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The BrightEdge 2014 Search Marketer Survey report is here! This year, we surveyed SEO practitioners from 8,500+ global brands in December 2013 and January 2014 to compile research in the areas of content and content budgets; rank and ranking variables; data integration and technology providers; and much more. We’ve compiled a few of the highlights here.

To download the full report, check out this link.

Search Marketer Survey Data: Top 10 Takeaways

The world of SEO was rocked in 2013, with more Google Panda and Penguin updates; a release of “Hummingbird,” the Google search engine's updated infrastructure; the Google Knowledge Graph expanding to include “Carousel” results; and, of course, Google's secure search announcement.

In light of the changes we saw in 2013, this year’s research highlighted the following takeaways:

  1. Connecting your content efforts to ROI is at the top of the agenda
  2. The Web page is the center of the new content and SEO universe
  3. Rank still matters, and is the stepping stone for page-level success
  4. Tracking and measuring mobile rank across all devices is a must
  5. Data and analytics are the key source of truth
  6. All data is relevant and connected
  7. Integrated SEO and content starts with optimizing at the author level
  8. To be successful, you need to innovate ahead of the curve
  9. Focusing on content accelerates career growth
  10. SEO is now embedded in the content marketing process

These takeaways are aligned with the SEO industry’s new creed, the “Secure Search Manifesto,” which outlines the principles that the SEO community need today. You can get a copy of that here.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the survey data.

Content

Seventy-eight percent of SEOs say connecting content efforts to ROI will be “more” or “much more” important in 2014. The next step then, is for those marketers to make this goal tangible, and our search marketer survey respondents agreed.

In fact, 93 percent of SEOs said they would increase content budgets by at least 10 percent this year if they could identify what content is the most effective for engaging their audience.  If content is a priority for you in 2014, you’re in good hands with BrightEdge!

Our content-centric data allow you to understand how your content is driving business value.

Rank

Tracking where pages rank in the search results is ever more complex when so many factors are at play, including rank in various areas like Universal Search results, Google’s Knowledge Graph and Carousel results.

That’s likely why 95 percent of search marketer survey respondents said gaining access to accurate rank data in 2014 is important.  

Speaking of Carousel results, are you part of the 44 percent of SEOs who reported that Carousel results were served for keywords in their industry? If so, you may also side with the 72 percent who reported that measuring rank on those results will be more important for them in 2014.

Good news: BrightEdge is committed to giving our customers real insight into their true rank across all types of search results. With our blended rank technology, our platform is the first and only of its kind to provide this level of information.

Technology Providers

In order for brands to succeed today online, it’s vital they have access to reliable data that provides actionable insight. Marketers agree. Of the search marketer survey responders, the majority said that when choosing a technology provider, key aspects included a provider that had a global customer base, a provider that was led by accomplished software veterans, and a provider backed by reputable investors.  

Marketers also wanted their technology providers to innovate on a regular basis according to Brightedge's search marketer survey. Sixty-four percent said monthly product innovations that kept up with the changes in search was going to be important in 2014.  

Here at BrightEdge, we work hard to stay ahead of the curve. In fact, every five weeks, BrightEdge releases a slew of new functionality, improving on our software on a quarterly basis by understanding the trends on the horizon, listening to what our customers want and studying the intricacies of the search and social channels through search marketer surveys, and how they impact a brand’s visibility online.

What Will 2014 Bring?

As SEOs embrace the change that occurred in 2013, they brace for the impact 2014 may bring.

Our industry is never a dull one, and marketers continue to be resilient with chameleon-like adaptation in the ever-changing world of Web marketing. But one thing will remain constant: tying SEO to business value is essential. This is, and will continue to be, the driver of successful marketing campaigns in 2014.

In order to make the connection between SEO and business value, brands need to invest in accurate and actionable data. Each step of the way, BrightEdge is that data solution, and your partner for success.

Here's to a great year!

Tags: 
search marketing, seo technology, ROI, website rank