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Over 50% of Companies Plan to Increase Search Budgets for Measurable ROI

by Ollie Vaughan | 24.04.2009
google big yahoo smallThe annual UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report, which surveyed 800 client companies, agencies and search consultants, has found that 55% of companies intend to increase natural search budgets and just under half (45%) will up paid search investment this year as they look for measurable ROI in difficult economic times.

Covering the Report, NMA had this to say:

“Some 48% reported better returns on natural search (optimisation) campaigns and 43% claim greater ROI on paid search (pay-per-click). However, 15% reported decreasing effectiveness for paid search compared to just 6% for natural.

The report, conducted by Econsultancy in association with search company Guava, found more companies were tracking ROI effectively than last year – 45% of respondents who used paid search campaigns and 35% using natural.

Linus Gregoriadis, research director at Econsultancy, said, “It’s encouraging to see a large proportion of companies still increasing budgets for both paid and natural search. It shows they’re better at measuring returns for search, and that’s good at a time when budgets are being cut.”

The report also revealed the end of Google’s Best Practice Funding had little effect on the market, with just 5% of companies reporting a negative impact since 1 January. However, 15% of respondents said Google’s trademark bidding policy had had a negative impact on ROI.

Unsurprisingly Google remained the behemoth for paid search, with 85% using the search engine, well ahead of Yahoo (44%)  and Microsoft Live (30%). Yahoo took the biggest hit year on year, with 5% fewer companies using it for paid search.

Mobile search remained static, with just 5% of companies investing in mobile search listings. Despite 23% of respondents planning to invest in mobile search this year, more than two-thirds (37%) said mobile isn’t on the radar yet and a further 32% have no plans to use mobile search.

“Mobile search represents a huge opportunity for companies as there’s no one really doing it,” said Gregoriadis.

The report also revealed huge growth in investment in social media, which 65% of companies saying it’s used as part of the marketing mix. Twitter was used for marketing by 49% of respondents, compared to just 3% a year ago.”

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