The effectiveness of website promotion in search engines from the point of view of organizing processes depends on various factors: the presence and qualifications of an SEO specialist in the state or agency, the frequency of SEO audits, budgeting, correct goal setting, the quality of hypotheses and the implementation of recommendations. However, the foundation of success is the level of knowledge and qualifications of management, which ultimately hires specialists, formulates KPIs, prioritizes funding and implementation of recommendations.
We surveyed a group of 250 marketers and executives on how they rate their level of knowledge and understanding of SEO, whether they read books and articles on the topic, whether SEO knowledge is important to marketing, and whether their employees are upgrading their SEO skills.
We tried to find out how the level of knowledge is related to the results of promotion, the frequency of SEO audits, the willingness to develop a direction and increase the budget.
The results showed:
Almost all respondents consider knowledge of SEO important, but only a quarter of respondents are deeply versed in the issue and follow trends.
The first question we asked the participants was how they rate their own level of SEO knowledge and understanding.
On average, the largest share of respondents (35%) assesses knowledge as basic. Slightly more than a quarter of respondents (27%) answered that they deeply understand the issue and follow trends. 20% answered that they know the topic well, but do not follow the trends; 17% assessed knowledge as weak.
The largest share of respondents who rated their level of knowledge as weak is among the representatives of the medical and financial segments – 19.2% and 41.2%, respectively. The highest share of owners of deep knowledge among representatives of the car market and e-commerce – 40% and 34.5%.
Almost 90% of those surveyed consider SEO to be essential knowledge for a marketer.
E-commerce representatives and their employees are increasing their SEO knowledge more actively than representatives of other segments.
We asked the respondents if they read books or articles related to website promotion in search engines. A quarter of participants said they never read SEO posts, but more than half (53%) do it from time to time. Only 22% read SEO content regularly.
The largest share of those who do not read SEO materials is among representatives of three industries: real estate (27.5%), finance (29.4%), medicine (28.2%). Among the representatives of e-commerce, the share is (17%!).
About 50% of survey participants answered that their employees regularly improve their skills in the field of SEO: they attend conferences, webinars, meetups, training. 30% of respondents reported that employees are not upgrading their SEO skills, and the remaining 20% are not aware of whether employees are doing it or not.
How knowledge level correlates with promotion results
Generally speaking, the picture is as follows: among marketers and managers who assess their knowledge in SEO as deep and follow the trends, the share of those who note an increase in traffic and sales from search is higher, plans to increase the budget for search engine promotion, and more often conducts SEO -audits and makes sure that employees improve their qualifications.
It can be assumed that if a marketer or development manager is competent in SEO, he pays more attention to the direction, is able to select better specialists or an agency, correctly prioritize and get a better result.
Managers and marketers for whom SEO is a blind spot are less active: they do not follow trends, they conduct audits less often, are less likely to invest in the development of an SEO direction, etc. But their results are also weaker.
For example, among survey participants (representatives of the real estate market) who rate their own knowledge of SEO as deep, there is a 72% higher proportion of those who noted an increase in traffic and sales from search and plan to increase their promotion budget than among those who rate their knowledge in SEO as basic or weak.
Among e-commerce representatives in the group that rates SEO knowledge as deep, 59% of participants noted an increase in sales and traffic from search. In the group that is “good at SEO but not trend-following,” traffic and sales from search grew 36%.
A similar pattern of correlation is visible in other industries that we observe: financial, medical and auto.
There is also an interesting connection between the assessment of one’s own knowledge and professional development of employees. For example, among real estate respondents, 60% said their employees are upgrading their SEO skills. But among those who rate their own SEO knowledge as deep – the share is 33% higher.
In e-commerce, the ratio also changes depending on how the respondents assess their own knowledge: if the knowledge is deep, the proportion of employees raising their qualifications increases to 90%; among those who know the basics – the share is 48%.
Learn to manage SEO
In our opinion, there are two good reasons for marketers and executives to learn SEO. The first is the link between SEO knowledge and marketing results. The second is the increasing complexity of SEO and the growing relationship between SEO and the company’s product and business.
Both of these conditions increase the burden on management. We can no longer count on the right choice of an SEO specialist or agency. We ourselves need to have a sufficient level of knowledge to make the right choice, formulate goals and priorities, and implement recommendations at the business level.
The lack of specialists and agencies capable of developing a product from an SEO point of view is a topic for a separate study.