The majority of companies are missing out on marketing opportunities presented by Google+, with only a third of companies (33%) having set up a brand page and over half (56%) having done nothing to adapt their search marketing efforts, according to new research published today.
A survey of marketers found that almost two-thirds (68%) of companies have no idea how Google+, launched last year, affects their search marketing efforts, and only 10% are measuring its impact on their search engine visibility.
However, companies do recognise that Google+ will play an increasingly important role in search marketing, with 44% planning to harness the service for their business in the future.
The sixth annual UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report 2012, published in association with NetBooster, is based on a survey of more than 500 in-house and agency marketers.
Andrew Warren-Payne, Research Analyst at Econsultancy, said: “Google+ results now feature heavily on the search engine results page. With Google making significant moves in this area, companies should look to incorporate Google+ as part of their social and content marketing strategy. Those that do not are likely to miss a significant opportunity.”
Edward Cowell, SEO Director at NetBooster, added: “This last year has been a period of the most rapid and interesting change we've seen in digital and search for a long time. Google+ has finally bridged the divide between search and social as never before.
“As we go ahead, rather than comparing Google+ to Facebook we should see it and the tools it offers as an extension to search marketing.
Going forward, there will be plenty of new ways to engage your audience through Google.”
Despite 76% of companies stating they are involved with social media marketing, three quarters (75%) spend £10,000 or less on social media marketing per year, with 64% allocating none of their social media budget to media spend such as advertising on Facebook.
Despite this low level of spend, more companies have seen increases in referred traffic from social media (79%) than from organic search (64%) or paid search activity (48%). This low level of spending indicates that there is significant room for growth in social media marketing.
The same survey has found that the new Microsoft Yahoo Search Alliance, designed to simplify advertising across both Yahoo and Bing, has failed to stimulate interest in marketers advertising on the platform, with 80% of companies and 83% of agencies stating that the Alliance does not encourage them to spend more money on the platform.
This is illustrated by the proportion of companies who have increased spending on Google or the Alliance search engines; 59% of companies had increased their paid search budget for Google in the previous year, compared to only 21% who had increased spending on either Bing or Yahoo.
-)Companies increase their spending across SEO, paid search and social media. Nearly two-thirds of companies (62%) plan to increase social media spending in the next 12 months. In addition, 57% will increase their SEO spending and 49% will invest more in paid search.
-)Rapid changes within search and social marketing have created a knowledge gap within companies. There has been an increase in the amount of companies reporting a lack of know-how as a key barrier to effective SEO, with numbers rising from 16% to 29% in one year.
-) Many companies are using search marketing to advertise to international markets. More than one in eight companies (13%) run multilingual search campaigns, with almost one in six (15%) running multi territory search campaigns.
-) Companies are not integrating their digital marketing efforts. The majority of companies (57%) are still treating social media and search marketing separately, while only 19% use the same agency to manage search and display campaigns.
The full Econsultancy / NetBooster UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report 2012 is available for download at:
Email or call Econsultancy Research Director Linus Gregoriadis for a complimentary copy of the report and / or further information.
Email: linus AT econsultancy.com
Tel: + 44 (0) 207 269 1465
For further information, images or interviews with NetBooster contact
Stephen Green, Midnight Communications
Email: steve AT midnight.co.uk
+44 (0) 7775 677101
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NetBooster has specialist units across its global group of 450 experts working seamlessly together as one team to offer; Search Engine Marketing (SEO & PPC), Display Advertising, Afﬁliate, Analytics, Data Mining, Social Media, CRM Intelligence, Mobile, Online Video, Website Development, Special Projects, Consultancy and Creatives to clients including Europcar, Accor, Opodo, Argos and Disneyland Resort Paris.
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Published on: 12:16PM on 24th May 2012