Below is a 3D illustration of marketers’ perceptions of SEO tactics in 2011
As we can see, the most effective SEO tactic for 2011, as judged by the marketers themselves, is Content Creation. It is also perceived to be one of the most difficult tactics to implement, second only to External Link Building. Top examples of good ‘content’ given include Webinars and Whitepapers, which were rated ‘very effective’ by 46% and 40% of marketers, respectively.
A few other staples of the SEO process stand out this year, notably, Keyword Research and the use of Title and Meta Description tags. These are all relatively easy concepts to understand and implement and a necessary part of any SEO strategy.
Competitor Benchmarking is out on its own, perceived as both relatively challenging and only mildly effective. As I would explain it, competitor research is very much part strategic development process. As a standalone activity it won’t generate a return and it is therefore very hard to quantify in terms of effectiveness.
The Sherpas have summarised these findings, reporting that:
“..marketers are now shifting their priorities to inbound marketing efforts like creating effective content through blogs, webinars and whitepapers, improving keyword and key phrase research and optimizing SEO landing pages.”
That said, External Link Building is still among the top most effective – and widely used - tactics, and doesn’t look like it’s going to die out any time soon. (sigh..)
An excerpt of this report is available to view here. If you fancy a bigger bite of the search marketing statistics cake be prepared to whip out your wallet for it.