Press Releases

New Research from Conductor Identifies the Characteristics of Successful Natural Search Marketers, Shows How to Double Search Traffic and Revenues

September 20, 2013

Conductor, the market leader in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technology, today announced the findings of a new research report that seeks to identify the characteristics and bottom-line advantages of successful SEOs. The findings were shared with leading C-level executives, marketers, advertisers, publishers, agencies, SEO professionals and content strategists attending the Conductor Collaboration Conference (C³) in New York City. The annual gathering has become a premier event for the digital marketing industry and for best-in-class SEOs looking to hone their skills and gain the practical knowledge needed to connect with key audiences in new and more meaningful ways.

In just a few short years, search marketing has skyrocketed, both in terms of its importance to brand visibility and customer acquisition, but also in creating a new profession of marketing employees with a unique skill-set that is in high demanded. Six months ago there were 750,000 SEO professionals worldwide. Today there are more than one million with 25,000 open requisitions on LinkedIn. By identifying the behaviors, strategies and approaches that generate natural search success, Conductor hopes to offer SEOs, at every level, a playbook for improvement and long-term success.

Conductor surveyed, researched and conducted follow-up interviews with nearly 400 enterprise SEO marketers from a cross-section of industries to identify what characteristics separate best-in-class SEOs from other professionals engaged in search marketing activities. The research findings offer SEO professionals a benchmark for evaluating their performance, improving internal processes and deploying industry best practices as demonstrated by best-in-class SEOs.

Key research findings follow:

  • Instrumental in Content Creation from the Start: Best-in-class SEOs are three times more likely to be involved at the beginning (as opposed to the end) of their organization’s content creation process. They recognize the importance of relevant, link-worthy content to search success and have solidified support from across the organization – content creators, IT, PR, product marketing, etc.
  • Robust Reporting and Technology Usage is Commonplace: Laggards are three times more likely to do basic reporting only, e.g., basic rank tracking, while best-in-class SEOs engage in advanced reporting techniques such as data mash-ups and keyword segmentation. 70 percent of these best-in-class SEOs use advanced SEO technology to automate reporting, extend natural search insight and integrate data from disparate sources.
    Strong Organizational Voice: Best-in-class SEOs are twice as likely to cite executive and organizational evangelism as critical to their natural search success. As a result, these professionals are twice as likely to have executive buy-in on programs and budget compared to their non-best-in-class counterparts.
  • Know How to Win Budget and Headcount: Budget and headcount matter when it comes to SEO success in the organization, but they are not the sole factors in determining success. Only 43 percent of best-in-class SEOs have more than 10 percent of their organization’s overall marketing budget allocated to SEO, compared to 18 percent of those characterized as non-best-in-class. The David can become the Goliath by embracing key best-in-class attributes and achieving initial success with content, reporting and evangelism. By demonstrating SEO success, individual SEOs can earn the budget and executive buy-in to take their natural search to the next level.

“The research findings are clear: there are distinct ways in which best-in-class SEOs produce content, report on search metrics and evangelize within their organizations,” said Nathan Safran, Director of Research at Conductor. “We hope this research gives individual SEOs the practical knowledge needed to advance their careers and make search the centerpiece of their marketing activities.”

To view the complete research findings, go to