Regalix Unveils Its Annual “State of Search Marketing Report 2014”

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Regalix announces the release of its latest report "State of Search Marketing 2014" which explores the current practices and standards followed by B2B professionals in order to understand the state of search marketing as it stands today.

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Search is a foundational channel within the marketing mix and it plays a crucial role in making purchase decisions. For any marketer, it is obviously profitable to adopt a cost-effective marketing strategy.

The year 2013 was marked by updates that have altered search marketing irreversibly. Post-hummingbird, marketers are forced to think of organic search in a whole new light – with practice such as link-building taking a backseat and SEO becoming more content-centric than ever before. Social signals are being taken seriously by brands.

How are B2B marketers coping with these changes? What strategies do they use to maximize their success with search marketing? All this and more is explored in the latest report by Regalix which explores the current practices and standards followed by B2B professionals in order to understand the state of search marketing as it stands today.

The top findings of the report include:

  •     56% marketers integrate content marketing with search engine optimization
  •     61% marketers use responsive web design as a part of their mobile SEO
  •     76% marketers use social media to support and boost SEO
  •     71% marketers use broad-based information keywords to capture leads at the top of the purchase funnel
  •     47% of B2B marketers believe that growth of mobile ads and mobile content is not significant to them
  •     96% marketers use search engine marketing to provide informational/educational content
  •     68% marketers use paid search to accelerate lead generation

Nimish Vohra, Senior Vice President, Regalix says, “Search is a foundational channel within the marketing mix and it plays a crucial role in making purchase decisions. For any marketer, it is obviously profitable to adopt a cost-effective marketing strategy.” He further adds that, “Marketers today are forced to re-think and reinvent strategies for paid search, with the increased usage of mobile devices and hence mobile ad formats.”

Detailed Findings

Detailed findings of the report include an analysis of marketers’ goals for using organic and paid search and various tactics used to effectively attain those goals.

Paid Search

  •     The survey found that paid search marketing is being used at the top of the purchase funnel, majorly for enhancing lead generation.
  •     68% of marketers use paid search to accelerate lead generation, while 63% of marketers use it to sell products and services online.
  •     Marketers use a variety of tactics for lead generation as a part of paid search marketing. The majority, around 71% of marketers use broad-based information keywords to capture prospects at the top of the funnel.
  •     61% of marketers reported using “exact match” and “negative keywords” to avoid appropriate/irrelevant clicks

Organic Search

  •     The survey found that the top three goals for search engine marketing are providing educational/informative content (96%), establishing oneself as a thought leader (86%) and enhancing brand reputation and awareness reported by 83% marketers surveyed
  •     95% of marketers were found using search engine marketing for promoting satisfaction and inducing loyalty among their existing customers.

Mapping Keywords to purchase funnel stages

It was demonstrated in the survey that Search Engine Optimization is used by marketers to advance prospects and buyers through the purchase cycle and is not directed to any one stage in the purchase funnel. However, different keywords are used to target prospects/buyers at different stages:

Awareness: The survey found that 76% of marketers use generic informational keywords to enhance awareness around brands, products and services and direct prospects to their site.

Consideration: 52% of marketers use keywords directing prospects to comparison pages on site to help prospects compare their solution with their competitors. 43% of marketers also use keywords illustrating specific features such as cost, benefits etc.

Intent: Only 15% of marketers use special offers or discounts to provide them with the necessary push to make a purchasing decision. 46% of marketers use the same keywords directing prospects to comparison sites.

Purchase: The survey demonstrated that 50% of marketers use keywords indicating discounts or special offers to induce purchase.

Consumption: It was found that only 9% of marketers make use of keywords that direct prospects to blog posts easing the consumption process.

Satisfaction: 19% of marketers use keywords that direct buyers to blog posts that create a positive impression in the minds of their customers, hence leaving them content and satisfied with their purchase.

Engage: 53% of marketers use keywords that direct to blogs where buyers can engage with the brand directly.

Repurchase: 25% of marketers use keywords with special discounts and offers to existing customers to make them purchase more and keep returning to the brand.

Budget Apportionment

Content Marketing was found to be most tightly integrated with search engine optimization. With SEO becoming more content-centric, it was found that 42% of marketers apportion 20 to 40% of their budgets towards content marketing. Less than 20% of budgets are apportioned towards display, paid and organic search.

The survey also found that organic search marketing will see increased investment this year, while at the same time paid search will see reduced investment. 48% of marketers reported that that they will increase investment in search engine marketing by 10 to 30% in 2014 while 80% of marketers indicated a reduction in paid spends by 10%.

Metrics and Measurement

The survey found that the top three metrics for gauging PPC campaigns’ performance are directly related to conversion rates.

  •     84% of marketers were found using conversion rates to measure the success of PPC campaigns, 72% were using the number of leads and 50% of marketers cost per click metrics to determine the return on PPC investments.
  •     When it comes to organic search marketing, 92% marketers were found using site traffic metrics to determine the success or failure of search engine optimization efforts. Since SEO is used to target prospects/buyers during each stage of the buying cycle, marketers also use conversion metrics to determine its performance.

Overview

The survey was conducted by Regalix Inc, and respondents included CMOs and mid-level marketing professionals from leading B2B companies.

The State of Search Marketing 2014 was compiled using the survey results and covers the latest search marketing trends, tactics, metrics and challenges faced by B2B marketers in today’s dynamic market environment.

To download the complete report, please visit http://bit.ly/T9n8go.

Supporting Resources
Read more about search marketing at http://www.regalix.com/by_regalix/insights/articles/.

About Regalix:
Regalix is an award-winning Global Innovation company that leverages technology and marketing to help companies grow. They create successful ventures with clients through co-innovation and idea-driven frameworks, that inspire companies to think differently. Founded in 1998, Regalix is based in Palo Alto. For over a decade, we have provided complete marketing services – Social, Mobile, Content, Multi-channel Campaigns, Technology Development, and Analytics – to companies such as CA Technologies, Citi, Apple, eBay, Cisco, VMWare, NetApp, Cypress, LSI, Keynote, and MetricStream. For more information, please visit http://www.regalix.com.

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Annie Gupta
Regalix
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