How Agencies Approach Search Engine Marketing

Advertising, marketing and public relations agencies know the importance of implementing search strategy for their clients, but do they employ similar strategies to work toward their own business goals?

lonelybrand surveyed over 300 top agency executives to find out how they use search engine marketing for agency lead generation.

Organic search

First we asked whether these agencies have an organic search strategy in place for their own business development purposes. Surprisingly, only 27% said yes.

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Among the 27% who do employ search engine optimization at their agency, we wanted to know who actually executes the process. We found that 40% said that they have an internal person under their instruction who implements SEO. 22% said another executive spearheads the efforts, and 14% of the surveyed executives said they execute the strategy themselves.

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Among the agencies that use SEO, how often is content actually optimized? Most executives said that their agency’s web content is optimized on either a weekly or monthly basis. 22% of respondents said they were unsure how often content is optimized, indicating that someone else on their team is probably responsible for the details, perhaps even a B2B SEO consultant.

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Paid search

We also wanted to know how agencies approach paid search for their own benefit. We found that agencies are more likely to turn to paid search than organic search; 35% of agencies use paid search to generate leads, versus only 27% who employ organic search strategy.

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Getting into the details of paid search, we wanted to know just how much agencies are willing to spend on search. It looks like most of the agencies who do use paid search strategy pay somewhere under $6999 per month. A small margin of agencies (7%) spend between $7000 and $9999 per month.

Finally we took a look at which tools agencies are using for paid search placement. Not surprisingly, most (73%) use Google AdWords, while others rely on Yahoo Advertising, Microsoft AdCenter or an outside agency or B2B SEO consultant.

What does it all mean?

Overall, a fairly small margin of agencies are employing a paid or organic search strategy for their own business development. In 2012 search remains a largely uncompetitive space for advertising, marketing and public relations agencies.

Interested in beefing up your agency’s search strategy? Check out these comprehensive resources: