A new report was recently published from Hotwire that surveyed 300 senior decision makers at some significant companies. The study looked at how companies are budgeting their marketing dollars for their businesses. The most surprising statistic is that 79% of all the marketers surveyed reported that they don’t budget any money at all for their SEO efforts.
Given the fact that it is hard to go more than a few minutes without hearing about how important SEO can be for effective marketing, this came as something of a surprise. The report suggests that most marketers are spending their budgets on paid advertising such as display ads and PPC.
The reasoning often given for this is that paid advertising is much more predictable. Most companies, especially those that have larger marketing budgets, like to have a predictable return on investment for their marketing dollars. With proper analysis, most companies can confidently predict that for every X amount of dollars they spend on paid digital marketing they will make Y dollars back. This can leave very little room for a less predictable item like SEO.
Problems with SEO
When you look at SEO from a simple budgeting point of view, there are several reasons why many marketers are hesitant to invest in this area. The following are some key issues that need to be overcome in order to justify spending money on SEO:
- Long Term Investment – No matter what the latest so called SEO expert says, you can’t have effective SEO done in just a few days or even weeks. SEO is a long term game and can take weeks or months to get any real results.
- Constantly Changing – Even if you invest money into SEO today, Google or the other search engines can make a change tomorrow that will render your efforts ineffective. This is why it is so important to only focus on ‘white hat’ SEO strategies no matter how effective the latest SEO fad seems to be.
- Questionable SEO Industry – The SEO industry is filled with people who claim to be experts but are really little more than people who are looking to make a quick buck. You can see this on sites like Fiverr and others where everyone claims to be able to produce high quality results almost overnight.
Is SEO worth the Investment
This study really brings into question whether or not it is a good investment to spend money on SEO. Clearly most marketers who responded to this survey do not think that it is. When done properly, however, it can produce some very lucrative long term results that anyone would be happy to have. As a marketer, it is your job to evaluate whether or not these long term results can justify investing your marketing budget into this area. Personally I think the long term benefits of proper SEO warrants at least a modest investment into this area