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The unstoppable rise of digital marketing has changed the advertising landscape forever, with finding the right PPC and SEO agency now just as important for businesses as sourcing top-quality creative.

A recent study by a major search marketing firm has suggested that a whopping 79% of their clients who regularly put money into digital ads are also investing in SEO, confirming what most in the industry have known for ages – reaching, and staying at, the top of Google’s organic rankings has become a priority for many, even if they’re already spending big bucks on PPC.

Read on to learn more about the research, what it showed and what else we can take from the findings.

The study and its results

The study’s results were gathered in a survey that was sent out to hundreds of businesses, all of which spend at least a portion of their marketing budgets on online advertising. The businesses that took part varied widely in size – from sole traders upwards – so we can be confident that the findings give a relatively accurate reflection of the cross-section of advertisers currently out there.

The companies involved were asked questions on many different topics and trends, ranging from Facebook to video ads, so there was no bias in favour of SEO. Nevertheless, improving their Google rankings was conclusively cited as more important for businesses than other advertising methods, including mediums like email marketing, event marketing and direct mail.

Plenty of other non-SEO-related results were also collated in the study, which focused on how advertisers are planning to attract more customers in 2019. Here are a few of the more interesting stats that came out of the research:

Over a quarter of advertisers plan to spend more on Instagram this year.

40% of advertisers say that a lack of time is their biggest obstacle to growth.

Nearly half of advertisers plan to spend more on Google PPC and display ads this year.

 If you want to read all the results, you can do so by clicking here.

Why SEO has become so important

Ten years ago, search engine optimisation was, to most, something of a niche ‘dark art’ – not many people had heard of it, and even fewer understood it. These days, almost every modern business owner will at least be familiar with the concept of SEO, even if keeping on top of all the Google algorithm changes remains an uphill struggle for everyone except the experts…such as the talented team here at Bluesoup!

So, why has SEO now become such a mainstream part of the marketing mix? The answer is simple: get it right and it can be hugely profitable. In the formative years of internet advertising, SEO was often held back by mismanaged expectations; clients expected instant results and, in their eagerness to sell packages, some agencies were too keen to promise the Earth.

Today, however, the tide finally seems to be turning, with businesses and SEOs alike realising that achieving success in this unique area of marketing is all about playing the long game. Now that clients have woken up to the fact that PPC is a good way of securing quick wins, whilst SEO works best when thought of as an ongoing project, the medium is now truly coming into its own. As the researchers themselves put it: ‘kudos to those surveyed for recognising the importance of balancing short-term results with a long-term strategy for sustainable growth’.

What else are advertisers investing in?

As a full-service advertising agency, we understand that, whilst this study has reinforced how vital it is to have a well-rounded approach to SEO, climbing the search rankings is just one of many goals that an ambitious business needs to have in 2019. The research we discussed above also revealed which other paid and organic avenues companies are going down in order to boost their revenue, and we’ve summarised the most important takeaways below:

90% of advertisers plan to maintain or increase their Google PPC spend this year.

Around 50% of advertisers plan to maintain or increase their Bing PPC spend this year.

75% of advertisers plan to maintain or increase their Facebook ad spend this year.

Over 50% of advertisers plan to maintain or increase their display ad spend this year.

Other than SEO, email marketing is the most popular non-paid marketing channel, with 66% of advertisers investing in it.

Content marketing is also used by 60% of advertisers, whilst 47% still employ more traditional word-of-mouth marketing techniques.

If you’ve been staying up to date with what’s been happening in the ever-changing world of digital marketing over the last couple of years, you’ll know that data is becoming increasingly influential, with finding out who visits your website and what they do whilst there offering insights that can help you target the right people and refine your advertising strategy. It’s no wonder, therefore, that a massive 95% of advertisers questioned said they regularly use Google Analytics as part of their ‘marketing stack’; to put the ubiquity of GA into context, the next most commonly-used piece of software was MailChimp (an email marketing platform), which is used by just 33% of respondents. There’s no doubt about it – these days, data is king.

Arrange your free SEO audit today!

According to this study, around half of digital advertisers do all their online marketing in-house. If you fall into this category and have tried your hand at SEO but are struggling to get the results you need, why not get in touch with the talented team at Bluesoup? We’ve been helping all sorts of businesses achieve their goals for over 10 years so you can trust us when we say we know what we’re talking about.

And, in case you needed any more persuasion, we will also be happy to offer you an audit that will highlight some areas where your onsite SEO could be improved and what can be done to make this happen – and the best part is that it’s absolutely free! Click here to contact us today.