Marketers Don't Understand SEO, Report Suggests

Some 83% of businesses think their digital marketing efforts are effective in helping them achieve their goals, but 44% name SEO as their least popular digital marketing channel.

Clutch polled about 500 digital marketers at companies with at least 100 employees. Revenue ranged from less than $50 million to more than $500 million.

Apparently, there is a knowledge gap between understanding the full potential of SEO and actually using the digital media.

Marketers say they use digital channels, but the top six channels are far from search. At 81%, the top digital channel is social media, followed by websites at 78%, email at 69%, display and banner ads at 55%, mobile apps at 53%, and content marketing at 53%.

Many businesses are not aware of the benefits that SEO offers. A lack of awareness about how SEO functions and the fact that the media does not provide immediate results are two of the top reasons that SEO is a less popular digital marketing channel.



Some 28% of marketers participating in the survey say they use digital marketing in their business to increase sales and revenue -- so attribution, or the lack of knowledge about attribution (any type), -- also becomes a major concern.

Overall, the top five digital marketing goals for 2018 are to increase sales and revenue at 28%, followed by improving brand awareness at 19%, converting leads at 15%, standing out from competitors at 13%, and increasing website traffic at 11%.

Of course, a company’s digital marketing goals vary with business size. Some 21% of marketers at companies that have between 101 and 500 employees say their digital marketing goal is to improve brand awareness, compared with 22% of marketers at companies that have between 501 and 5,000 employees. Only 14% of marketers at companies with 5,000 or more employees said they felt the same way.

Marketers at companies with 5,000 or more employees are more concerned with standing out from the competition, at 21%. From there, the percentage drops to 12% for marketers at companies that have between 501 and 5,000 employees and 7% for those at companies with between 101 and 500 employees.

This column was previously published in the Search Insider on August 1, 2018.

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