British firms will spend a quarter more on search advertising this year than last, a new report released by E-consultancy predicts.

The online marketing maestros have published their Search Engine Marketing Buyer’s Guide, which forecasts search marketing spending will increase by 24% this year.

It asserts that, despite the possibility of a recession hitting ad spend, firms will keep upping their search marketing budgets.

This year, E-consultancy anticipates companies will dedicate £2.7 billion to search engine promotions.

Of that, it estimates £2.42 billion will go on paid tactics, while £330 million will be spent on search engine optimisation.

I do not find this surprising. Both tactics have pros and cons but search marketing is easily measurable and that is why it is so commonly used.

Obviously, firms like to be able to measure their return on investment – that is how marketers justify their spending and, to be frank, existence to their bosses.

Yet a company is missing out on a vast potential revenue stream if it does not use SEO as well as pay per click.

I think it is very important for a firm to explore every avenue when raising its online profile. An effective online marketing campaign uses every possible method of putting its name in front of potential customers.

Once the growth in online marketing spend starts to slow, I believe money spent on organic SEO will rise, long after paid search spending stalls.

There will be a period where companies recognise that organic tactics are less measurable and harder to achieve but essential if they are to truly beat the competition.

Kevin Gibbons is Director of Search for