Three Times More Marketers See Higher ROI From Search Engine Optimization Than From Pay Per Click Advertising According To iProspect and JupiterResearch Study

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New market research also uncovers that 45% of search engine marketers canÂ?t determine whether SEO or PPC generates a higher ROI.

According to new market research published today by iProspect, The Original® Search Engine Marketing Firm, 35% of organizations that outsource their natural search engine optimization and also participate in pay per click advertising – and can measure the ROI of each – recognize a higher return from SEO. This compares to just 11% of marketers from the same universe who report that PPC produces higher ROI.

The iProspect Outsourced SEO Metrics & ROI Study also discovered that one out of two marketers who outsource their natural search engine optimization, and who also participate in pay per click advertising, cannot determine which of the two search channels produces a higher ROI.

Other high-level findings include:

  • 1 out of 7 search marketers measure the overall ROI of their combined SEO and PPC campaigns, but cannot separate the individual ROI of the two different channels.
  • 42% of search marketers who outsource BOTH the management of their SEO and the PPC campaigns, find that search engine optimization produces a higher ROI.

“Three times as many marketers who outsource the management of their natural search engine optimization and also participate in pay per click advertising recognize a higher ROI from SEO than from PPC, said iProspect President, Robert Murray. “Clearly, there's something to be learned from that.” He continued, “I don't think sophisticated marketers, and those familiar with the escalation of bid prices in the PPC marketplace, will be surprised by the finding that SEO produces higher ROI. However, novice search engine marketers may be.”

Murray explained, “For those new to the search engine marketing space, it would seem logical to conclude that based upon the vast number of marketers participating in pay per click advertising that it would be a more lucrative channel than natural search engine optimization – which is known to involve a lot more work. But, the numbers speak for themselves.”

The study also revealed that 45% of marketers who participate in both natural search engine optimization and pay per click advertising cannot determine whether SEO or PPC provides a higher ROI.

“The fact that organizations continue to invest in search engine optimization and pay per click advertising without being able to measure the ROI of each is alarming,” said iProspect's Director of Algorithmic Search, Dr. Naga Krothapalli. “And it has important implications. Most importantly, if an organization cannot determine the ROI of a medium, how can they justify continued investment in the channel, to say nothing of increasing that investment?”

About the Survey and Methodology

JupiterResearch surveyed search engine marketers and agencies. Respondents were targeted by familiarity with their company's search engine marketing efforts and screened for involvement with marketing their company's products or those of clients. A total of 636 qualified search engine marketers and 224 qualified search engine marketing agencies completed the survey. Respondents received an email invitation to participate in the survey, with an attached URL linked to the Web-based survey form. As an incentive, respondents were entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win a $50 gift certificate.

In this survey effort, JupiterResearch worked with its sister company JupiterWeb on the technical tasks of sample building and survey fielding. JupiterWeb properties include more than 150 Web sites and over 150 email newsletters that are viewed by 20 million unique users and generate over 275 million page views monthly, thus enabling JupiterResearch to survey hard-to-reach audiences.

Proper attribution requires that the study is clearly identified as the “iProspect Outsourced SEO Metrics & ROI Study." Copies of the study can be obtained at

About iProspect

iProspect® is the Original® Search Engine Marketing Firm. The company helps many of the world's most successful brands maximize their online marketing ROI through natural search engine optimization, paid inclusion management as a Yahoo! Search Submit Certified Ambassador, pay per click advertising management via their own patent-pending bid management agent called iSEBA™, and Web analytics through their own SEM-configured version of WebTrends™. Located in Watertown, Massachusetts, the company can be contacted at 1-800-522-1152, or by visiting

Questions regarding this release should be directed to iProspect Media Relations Manager, Colleen Reed, at 1-800-522-1152 x1203

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