Despite a steady stream of changes and often volatile shifts in ranking/position, the state of the search marketing industry remains strong.
According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization's (SEMPO) 10th State of the Industry report, which surveyed more than 500 digital marketers and agencies about their online marketing activities across digital channels, search engine optimization (SEO) is the most prevalent marketing activity for 94 percent of individual marketers/clients and 92 percent of agencies - significantly higher than when the survey was conducted in 2013.
Search-based advertising is also top of mind with today's enterprises, with 84 percent of agencies/consultants and 83 percent of marketers/clients indicating they run paid campaigns.
What's interesting about the report is that it reveals marketers are gradually diversifying their digital efforts. In relation to social media, for example, 65 percent of marketers and 66 percent of agencies managed social media (with Facebook Ads and Facebook Promoted Posts garnering the most use).
Email also remains an important channel and is used regularly by digital marketers. What stands out in the report, however, is the intense focus the digital business world places on all things SEO. While it remains one of the most effective channels, the practice of search engine optimization can be challenging.
Respondents to the SEMPO report revealed the most significant challenge is managing the ROI of SEO efforts, staying abreast of search engines' indexing algorithms and technology, as well as optimizing destination pages. With so much competition, and the degree and volume of change in the way search engines return sites, enterprises are actively seeking solutions that can provide a surer way to accelerate their SEO success.
In this month's edition of Website Magazine's Top 50, readers will find many of the leading software solutions to support SEO initiatives on any scale. While this is not a comprehensive list by any means, it will serve marketers and agencies well as they pursue solutions to enhance effort and performance.
Digital Power Players
Get a preview of Website Magazine's upcoming 2016 Digital Power Player Awards at wsm.co/powerplay16.