For digital marketers, there are few things more simultaneously helpful and irritating than SEO tips, tricks, blogs, newsletters, white papers, or any other form of communication that frequently flood their inboxes. Something new is learned about the field seemingly every day, and not long after every epiphany a new tool springs into existence. It can be difficult to know which suggestions or assets your brand can take advantage of, and even when you think you have the answer, the latest tool is released.
In late July, the search gurus over at Moz released their 2015 Online Marketing Industry Survey in an attempt to help elucidate what tools and activities are most popular for marketers today. With 3,600 respondents from a variety of industries, the report offers an excellent peek into the current digital marketing landscape (though it’s important to note that this is a snapshot of American marketers and primarily American brands). For those outside of the US or interested in international audiences, Moz’s findings may not be applicable.
So what is there to learn from the past eighteen months of industry practice?
Moz’s respondents were split nearly 50/50 between having in-house or agency services for SEO and SEM (49 percent in house, 51 percent outsourced). The report highlighted diversity of specialties as the likely reason for the split—where a single in-house specialist may have one or two specialties, most agency teams reported covering a full range of SEO needs, from simple content creation to full SEO and SEM to web development.
For search, content, and analytics tools, Google’s services unsurprisingly continued to top the list, and Facebook Insights held top spot for social media tools. Though finding that Google and Facebook lead the market in digital marketing tools isn’t exactly unexpected, marketers looking for an additional edge in their regular search practices can test third-party software runners up like Yoast, Screaming Frog, or SEM Rush for specific areas of search that feel lacking.
Rather than demonstrating large shifts in what tools are being used, Moz’s study seems to reinforce that the largest shifts in industry are around how tools are being used. Google remains on top of the search game, and understandably the tools directly tied into its platform are seeing the most utilization and development across the digital marketing industry. However, the shift toward agency specialties highlights the increasingly complex nature that is slowly eating away at the value of relying on SEO tips or quick fixes. Having experience in particularly specific marketing avenues continues to drive the best results, and not just for search.
There’s a lot to keep up with in the ever-changing SEO world. To learn more about SEO strategies, check out Skyword’s free eBook, How to Get SEO Benefit from Google Webmaster Tools.