SUMMARY: We asked more than 1,500 search marketers about the effectiveness of their top SEO tactics. More than half of CMOs report that content creation is a very effective tactic to improve their SEO rankings. Keyword research was close behind, with 43% finding this strategy very effective. View this week’s chart for more results.
Unique and well-written content gives search engine spiders something to index, and supports the search engine’s goal of providing the most relevant results in response to a query.
Relevance, in the eyes of the searcher, is content that deals with the questions they ask – and even other questions before they ask them. For these reasons and more, good content is the backbone of any website.
Among other SEO tactics, effectiveness varies significantly, particularly when parsed by maturity level. One example is keyword research. Transition organizations are just 55% as likely as Strategic organizations to consider this tactic to be very effective. The cumulative impact of finding greater success with these tactics creates a widening performance gap.
Organizations in the Strategic phase understand the interplay between these SEO tactics and know how to exploit the synergies. For this reason, Strategic organizations clearly find more success with all tactics than organizations that do not have formalized guidelines and processes in place for their SEO programs.
We also looked at SEO tactic effectiveness by organizational size. Organizations with more than 1,000 employees find great benefit in crafting SEO landing pages. These are not mass-generated and nearly identical pages.
Rather, SEO landing pages are simply top search entry pages which have been carefully crafted to lead visitors to a desired action. These pages help customers click through, instead of clicking back. In using these, organizations can more successfully convert Web visitors.
More than half of large organizations use XML sitemaps. These organizations find them to be very effective in helping search bots crawl a site more quickly, thereby discovering and indexing more pages.
For additional research data and insights about search engine optimization, download and read the free Executive Summary from the MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition: Research and Insights for Creating and Capitalizing on a Rich End-User Search Experience.