Lee Odden

2009 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide

MarketingSherpa 2008 SEM Benchmark Guide

For the 5th year in a row, MarketingSherpa has published their Search Marketing Benchmark Guide which has been completely re-written and edited including results from the Marketing Sherpa members search marketing survey, other studies performed over the last 12 months and “best of” research provided by over 50 respected sources.

The SEM Benchmark Guide is helpful for marketers looking to get a handle on the state of the SEM industry, trends, strategies and tactics.

If you’re a data enthusiast, there are 215 charts, tables and eyetracking heatmaps to help illustrate what’s happening in search marketing and what companies need to be paying attention to. There are also several good case studies. This particular edition is formatted into 5 sections:

  1. Budgeting and Search – Covers budgeting in a down economy as well as differences by industry.
  2. Tactics of Search – Geotargeting, local and mobile as well as using search marketing as a branding tool all involve unique tactics explained right here.
  3. Search Providers Explored – Outside of the Google Universe, there are markets (like China) as well as verticals involving search that warrant exploration.
  4. Measuring and Testing – Search growth may be slowing but with the right measuring and testing, companies are continuing to see formidable returns.
  5. Search Benchmarks – A list of all the fundamental metrics of search marketing fully updated.

The dominance of Google, emerging opportunities in China, mobile and local as well as the demystification of Search Engine Optimization are all covered in the updated SEM Guide. All the data, examples and how to’s are a good enough reason to get this guide but here are 5 takeaways that I thought were particularly insightful:

  • Budgeting for search is a strategy unto itself
  • Search advertising affects brand metrics
  • Physical location of searchers is important for relevant results
  • Analytics makes inroads; Google leading the charge
  • Having analytics is not the same as understanding analytics

For many consultants, the price tag will seem hefty at $397 but there is more actionable data in this report, the biggest ever, than most companies will use in a year. Check it out yourself over at MarketingSherpa.

Just out of curiosity, do you prefer mini-reviews like this one or something longer and more substantial?

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

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. Yes, I would prefer something more substantial than a mini-review. As information products become more expensive, and the sheer volume of products increases, it is more incumbent to know more about a product before investing time and money in it; especially in this down economy.

  2. This looks like the most comprehensive search engine marketing guide available with so many research info. I am going to grab a copy!

  3. Avatar Anthony Bloch says

    I like something more substantial. I love reading, so I don’t mind a lengthier review. It’s also a way to read an expert’s point of view on a subject.

  4. It appears to be a comprehensive guide on search engine marketing being backed by research and info . Though i personally prefer it the review is short and concise as it makes the reading interesting but do not mind reading something that worth every look.

  5. Sounds like a great product to pass along to clients, thanks!

  6. Wow this looks like a great product. With something like this, we’d probably enjoy a lengthier review. Certain products need bigger coverage!

  7. Thanks you for letting us know about this excellent resource. I downloaded the Executive Summary, and looking at that alone gives great insight with what’s available in the guide.
    Cheers, Ads

  8. Yeah, a longer, more substantial review would be better 🙂