SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, has released its latest research report (conducted by Radar Research, LLC and Intellisurvey) which gives a great overview of the state of the search engine marketing industry and prospects for the year ahead. Though most of the findings were to be expected, some surprises were brought to light.
Some of the key highlights are provided below:
- U.S and Canadian SEM industry has grown from $4 billion to $5.75 billion in the last 12 months.
- The Marketing Split:
- Paid placement or PPC (pay-per-click) accounts for 83% of this spend ($4.77 billion)
- SEO accounts for 11% of this spend ($643 million)
- Paid inclusion accounts for only 4% ($246 million)
- SEMPO predicts that the search marketing industry in North America will grow to $11 billion by 2010.
- The report reinforced that Google and Yahoo! are still the dominant search engines in the industry with 95% of search marketers advertising in Google and 65% with Yahoo!
- 46% of search marketers are running campaigns with Google AdSense and Yahoo! Search Content Match, while 38% engage Yahoo!’s paid inclusion program.
- Even though MSN are new to the space, almost 30% of advertisers suggest they are running campaigns on its search engine.
Search Marketer’s Goals for 2006:
- 62% said branding was their primary search marketing objective.
- 60% suggested that selling products was still a key goal.
- Larger firms were more interested in generating leads and traffic for their websites, whereas smaller to medium firms were more focused on sales as the objective.
- Considering these aims for the year ahead, apparently less than 24% actually track the impact of their online branding efforts, however the ROI focus is still prominent within the search marketing area with:
- 80% tracking website traffic
- 74% measuring conversion
- 69% measuring click-through
All in all some interesting findings, and even if the figures might be slightly skewed by the sample group, overall the trends aren’t surprising and the prospects look fantastic for 2006. For more info on the research, visit SEMPO.