The vast majority of senior marketing executives say that their company’s performance in search is a “key indicator” of general business health, according to a new report from Econsultancy and DeepCrawl.
The study, titled ‘The Digital Future Report’, polled 366 marketing professionals to see the extent that enterprises value search engine optimisation amid a broader shift to digital content and processes.
The primary takeaway is that SEO is very much worthwhile as the benefits of high search rankings can be felt for years, even though there is not a significant upfront investment.
78% of respondents believe that search success aligns closely with business health and 46% say that organic search actually drives more than a quarter of overall revenues.
SEO is crucial to a modern digital business, then, but challenges remain as around a third of executives admit that their ability to link ROI with SEO activities is still “poor”.
Just 10% also say that they consider their SEO efforts to be “very effective” at supporting key goals in marketing.
The reasons for this underperformance are wide ranging, but the executives agree that changing the culture around SEO would help.
Almost half of respondents say that SEO is not viewed as a top priority and that a mismatch of viewpoints between IT and tech teams is exacerbating the issues.
This often manifests in website changes being rolled out that can actively harm search performance.
An interview in the report stated that online fashion retailer ASOS’s pre-tax profit slump of 87% last year was partly attributed to “multiple customer navigation changes” on its sites, which hit traffic levels.
A majority of executives (55%) say that a technical change to a site has had a negative impact on marketing performance in the past.
The report concluded that a new age of automation could help professionals to make site changes effectively and support better SEO.