Marketers will spend more on search marketing although it is becoming increasingly challenging to measure campaign returns. To ease the pain, many will make investments in conversion rate optimization. In fact, 64% of marketers responding to a survey spearheaded by Econsultancy, with digital marketing agency Latitute, admit that they have had trouble with measuring return on investment, and 60% said they would increase budgets to purchase the technology they need.
Only 44% of marketers said their company can measure paid-search ROI effectively -- down from 53% in 2013, per the eighth annual U.K. Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report 2014, based on responses from 700 marketers. This trend is even more evident for SEO -- with only 31% of companies saying they can measure organic search ROI effectively, down from 45% a year ago. Keyword data not provided trend is the No. 2 greatest obstacle to SEO success, after lack of internal resource.
The findings show that 55% of companies said they will increase budgets for search engine optimization during the next year, up from 51% in 2013. Some 58% of companies participating in the survey will increase paid-search budgets this year, up from 55% in 2013. Paid search now takes 26% of the total marketing budget, compared with 24% in 2013.
While some organizations are dedicating more resources toward improving their analytics capabilities, only 39% plan to invest in analytics. Survey results, however, show that marketers have learned how to integrate media. About 60% of marketers said their company's SEO activities and content strategy are integrated.
Budgetary upticks also belong to social media, but 63% plan to spend no more than £10,000 this year, and 46% expect to increase budgets by 20%.
Some 74% of companies are paying to advertise on Facebook as part of their marketing strategy. About 37% are paying to advertise on Twitter, and 37% on LinkedIn.
Display advertising budgets also continue to rise. The research reveals 67% of respondents will spend more than £10,000 this year; and 9%, more than £1 million on display advertising.