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Ascend2-Most-Effective-Difficult-SEO-Tactics-Apr2014Almost half of marketers and sales practitioners believe that SEO has become more effective for them over the past year, according to [download page] the results of a survey conducted by Ascend2 and Research Partners. With their SEO objectives primarily revolving around increasing lead generation and website traffic, respondents rated their most effective and difficult SEO tactics. Quality content creation topped both lists. Some 57% of respondents indicated that quality content creation is their most effective SEO tactic, with keyword research and management deemed effective by the next-highest share of respondents (46%). Content creation also emerged as the most difficult tactic to execute, cited by 47% of respondents. That was slightly higher than the percentage (44%) pointing to the difficulties of link building; just one-quarter find link building to be effective, though.

Interestingly, few respondents indicated that local (17%) or mobile (9%) search optimization are among their most effective tactics. That’s despite indications that almost 8 in 10 local searches conducted on a mobile phone result in a purchase.

Meanwhile, the prevalence of content creation as an effective SEO tactic isn’t surprising, as the two disciplines are increasingly married. For example, a recent study from Econsultancy found 45% of in-house marketers and 51% of agency respondents reporting a high degree of integration between SEO and content marketing.

Returning to the Ascend2 study, only 14% of respondents indicated that their SEO program is very successful at achieving the important objectives set for it, although another 66% rate the program as being somewhat successful. According to another recent study from Econsultancy, SEO is consistently one of the top-rated digital channels for ROI.

Other Findings:

  • The most challenging obstacles to achieving important SEO objectives, per the Ascend2 research, are limited SEO budget (44%) and limited SEO skills in-house (40%).
  • Perhaps as a result of those limited in-house SEO skills, a majority 56% of respondents outsource some (45%) or all (11%) of their SEO programs.
  • The most useful metrics for tracking and analyzing SEO performance, per respondents, are search rankings by keyword (44%) and call-to-action conversions (44%).

About the Data: Ascend2 and its Research Partners fielded the SEO Marketing Survey and completed interviews with 442 marketing and sales decision-makers and practitioners from around the world, though primarily in the US.

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