Report: Companies Will Spend $65 Billion On SEO In 2016

Businesses in 2016 will spend an estimated $613 billion for digital-marketing services worldwide, triple what was spent in 2008 when Borrell Associates began tracking the data. A recent report takes a look at where that money goes.

Borrell estimates brands and agencies in the United States will shell out $65.26 billion this year for search engine optimization (SEO) services, rising to $72.02 billion in 2018 and $79.27 billion by 2020.

Smaller, locally directed businesses will spend more than two-thirds of the total. Most larger companies have developed SEO-dedicated internal staffs.

In the U.S. about $1.49 billion will go toward site visitor analysis, which is one of the more interesting investments. While there are many variations of visitor analysis, it’s important to know who has visited the site, how and when they got to the site, and what they looked at while there. 



Google, Alexa and many others provide marketers with this information.

Site visitor analysis is important because it provides both leads and opt-in list members. By 2020, Borrell forecasts site visitor analysis spending will more than triple to $4.66 billion, as more mobile- and social-oriented tools become available.

Borrell projects that companies in the U.S. will spend more than $790 million for blog development this year. Blog development spending will reach its peak in 2016, drop to $700 million by 2018.

By the end of this decade, it is forecast to decline more than 40%, compared with this year, in favor of a shift toward video formats.

Other investments include $6.61 billion toward listing claims and $410 million toward email list purchases, which will continue to decline. Borrell forecasts other listing mechanisms will become more widely used, such as visitor site analysis and opt-in list management among them, email list purchase will fade. By 2020, spending will have fallen more than 80% from current levels.

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