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Getting the Most ROI Out of SEO

Social media integration and external link building rank as significant challenges

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most essential digital marketing tactics for both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) companies.

In June 2013, Ascend2 surveyed businesses worldwide, comparing them based on their self-rated SEO performance as either “very successful” or “not successful.” The study found that companies with superior SEO strategies were more likely than those with poor SEO strategies to focus on increasing their traffic conversion rate. By contrast, companies with inferior SEO strategies were more likely to worry about increasing website traffic in general. Companies with stronger SEO performance were also more likely to emphasize increased content development, compared with poorer performing companies.

Looking at how B2C companies overall rated the most effective vs. most difficult SEO tactics, updating website content came out on top as the most important SEO undertaking, cited by 50% of respondents. And most didn’t find this tactic particularly hard to pull off; only 20% rated it as difficult.

Keyword management and creating original content were also deemed highly effective. However, B2C marketers rated creating original content as one of the more difficult SEO tactics to accomplish. Only social media integration and external link building beat out content as more challenging, and less than one-quarter of respondents found these tactics effective.

Blogging and repurposing existing content saw the least interest among B2C marketers as worthwhile tactics.

B2Bs’ ratings of most effective SEO tactics were similar to B2Cs’, as updating website content was No. 1 and original content came in just above keyword management. Optimizing meta tags was less important, cited by 9 percentage points fewer B2Bs than B2Cs.

Blogging and repurposing existing content did not rank especially high among B2Bs, but these tactics still saw more interest than among B2Cs. Along with the emphasis on original and updated content, the findings point to the importance of various forms of content to B2Bs’ SEO efforts.

The greatest number of B2Bs rated external link building as the most difficult SEO tactic, followed by creating original content and then social media integration. Content seems to be at the heart of both B2Bs’ and B2Cs’ SEO successes and challenges.

When it comes to actually deciding how their SEO strategy is performing, nearly half of both B2Bs and B2Cs said conversion rate was the most useful metric, pointing again to how those businesses with the least successful SEO strategies might improve. Website visitor traffic and trend, and search rankings by keyword also saw similarly high levels of interest among both types of companies, cited by about two out of five each.


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