According to a 2012 Webmarketing survey, search-engine optimization (SEO) is the top digital marketing channel for lead generation. The second biggest channel for lead generation among B2B respondents is social media (21%) and pay-per-click (20%). B2C survey participants rated pay-per-click as the second biggest channel for lead generation at 26% followed by social media at 25%. In the past year, 20% more B2C marketers declared that SEO is the channel with the most impact on their business. In addition, 50% more B2B marketers identified social media as having the greatest impact.

The August State of Digital Marketing 2012 Report stated that 84% of B2B marketers and 80% of B2C marketers use SEO. The report stated that SEO is the top objective of B2B, with 98% of these marketers planning on maintaining or increasing their SEO budgets for 2013. A large percent (45%) of B2C marketers stated they were going to increase their SEO budgets for 2013. The most commonly used SEO metrics include: overall volume of traffic (51%), volume of organic traffic (49%), and the number of keywords (47%).

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