At a time when high search engine rankings are considered essential for business and search engine optimisation (SEO) is seen as a core part of marketing, a new study has revealed that the UK SEO industry brings over half a billion a year to the economy.
The new SEO Agencies Buyer’s Guide, published by research firm Econsultancy, estimates that the SEO market has grown by 18% over the past year, reaching £514m, up from £436m in 2010. The sum includes payments to agencies to change and improve natural and paid SEO, SEO PR, social media optimisation for search and investments in staff to manage SEO.
The study notes that there are several trends in the SEO industry at present, with SEO becoming less technical and firmly stepping into the content marketing realm being among the key developments. It has also blended with PR, social media and customer service.
Other important trends highlighted by the study include the dominance of Google over the search market and the importance of any SEO changes the corporation implements, the growing significance of social and mobile for search, as well as the influence of client demand that drives SEO to be integrated with other marketing channels.
Commenting on the findings, Econsultancy senior research analyst Jake Hird says that marketers are shifting their focus to longer term digital strategies, with SEO now considered a key factor for successful marketing, as it ensures good return on investment and is cost-effective.