Companies are ramping up their investment in local and mobile search as part of an increased commitment to search engine marketing, according to a new survey-based report published today.

The proportion of client-side marketers who say their companies are involved with mobile search has doubled from 8% last year to 16% this year, while a further 45% are planning to invest in mobile search.

A third of agencies (34%) say their clients are typically involved with mobile search, a significant increase from 22% last year.

The UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report 2011, published by Econsultancy in association with digital agency Guava for the fifth year running, is based on a survey of more than 600 client-side advertisers and agencies.

The research found that just under a third of companies (30%) carry out local search, up from 27% last year, while a further 21% are planning to do so.

Agencies report more widespread usage of local search than client-side respondents, with 62% of supply-side respondents saying their clients target by locality. This is a 2% increase from 60% in 2010.

Guava’s SEO Director Teddie Cowell commented: “Local search offers fantastic opportunities for search engines to improve relevancy and for advertisers to better target audiences. Our own internal stats have also shown particularly rapid growth in mobile and alternative devices since Christmas so I’m not surprised the number of companies involved with mobile has doubled.

“But whilst mobile and local search recorded significant growth in the last 12 months, traditional SEO budgets remain buoyant, and the level of buy-in for search within companies has also improved which is nice to see.”

The research found that 14% of companies now spend more than £100,000 on SEO annually, and 3% spend more than £1 million.

Respondents were also asked whether they had increased their pay-per-click (PPC) investment in a range of search engines and web properties over the past year. Two thirds of advertisers (67%) have increased their budget for Google, compared to only 12% who have decreased their investment in this search engine.

Increased investment in Google has come in spite of the fact that 59% of companies and 79% of agencies report that Google keyword prices have gone up in the last year.

The majority of client-side marketers say that, over the last year, their companies have also increased their PPC investment in Facebook (65%), LinkedIn (62%) and YouTube (55%).

Econsultancy’s Research Director Linus Gregoriadis said: “Pay-per-click advertising is increasingly about platforms other than Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Marketers are seeking to adopt an integrated approach to their PPC campaigns across traditional search engines and social media sites.”

The research found that, on average, 22% of marketing budgets are spent on search engine marketing. More than half of client-side marketers say they expect budgets for both SEO (59%) and paid search (53%) to increase in the next year. The equivalent figures for the 2010 survey were 60% for SEO and 52% for paid search.

The proportion of companies planning increases in social media investment jumped significantly in 2010 (compared to 2009) but has fallen slightly this year. Some 63% of companies say they plan to increase social media budgets in 2011, compared to 65% in 2010 and 48% in 2009.

Some 88% of agency respondents said they expect their clients to increase budgets for social media over the coming year, compared to 62% who expect increased budgets for SEO. Just over a third (37%) of agencies said they expect increased paid search spending by clients.

The full Econsultancy / Guava UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmarking Report 2011 is available for download at:

http://econsultancy.com/reports/uk-search-engine-marketing-benchmark-report

Email or call Linus Gregoriadis for a complimentary copy of the report and / or further information.

Email: linus AT econsultancy.com

Tel: + 44 (0) 207 269 1465 or + 44 (0) 7956 5645713.

About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is a digital publishing and training group used by more than 200,000 internet professionals every month.

The company publishes practical and time-saving 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.

Call us to find out more on +44 (0)20 7269 1450 (London) or +1 212 699 3626 (New York).

For additional information or interviews with Guava contact:

Steve Green/Tim Banks

Midnight Communications

(0) 1273 697170 / 07775 677101

www.midnight.co.uk

About Guava

Guava is a performance focused integrated digital marketing agency with offices in the UK, Demark and Sweden.

With a diverse client base including RBS Insurance, Argos and Accor Hotels, Guava delivers a broad spectrum of services from Search Marketing (SEO & Paid Search), Web Development and Analytics, through to Display Advertising, Facebook Marketing and Social Media.

As part of the NetBooster Group, an independent global digital performance marketing agency, Guava is part of an international group of 440 employees across 11 offices across the globe, providing savvy digital marketing campaigns which deliver the very best results regardless of scale, budget or location.

For more information about the search engine marketing services provided by Guava, please contact Martin Dinham on 0870 063 0707 or email uk@guava.com.

Published on: 11:10AM on 13th May 2011