Lee Odden

MarketingSherpa 2012 SEO Benchmark Report

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, SEO

MarketingSherpa SEO GuideOne of the report categories from MarketingSherpa that I’ve been reviewing for a long time, as in 5 or more years, is their coverage of Search Engine Marketing.  In particular, the Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition.  (See last year’s review here).

The sub-title is appropriately a great indication of the theme for this guide: “Research and Insights for Creating and Capitalizing on a Rich End-User Search Experience. This is a far cry from the days of “Boost Your Search Engine Rankings and More!”.  As Online Marketers have matured, there is an increasing focus on optimizing for customers and customer experience vs. the sole KPIs of rankings and traffic.

Authored by Research Analyst Kaci Bower, MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report SEO Edition is broken down into an executive summary that outlines key findings from the survey from which the report is based, 10 chapters on everything from integrating Social Media & SEO to Mobile tactics to SEO Success Stories. There’s also an appendix that includes charts from the research.

If you’re a nut for data, charts and research based insights, this guide is priceless. The section on Planning and Tracking budgets as well as the Agency Perspectives offer helpful information for consultants and of course the SEO Objectives/Tactics, Local, Mobile and  Content Marketing sections offer plenty of tactics and insights for practitioners.

If you read Online Marketing Blog, you know we’ve been promoting the notion of “optimize for customers” over a sole focus on keywords. That perspective blends well with the customer-centric theme of MarketingSherpa’s SEO Report.

Just think about the richness of users search experience today in stark contrast to the bland search results made up mostly of just web pages several years ago. With Google in particular, Universal Search, Personalized Search, Social Search, Instant Search, Local/Mobile, Preview and even the currently suspended Real-Time Search all factor together to  give users what they’re looking for. The diversity of search experience is the basis for the research and recommendations in the 2012 SEO Guide.

One of the interesting insights from the research in this report includes the disconnect between marketers that consider SEO Strategy an important challenge to overcome, but not a a top objective.  That mismatch in priorities can be costly in terms of ineffective prioritization of tactics and inefficient utilization of resources. The real irony is stated in the report, “Interestingly, increasing measurable ROI ranked higher as an objective than developing an actual strategy to do so!”

SEO Strategy

Another key finding concerns the importance of Content Marketing, which was rated  as one of the most effective tactics for SEO but also one of the most difficult to implement. Content has been a hot topic for years, with many SEOs dismissing “content is king” as a whitehat SEO battle cry. But of course, relevant (optimized) content is effective for link building, sharing and certainly for inspiring prospects to become customers.  The SEO Report identifies many other top SEO tactics as well, segmenting by organization SEO maturity and industry.

Content Marketing SEO

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. MarketingSherpa has done a great job at providing data sliced and diced every way you can imagine with this year’s version of the SEO Report.  The survey findings presented according to level of SEO maturity is especially helpful for companies that have been utilizing SEO best practices for some time, but want to continue to advance their progress.

For organizations that are just starting to investigate a more holistic approach to SEO to professionals that want to incorporate SEO best practices in their areas of expertise (like Public Relations, Web Design, Interactive), the 2012 SEO Guide is full of data, examples and insights.

You can get a sneak peek at the Search Marketing Benchmark Report, SEO Edition and more information about the report overall on the MarketingSherpa website (affiliate link).

 

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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 integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. Great report. What would you say are some of the most vital aspects of the upcoming SEO year? (As opposed to a fiscal year…) How do you see 2012 differing from past years in terms of SEO management and usage?

    • Great question Emma. I think 2012 will involve a lot more social, structured data, attention to mobile and tools that integrate SEO and Social Management features.

  2. Anonymous says:

    thanks for sharing . . .
    Lots of the posts on the SEO in 2012 mentioning that more focus on social awareness of website, optimizing website for users and not for search engine. Webmasters have to be more active to not to loose or affect their online business.
    resume website

  3. thanks for this post, great reading and great charts.

  4. Thanks for this article, great content. As for my part, this year I will be emphazing on Google+ alot more. Definitly SEO since 2011 and further more this year will be a social network strategy.

  5. Brenn Almario says:

    I’m applying this info to one of my projects and im still waiting for results though, Wish to have great results for this 🙂

  6. Seo Master says:

    The report is really good especially stating not just the content but the content must be optimize. With Google trying to dominate all area’s of the search it is always important to know the end’s and out of google’s search progression. Overall great post on the benchmark of Seo I been working on a blog if you have some spare time please come to seoblogmaster.com and comment on what you think about it

  7. Seo Master says:

    The report is really good especially stating not just the content but the content must be optimize. With Google trying to dominate all area’s of the search it is always important to know the end’s and out of google’s search progression. Overall great post on the benchmark of Seo I been working on a blog if you have some spare time please come to seoblogmaster.com and comment on what you think about it

  8. Thanks a lot for sharing this article. Social media sites definitely play a great role to increase the popularity of a website.

  9. sudha madhavi says:

    I agree with your view on “content marketing”… however with all the
    panda updates and the changes in algorithms how will that effect the
    social strategy for seo?

    http://see-seo-tips.blogspot.in/

  10. Elsaker Killer says:

    It is great. Thank you so much. The information is very useful…

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  11. another great tips from you. SEO is a great help in
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  13. toprankblog.com/2011/08/marketingsherpa-2012-seo-benchmark-report 

  14.  Really Thanks for SEO Tips. In 2011, Well I believe that there were many changes made to Google algo that has paved the way for a fresh importance on unique content.

  15. I can help notice that SEO is not as important as it used to be. Now it is all about content. Unique, updated and useful content.
    Maybe lazy spammers and lovers of ctrl-c are going to have to get real job and let hard workers get a bigger piece of the internet pie.

  16. Thanks for the SEO tips.  Nice write-up.

  17. sarmista says:

    Excellent blog! thanks for sharing such a valuable blog with us.