August 02, 2011

Marketing Research Chart: Formalizing SEO processes adds up to large gains

SUMMARY: Organizations that routinely follow a formal process and thorough guidelines for SEO practices and programs reap the biggest benefits in terms of organic traffic conversion rates and lead quality. In this week's chart, see the results from our survey of more than 1,500 search marketers.
by Kaci Bower, Research Analyst

Organic traffic conversion rates and lead quality, by SEO maturity phase

Q. What is your organization's conversion rate for organic traffic?
Q. How would you rate the quality of leads generated from organic search?

View Chart Online

Click here to see a larger, printable version of this chart

Organizations that routinely follow a formal process and thorough guidelines for their SEO practices and programs reap the biggest bottom-line benefits. One example is with conversion rates on organic traffic.

When looking at median conversion rates, Strategic organizations tend to convert 150% more traffic than Trial organizations and 25% more than Transition organizations, or those with informal processes and guidelines for their SEO programs.

Another performance edge is with lead volume. Strategic organizations receive a greater percentage of their total leads from organic search. Additionally, they also find more of these to be of the highest quality, as indicated in this chart, than their counterparts in the other SEO maturity phases. Namely, one in four Strategic organizations states that leads from natural search are of the highest quality compared to just one in 33 Trial organizations.

Although not noted here, organizations in the Trial or Transition phases for SEO performance management each had a percentage of natural search leads deemed "low-quality." In contrast, only organizations in the Strategic phase could declare that all leads from natural search traffic were either of the highest quality or of mixed quality.

These organizations have reached a point in their SEO processes where they have filtered out low-quality leads altogether. By comparison, 16% of Trial organizations and 11% of Transition organizations still contend with low-quality leads.

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.

And to receive more informative charts like this each week, be sure to subscribe to the complimentary Marketing Research Chart of the Week newsletter.

Useful links related to this chart

Webinar Replay -- The Cumulative Effect of SEO Improvements: How a methodical process for SEO pays off in markedly better results

Members Library -- Search Marketing: Capture future seasonal traffic lifts by preparing today with these 4 SEO factors

Members Library -- Adopt a Content Management System that Supports SEO Goals: 5 Tactics to Choose a New Platform

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