Efficiencies in SEO Give Rise to Opportunity

Marketing Sherpa recently circulated a chart on the effectiveness, engagement level and perception of effort by SEO tactic of the B2B marketer.

The data showed:

  • On page content optimization is still the key tactic for SEO professionals–it was rated the most effective of all tactics and was among the most widely utilized, while in the middle of the pack in effort required.
  • Keyword research was among the most widely utilized tactics but was not as effective as on page content optimization.
  • Social Media was rated as less than half as effective a tactic as on page content optimization and was utilized about half as much.
  • New Content Development: Developing new content was rated high on the effectiveness scale but required significant effort.  Likewise, link building and blogging were rated as high effort, while achieving poorer returns than other activities.

Notably, the data shows *very* few B2B marketers are doing real competitive research.  This is likely a reflection of prioritization: on the online marketer’s long ‘to do’ list there are other activities that directly impact visibility that are prioritized higher.  This may represent an opportunity for marketers who can gain deep insight into their competitive landscape and expose opportunity their competitors are not aware of.

Looking at the chart more closely, the format lends itself to the conclusion that any tactic where marketers can realize efficiencies (move down the effort-required axis) theoretically frees them to do more of that tactic or give attention to previously underutilized and often more effective tactics.  While I am toeing the self promotional line given Conductor’s Searchlight SEO platform, the emergence of several SEO technology platforms over the last 18 months give the marketer the opportunity to achieve efficiencies with tactics like on page content optimization, competitive research and meta data/title tag optimization.  Theory is often misaligned with practice but these efficiencies should free the marketer to reallocate some of that time to other high value tactics.

Any time marketers can achieve efficiencies with SEO tactics it frees them to do more of that tactic or give attention to previously underutilized and often more effective tactics.

Search Marketers: how do these conclusions line up with your day to day life?

-Nathan Safran
Senior Research Analyst

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