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Chart: Search bears fruit

MarketingSherpa has just released a new chart showing how marketers perceive their ROI on organic search and pay per click.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is aimed at attracting desirable traffic to a website by making its listings appear more prominently in organic — or unpaid — search results. With Pay Per Click (PPC), advertisers bid on keywords they predict their target market will use when they search online for a product or service.

Marketing Sherpa chart released June 17 2008

Marketing Sherpa chart released June 17 2008

(A larger version of this chart available at

Sherpa’s key points:

In its analysis, Sherpa reports that:

One-fifth of respondents called SEO their “strongest tactic” for ROI….

Paid search also fared well in this year’s benchmark research. The number of marketers calling it their “strongest tactic” dropped a couple of points, but the percentage designating it as having “good ROI” rose markedly by 7 points (20%).

Take it with a grain of salt

This sort of chart has to be taken with a grain of salt. It’s not revealing actual ROI, after all. It’s revealing what markers think about their tactics’ ROI.

Marketers are under alot of pressure to show good — and improving — ROI.

Still, the findings are notable. In the last 12 months many B2B marketers have been both attracted to and repelled by paid search — attracted because pay per click provides control and metrics that other marketing methods do not; but repelled because the stampede into PPC has caused a sharp rise in bid prices on popular (and even not so popular) keywords.

Worth the work

Many B2B marketers, including yours truly, expected paid search ROI to drop as costs rise. Effective integration of search with other lead generation methods is helping marketers wring more value from search despite rising costs.

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Topics: Performance Lead Generation