According to a recent report published by Guava and EConsultancy, companies are continuing to invest in search marketing despite the downward spiralling economy as both paid and natural search channels continue to generate results.
The report states that Search engine optimisation (SEO or natural search) is the most favourable medium for companies to be most likely to invest more money, with 55% of respondents expecting an increase in their budgets this year. Just under a third of respondents (31%) say that SEO spending will stay the same and only 6% say there will be decreased investment.
The third annual UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report (comprised of a survey of more than 800 company and agency digital marketers) provides an in depth overview of the search marketing landscape, and also includes research about the use of social media.
Social media website, Twitter, has shown exceptional growth since last year. Last year only 3% of responding organisations said that they were using Twitter in their marketing strategy, compared to an overwhelming 49% this year. However Facebook continues to dominate in the social media sector with 65% of companies using it as a part of their marketing efforts.
The SEM report also found that almost half of company respondents report that SEO return on investment (ROI) has gone up in the last year. For paid search, 43% report that ROI has increased compared to 15% who say that it has decreased.
Despite heavy competition from Yahoo, MSN and the relatively new Facebook channel, Google remains the king of search engine marketing. A staggering 85% of responding companies utilise the search engine for paid search while 94% of agencies say their clients typically pay to advertise on Google.