February 28, 2012

Marketing Research Chart: Consider SEO tactics carefully; degree of difficulty determines success

SUMMARY: A notable 74% of Strategic phase (advanced) organizations employ external link building as a key facet of their SEO efforts, while only 37% of Trial phase firms report utilizing this tactic. Why the disparity?

In this week’s chart, we explore the degree of difficulty of top SEO tactics to see how it might impact deployment. We asked more than 1,500 search marketers the degree of difficulty in terms of time, effort and expense, that marketers report when utilizing top SEO tactics. See this week’s chart for the results.
by Kaci Bower, Senior Research Analyst

Chart: SEO tactics vary widely in degree of execution difficulty

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An organization’s selection of SEO tactics is determined, in part, by the level of difficulty involved in executing them. For example, more than 80% of organizations do not find it difficult to add meta description and title tags. As such, these two tactics are also the second- and third-most widely used.

External link building requires the most time and effort. On a related level, content creation and blogging are two more SEO tactics considered very or somewhat difficult to conduct by a large percentage of organizations. All three of these tactics are interrelated.

Organizations with no process in place for their SEO programs and practices struggle the most with implementing most of these SEO tactics – more than 90% of firms in the Trial phase of SEO maturity struggles with external link building and building SEO into their landing pages.

The longer it takes to execute some of these tactics – not to mention executing them well – the further these organizations may lag in their competitive search rankings.

Digital asset optimization is rated as the most difficult tactic by organizations targeting both business and consumer channels. Attempting to develop – and then optimize – a broad array of digital assets to appeal to these distinctive customer sets is challenging. Each customer set has specific needs and shopping behaviors, so the supporting keywords do not neatly fall into any one category.

Despite the resources at their disposal, large organizations reported finding a number of SEO tactics more difficult to carry out than their counterparts in smaller organizations. Take content creation and blogging, for example, where 83% and 74% (respectively) of large organizations reported difficulty with these tactics.

Larger organizations often have more legal guidelines in place for external communications. These can delay the time it takes to publish an article, video or any of the other multiple forms of useful content.

For additional research data and insights about search engine optimization, download and read the free Executive Summary from the MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition: Research and Insights for Creating and Capitalizing on a Rich End-User Search Experience.

Useful links related to this chart

2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition: Research and Insights for Creating and Capitalizing on a Rich End-User Search Experience

Webinar Replay -- Choosing the Right SEO Tactics for Optimum Results

Marketing Research Chart: SEO tactics used by organizations with and without SEO processes

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