The events of 2020 saw content consumption and engagement rise, particularly in the B2B arena, signaling the importance of content marketing in an increasingly digital world. As such, a new report [download page] from SEMrush examined a range of content marketing trends, including search queries and the importance of SEO.
Here are 6 key takeaways from the study.
1. Top Google Search Queries
Strategy was top-of-mind when it came to the Google search queries related to content marketing in 2020, with the #1 search on the subject being “content marketing strategy.” Monthly search volume for that query averaged 9,900 during the January-September period of analysis.
Next up were “content marketing agency” (#2), “content marketing examples” (#3) and “content marketing institute” (#4), each of which had an average monthly search volume of 5,400. Rounding out the top 5 was the query “content marketing definition,” with an average of 3,600 monthly searches for those looking to define what content marketing is.
2. Top Questions Asked
Along the lines of finding a definition of content marketing, the question of “what is content marketing” was the most asked question about content marketing on Google between January and September 2020.
The second-most asked question about content marketing on Google was “why is content marketing important”. Searchers may have found that the answer to that question is that content marketing can not only accelerate the buying process but also be instrumental in generating sales.
Searchers also asked “what is content marketing strategy” (3), “how to content marketing” (#4) and “how to develop a content marketing strategy” (#5).
3. Most Expensive Keywords
“Content strategy conferences 2020” was found to be the most expensive keyword related to content marketing in 2020 at an average CPC of $20.76. “B2B content marketing agency” ($19.91) and “content strategy conferences” ($19.12) were the second and third most expensive keywords, followed by “account based content marketing” (#4) and “LinkedIn content marketing score” (#5), with average CPCs of $18.27 and $17.00, respectively
4. SEO Considered Most Efficient Content Marketing Tactic
SEMrush also conducted a global survey of more than 1,500 marketers working for agencies, non-profit, B2B and B2C companies. The survey revealed that three-quarters of marketers considered search engine optimization (SEO) to be one of the most efficient content marketing tactics implemented by their team in 2020.
Other research confirms marketers’ positive feelings about SEO, with Ascend2 finding that it was considered one of the most effective digital marketing tactics in 2019. And, when Gartner asked B2B marketing leaders where they expected to see increases in their digital marketing budgets in 2021, two-thirds cited SEO.
5. Improving SEO Performance a Challenge
That’s not to say that SEO is coming easily to marketers. Some appear to be finding improving their SEO performance a problem, with 4 in 10 (42%) listing it as one of their top challenges.
However, more marketers are finding other elements challenging – including creating content that generates quality leads (51%), creating content that attracts more traffic (47%) and proving the ROI of their content (44%).
6. SEO One of the Most Required Skills
In an analysis of more than 17,000 content marketing positions on LinkedIn, Monster and Indeed, SEMrush found that SEO (44%) was the second-most sought after skill in the content marketing industry, eclipsed only by social media (49%). Reflecting the top searches on Google, strategy (42%) was #3 on the list of most required skills in the field, while skills like email marketing, editing and analytics were further down the list.
To read more, the full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Survey data is based on a survey of more than 1,500 marketers from 39 countries, all of which work either for marketing agencies, non-profits, B2B or B2C companies.