Marketers will spend 52% more on search engine optimization (SEO) by 2018 in local markets. In fact, one in every $10 spent on digital marketing services will go toward SEO, per Corey Elliott, research director at Borrell Associates, which focuses on local media.
Digital services, defined as more than SEO, will be among the leading categories attracting the greatest investment for the next few years. Elliott shared findings from Borrell's latest research at the Search Insider Summit Monday. He said not all sectors of what the data and analyst firm lumps into SEO will grow. Blog development, email list purchases, and email management are forecast to slow.
Local search has become one force contributing to the 657% increase in application development, 446% growth of online video production, and 610% growth in mobile media management.
Creating a Web presence, online marketing support, online ad production, online publishing relations, online consulting and research will take $708 billion, per Elliott.
Among the forces that could impact these projections are aggressive media companies selling SEO with 95% of their front-line salespeople; other players like Web.com, VistaPrint, Hubspot; and a large number of SMBs buying and up-selling services. The evolving nature of search could also influence the numbers, along with changes from Bing and Google's algorithms Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird
Factors that will influence the projections include aggressive media companies selling SEO with 95% of the front-line sales people, companies like large number of SMBs buying and up-selling services, search, and search engines changing the rules of the game.
Elliott said local paid search will peak this year, then decline by 32% during the next four years, as more budgets are invested in SEO services. Advertising is only one piece, and promotions are another.