Conductor-Econsultancy study finds 62% of search marketers are currently using or researching a SEO Technology Platform in the next 12 months.

New York, NY March 8, 2011 – The importance of SEO as central to content and business strategy has become evident, according to results released today in Econsultancy’s (http://econsultancy.com) latest report, SEO Trends: Issues and Opportunities. The report, presented in association with Conductor (http://www.conductor.com), details results of the SEO Trends Survey, including finding 78% of respondents describe SEO metrics as being more important influencers of strategy than they were a year ago.

“Every indication is that SEO is only becoming more important for marketers,” says Stefan Tornquist, Research Director-US, Econsultancy. “SEO is the lynchpin of strategies that increasingly hinge on successful inbound marketing. Every year, companies are spending more on the practice itself, as well as on the tools to better understand and manage it.”

“We are delighted to partner with Econsultancy on this report,” says Seth Dotterer, Senior Director of Marketing at Conductor. “The survey results and this report provide compelling insight into the move to metrics and technology and shed light on the rapid maturation of the SEO industry that is happening right before our eyes.”

Key Conclusions and Findings: Trends in SEO report
• The need for SEO metrics and analysis has outpaced many organizations’ ability to fulfill on it: 43% of the organizations sampled reported tracking conversion rate rarely or never; the same is true for 44% when it comes to return on investment.
• However, the priority of understanding SEO and expressing its value is there. Tracking the long-term impact of page changes is the sample’s top SEO goal (62%), but that’s followed closely by “combining SEO with business metrics” (57%) and “generating SEO metrics that are meaningful to others in the org” (50%).
• One factor that complicates analysis is the near constant growth in volume of keywords that organizations are managing. Over 60% of respondents report a rise in their keyword totals, with most of those seeing increases of more than 25%. One quarter of the sample are managing at least 50% more keywords than they were just a year ago.
• Slowly but steadily, organizations are increasing their investment to meet SEO goals. 65% of organizations expect an increase in their SEO budget in 2011. While just over a quarter expect a static budget, only 7% anticipate a decrease. Staffing is the top line item at an average of 42%, followed by content creation at 28%.
• For many marketers, automation provides one avenue toward improved information gathering and analysis, as well as better managed scale. Of the capabilities that were suggested to them, 64% of respondents described “automated analysis & recommendations of specific page alterations to increase rankings” to be “very valuable.” A majority also valued the automation of common SEO program elements like keyword rank tracking, competitor keyword discovery and keyword category management.
• The need to improve or expand SEO programs is driving an interest in automation. 20% of respondents are currently employing some level of automation technology, with another 18% having a specific plan for implementation. Of those who aren’t already using an SEO automation solution, 55% are taking steps in 2011 to evaluate or implement one.

About The SEO Trends Survey

This report is based on findings from an online survey conducted by Econsultancy in December of 2010. Invitations to the survey were sent by email to selected lists of marketers and dispersed through social media channels.
The final sample was limited to the 352 respondents matching the following criteria:
• IP address located in North America
• Self-identified as being a client-side marketer
• Self-identified as having a search engine optimization program

* COMPANY REVENUE SIZE: 70% of respondents were from companies with less than $50 million in revenue; 21% were from companies with revenue between $50 million and $1 billion; and 9% were from companies with more than $1 billion in revenue.

* TARGET MARKETS: Asked which markets represented 25% or more of their annual revenue, 54% of respondents reported it coming from the B2C market; 34% said both SMBs and large B2B markets, 15% reported driving 25%+ revenue from the public sector. 3% reported a mix of “Other” companies.

* LEVEL OF SEO PROGRAM: 48% of respondents reported a “basic” SEO program (“we optimize a few pages, build links to our site, measure traffic from SEO”), 27% reported “medium” (“we optimize at the template level, practice link building at the keyword level, track ROI from SEO and tie SEO to business outcomes”), 17% reported “advanced (“we optimize at the category level, measure campaign specific ROI, have a formal taxonomy”) and 8% reported outsourcing their SEO to an agency or professional.

View the full report at:
http://ecly.co/i93Xzo

About Econsultancy
Econsultancy is a digital publishing and training group that is used by more than 200,000 Internet professionals every month. The company publishes practical and timesaving research to help marketers make better decisions about the digital environment, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers. Econsultancy has offices in New York and London, and hosts more than 100 events every year in the US and UK. Many of the world's most famous brands use Econsultancy to educate and train their staff, including Google, Yahoo, Dell, BBC, BT, Shell, Vodafone, Virgin Atlantic, Barclays, Deloitte, T-Mobile and Estée Lauder. For more information, visit http://www.econsultancy.com.

About Conductor
Conductor is the undisputed leader in SEO technology, having twice created dramatic shifts in how SEO technology is marketed. The company created the first enterprise SaaS SEO technology solution, Conductor Searchlight, which has become the most widely adopted SEO platform. Searchlight is the de-facto solution for marketers to scale and manage natural search like any other successful marketing program, monitor their competitive market share and continually improve their SEO programs. Conductor’s launch of the SEO Cloud has enabled marketers across many disciplines to leverage natural search visibility throughout their online marketing mix. Companies such as Monster.com, Siemens, Toys “R” Us, Autodesk and GE rely on the company's technology solutions and expert team to continually measure and improve their natural search traffic and revenue.

The company’s revenue, customer success and engineering teams are based in New York City. Conductor was recently voted as one of Crain's Best Places to Work in NY for the second year running and was named as the 13th fastest growing software company in Inc. magazine’s latest rankings.

http://www.conductor.com

@conductor

Press Contact:
Seth Dotterer
Conductor
212.542.5147
sdotterer@conductor.com

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Published on: 2:00PM on 8th March 2011