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SEMPO Survey: SEO More Popular than Paid Search

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Here are highlights from SEMPO’s 2005 Annual State of Search Survey, or as I heard Dana Todd call it at SES Chicago, “the SEMPO Big Ass Survey”.

  • SEM was a $5.75 billion industry in North America in 2005, and will grow to $11.1 billion in 2010
  • Brand awareness is advertisers’ top objective for SEM programs, particularly large firms
  • Organic SEO is the most popular form of SEM, with 4 out of 5 advertisers using this method, with paid placement a close second at 76%
  • ROI is in line with inflation: Four out of five advertisers say they could afford to pay a mild increase in the price of paid placement, while of advertisers and all agencies report moderate price hikes this year.
  • SEM is poaching budget from other marketing channels for the vast majority of advertisers – especially from affiliate marketing and web site development.
  • Senior executives consider SEM a high business priority with almost half of advertiser respondents (47%) saying that senior management at their companies were “very involved” in SEM programs, especially among companies with fewer than 500 employees
  • Most advertisers plan to manage the majority of their SEM spending in-house in 2006. SEM agencies may see a decline in business as a result.
  • The full report will become available early 2006, first to SEMPO members and then the general public. Here are results from the 2004 State of Search Marketing survey.

    Lee Odden is President and Founder of
    TopRank Online Marketing, specializing in organic SEO, blog
    marketing and online public relations. He’s been cited as a search
    marketing expert by publications including U.S. News & World Report and
    The Economist and has implemented successful search marketing programs
    with top BtoB companies of all sizes. Odden shares his marketing
    expertise at Online Marketing Blog offering
    daily news, interviews and best practices.

    SEMPO Survey: SEO More Popular than Paid Search
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    About Lee Odden
    Lee Odden is CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing and public relations firm in Minnesota that specializes in search, social and online PR consulting and training for companies worldwide. Odden has been cited for his internet marketing expertise over the past 10 years by the Economist, Forbes and U.S. News and contributed a chapter to the book, "Online Marketing Heroes" published by Wiley. For the past 5 years he has also been the editor of TopRank's Online Marketing Blog, a Technorati 100 favorite blog and one of the top marketing blogs according to Advertising Age. WebProNews Writer
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