C-level executives have become increasingly interested in seeing the tangible metrics tied to business objectives and returns for both paid search and search engine optimization -- but especially SEO, agrees Rob Griffin, Havas Digital director of product development.
Many C-level corporate executives have become more involved in the process around integrating SEO into strategies now that data continues to become an increasingly important factor.
The data can support hits or misses in company financial goals, strengthen relationships with customers, and help to chart a map for product development. A lack of data could result in missed opportunities, which may be the result of more data scientists being hired.
Some 63% of executive teams are more familiar with SEO metrics than a year ago, and 65% said organic search influences revenue strategy today compared with more than 12 months ago, according to a recent survey from Conductor of more than 600 SEO professionals.
Those participating in the Conductor study believe the influence from an increase in headcount and return on investment from campaigns will rise in 2013. In fact, six out of 10 organizations expect to increase SEO headcount in the coming year, according to Conductor.
Setting better performance measurements requires having the correct information and establishing accountability and credibility. Companies are beginning to release more tools to mine data across social and search. At a company conference earlier this week, Conductor released advancements to its SEO enterprise platform, Conductor Searchlight, which allows SEO professionals and brand marketers to collect in-depth search and business data in real-time. The C3 platform now offers predictive SEO, key performance indicator (KPI)-based goal management, and a reporting API.
Companies are slightly more likely this year to increase SEO budgets for services and platforms. In fact, 55% of respondents to this year's Econsultancy and SEMPO survey said they anticipate increasing budgets, compared with 54% in 2011 and 52% in 2010. The proportion of companies carrying out SEO exclusively in-house rose from 51% in 2010 to 56% in 2011. Just more than 15% of respondents said they use an SEO specialist, while the remainder will use an agency, according to the study.