using MBL.

  22. Lee –

    How about adding hospitality?

  23. Isn’t the Adult industry the most search engine aware? I have ran across entire legions of marketers looking at every creative way to get into search engines.

  24. Agree with Kent, how about hospitality/travel industry?

  25. The hospitality and travel industry is extremely open to SeoThink. We work with a number of large independent hotels who are committed to having the same level of analytic transparency as the larger “Flag” hotel chain corporations. Health and hospitals seem further behind for the most part. As a rule it seems to get harder the harsher the regulatory environment.

  26. To me is also travel missing

  27. Where’s Travel?!?

    I don’t know any SEO company without at least one of the following sector clients active at all times:
    Financial Services (Loans and Insurance)
    Auto/Car Dealer

    I’m leaving P/P/C off that list because not all companies I know will take those clients, but all the ones that take them have them, of course.

    Travel was the first sector that I ever got so many poorly thought-out requests for help with that I resorted to email filtering, not P/P/C. That was still back in the ’90s, and its not gotten any less active.

    I think ‘Health and Beauty’ may also make the list of almost every SEO company too, even excluding the ‘Adult’ sector of that vertical.

  28. Ah, the misfortune of a flawed poll. I really appreciate the feedback though, because this question/poll will return in our upcoming TopRank Search Marketing Survey.


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