SEO Report Analyzes Budgets, Challenges, Strategies

While 45% of enterprise-level companies invest more than $20,000 a month to optimize search, about 18% allocate less than $1,000 a month, according to recent data.

How much companies spend varies quite a bit. A report titled The State of Enterprise SEO in 2017 — published by seoClarity and partners North Star Inbound, and BuzzStream — estimates that 8.9% of enterprise companies, defined as having more than 500 employees, spend between $10,000 and $20,000 monthly; 19.1% spend between $5,000 and $10,000; 14.4% spend between $2,500 and $5,000; and 12.7% spend between $1,000 and $2,500.

In addition to annual budgets, the report's findings analyze what is working, what's not, and how enterprise SEO teams prepare for the future. 

The survey of 240 SEO professionals found that technical SEO is where most companies put their resources. Content development follows, along with traffic analysis and link building.

The value of link-building is undisputed, but survey respondents overwhelmingly described it as the most difficult SEO strategy to execute, per the study. Yet despite the difficulty of earning links from high-authority sources, 85% of survey respondents said they are maintaining or increasing their link-building budgets this year.

Content development and keyword research have become the most pressing SEO issues.

On average, 40% of companies cite content development as the most pressing issue in 2017.

Some 45.5% of marketers at enterprise companies with more than 500 employees cite content development as the most pressing issue, compared with nearly 42% of medium-sized companies with between 101 and 500 employees.

About 41.3% of small companies with 100 or less employees cite link building as the No. 1 challenge, with content building coming in at No. 2.

A whopping 96% of marketers at companies ranging from small to large cite keyword research and topics as the two decisive factors, but agencies and in-house SEOs differ on whether to put more emphasis on national or local keyword strategies.

While demonstrating the return on investment and securing SEO talent are both an obstacle for in-house and agency SEO specialists across the board, it seems that a greater number of employees on the team and a bigger budget reap a greater degree of success.

In some cases, however, larger teams are typically the result of companies making SEO a company-wide priority, rather than marketing departments focused on more dedicated specialists.  

Most in-house SEO teams have between two and five employees or members, regardless of whether the business has fewer than 100 employees or more than 1,000.

Page speed and indexing content are also technical concerns for SEO teams, with nearly 87% acknowledging that they scramble to become fully mobile-responsive before the rollout of Google’s mobile-first search index.  

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