SEO-PRO Advanced Internet Marketing

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SEO-PRO // Advanced Internet Marketing

Sunday, January 11, 2009

SEO Industry - Market Overview

Recently I've experienced a significant increase in SEO consulting enquiries. This is common in the SEO industry at the moment despite the economic/financial difficulties around the world. Many people have pointed out that certain businesses do well in recessions like pawnbrokers and poundshops. People stick to reliable investments, so gold ahead of hedge funds and SEO over other forms of online marketing.

This same effect was experienced by several other SEOs that attended a recent E-Consultancy event in London. Seomoz's Rand Fishkin has also commented on this.

So why are people interested in SEO now more than ever? And how is SEO ROI more effective than other online marketing forms?

High growth potential
How many websites do you know that are perfectly optimised for SEO? There is nearly always room to improve your business website to benefit from natural search. Although SEO is rarely a quick fix, as a long term online marketing solution, SEO is probably going to be cheaper and help other channels more than any other form of digital marketing. A well designed website will convert better than a badly designed one, and good SEO means good design. The benefit of following this best practice will also work for traffic referred to the site from other channels, like display, PPC and Affiliates, so the benefits are multiplied.

SEO has great Return On Investment
SEO can often be one of the hardest working channels available. While the work needed to bring in well targeted traffic can be difficult and time consuming, the work you've done will continue to reap rewards long after completion. This helps improve any ROI SEO is responsible for.

SEO Industry market overview and predictions for 2009
There are the usual sensationalist comments about the death of the industry but these tend to be linkbait articles designed to attract attention and get a bit of new traffic. SEO will be big in 2009 for 2 reasons, the general interest in the subject and the economic factors that will put pressure on budgets and less proven marketing channels.

Interest in SEO
There are fewer stigmas attached to SEO these days. Online marketing people understand it’s not a dark art, but a respected profession with skilled workers. There tends to be more people with basic knowledge of SEO too. The increase in average knowledge and greater level of skill in the industry will improve the level of competition.

-Personally I’ve witnessed an increase in consulting enquiries, job offers and general interest.
-Overall there is a growth in interest (Google Trends) especially when compared with PPC and online marketing.
-SEOmoz has reported an increase in activity on its SEO job board.
-All this confirms that businesses are interested in SEO and the potential to generate traffic at a much lower cost

Economic factors
Traditional high spenders (credit cards, banks and retailers) are pulling back online marketing spend. This opens up great deals on real estate across the web, lowering the cost of display advertising. This gives many businesses the option of starting a relatively cheap display campaign.

The other online channels need to prove their value; otherwise they risk having budgets cut. Natural search traffic will go through to a site prior to SEO work being done. As there is no direct cost to this traffic, it is essentially free. This free traffic means “SEO” is credited with generating traffic before investment, putting it ahead of Display, PPC or affiliates before there is any direct outlay.

Growth in experimental media like mobile and social media will be limited as budgets are concentrated on channels with proven ROI. Search is predicted to grow 17% [NMA 2008] despite tough market conditions.

The future of SEO
SEO will be a healthy industry to work in during 2009. With economic factors putting pressure on online marketing budgets, SEO will prove a cost effective method of online marketing in 2009.