The Inner Workings of the SEO Industry Revealed

SEO is critical to the continued success of virtually any kind of brand or enterprise, and this means that people need to learn more about it. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that a lot of people don’t know much about SEO and how the industry works. Many SEO companies are very vague about their operations because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up keeping valuable data out of the hands of their competitors. Search Engine Journal has compiled some data that should make it easier for you to better understand the inner workings of the SEO industry with all things having been considered and taken into account.

The first thing that needs to be discussed is the budget. It turns out that SEO generally gets anywhere from a moderate percentage to a small percentage of the budget. It only got most of the budget 25% of the time. Instead, paid media tends to get a lion’s share of the budget. It got most of the budget slightly more often, 25.8% of the time. Meanwhile, the least priority from a digital marketing perspective appears to be Digital PR which got little to none of the budget about 48.3% of the time.

Another thing that you might be wondering about is what SEO professionals tend to spend most of their time on. Keyword research tends to be the biggest part of the job, with 36.3% of respondents saying it took up most of their time. Researching on page metrics also takes up a lot of time, with 33.4% saying that it was the biggest part of their day though it wasn’t the only thing that they had to take part in.

If you want to get into SEO, you also need to understand what the most important performance metrics are. These metrics can help you figure out whether or not your SEO is working in the way that you had hoped. 43.9% of professionals said that keyword ranking was the biggest indicator of SEO success, though looking at page views and sessions was selected as the most important option among 32.8% of respondents.

The outlook of the industry seems rather promising based on the data, at least in the opinion of the people working in the industry. 46.6% of them, a massive plurality just short of a majority, thought that SEO implementation has gotten more successful recently. That said, there are certain threats that are putting the future of the industry in peril. SEO experts seem to think that Google zero click pages are a big threat to this since they make their efforts moot. 38.7% of respondents seemed to think that this was the case, and 35.1% said that general Google updates were a fairly big threat as well.

As for where SEO companies tend to get new business from, 45.8% of professionals said that it came from websites both new and old. 27.4% also relied on a sales team, but this came second to simple Google searches which were considered providers of good business about 28% of the time. Surprisingly, in person networking was a big driver of business as well, with 22.8% of respondents saying that this was the case. This is surprising due to the reason that Covid made in person meetings more difficult but the SEO industry has clearly found a way around that.

Finally, it is time to look ahead at future trends. 34.7% of respondents feel like the user experience is going to become a bigger part of SEO as time goes on, and 27.2% felt that the same applied to things like content production which indicates a shift in the industry in the near future. Take a look at below charts for more insights.
The State of SEO 2021: Key Industry Survey Findings [Research]

Read next: Curious about the earnings of SEO specialists, here are the figures that show how much money do these experts make in 2021
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