State of search engine marketing report: social media tactics and ROI are key topics

The Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) just released its latest report on the state of search engine marketing.

Reportedly, 1,472 responses were used to publish the findings in the report. One of the key findings in this report revealed just how powerful Google is as a search engine with 97% of the responding companies claiming that they paid to advertise via Google AdWords.

Google is well aware of this and the majority of responses concluded that they had to pay more for Google services than they did in 2009.

With other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing, the price increases were the minority, noted in 32% and 29% of responses, respectively.

The impact (and end?) of the economic recession

Many market analysts pointed the economic recession in the United States as the primary reason for the slump that the marketing environment experienced during 2009. However, as concluded by the report, the market began to come back in late 2009 and the momentum has carried over into the early part of 2010.

According to the outgoing President of Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization, Sara Holoubek, the market should continue to flourish this year with a projected double-digit growth in percentage.

One of the most important conclusions of this study was what challenges would face web site and marketing firms in 2010.

ROI and social media

SEMPO concluded that finding appropriate techniques that could be used to measure returns on investments (ROI) would be the most difficult task for marketing entities. However, analysts of this report also concluded that this problem could actually result in marked organic growth in budgetary requirements of marketing campaigns.

Finally, the 2010 SEMPO report also found that one of the key factors in successful marketing for companies this year would be the use of social networking and media web sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Results concluded that the biggest opportunities in vast returns on investment were delegated to such social media tactics. Of course, we will look into this more in detail in later posts.

Some trends to watch in 2010

The SEMPO report also revealed some of the rising trends in 2010 that could be significant through the end of the year. The study found that around 49% of companies were turning to search engine marketing tactics in favor of print based techniques.

In addition, 36% were found to have allocated more of their marketing budget to email techniques than regular postal mail. Finally, 24% were found to be reallocating budgets away from conference and exhibit techniques and reapplying the money to search engine marketing and email marketing.

Growth in the marketing industry (search engines) is expected to increase by 14% by the end of the year. In 2009, the estimated money spent on search engine marketing was $14.7 billion. By 2011, this number should increase to $16.6 billion.

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