Is SEO Technology at an Inflection Point?

Note: this post originally appeared on the Conductor Blog.

One can often tell a great deal about where an industry’s technology is headed by understanding both the size of the opportunity in the space and the operational inefficiencies that plague it. The greater the opportunity (the more at stake) and the greater the operational inefficiencies, the higher the likelihood technology will step in to fill the gap. This can be expressed formulaically as: market opportunity *operational inefficiencies=technology trajectory.

The opportunity in SEO is indisputable: according to Comscore, monthly worldwide searches have reached more than 26 billion per month. With 92% of all search engine clicks occurring in the natural search results the opportunities for brands to reach consumers are limitless–provided they are visible in the search engines.

The operational inefficiencies in SEO are equally indisputable: surveys have shown that up to 40% of an SEO professional’s time is wasted on low-impact operational activities. The industries inefficiencies can be traced back to it’s origins as a discipline amongst techies and web developers. Home grown tools have long been the tool of the trade—born from a lack of better options, they have, until now persisted as the de facto operating system for SEO practitioners.

Here at Conductor we believe that is all about to change. We believe we are at an inflection point in SEO: the size of the opportunity in natural search is simply too great, the inefficiencies too profound, for Marketers not to be primed to be ready to do things differently. As a long-time Marketer I have seen this phenomenon occur in many industries, both online and off.

Our years of helping SEO professionals at many of the world’s largest brands succeed in natural search gave us the rich background to understand their pain points and inefficiencies. From this foundation we created Searchlight, a SaaS SEO technology platform that automates many of the manual and time consuming tasks that hold back the SEO. Searchlight gives the SEO professional unprecedented insight into their natural search visibility and is redefining SEO as a practice. It is already used by many of the world’s largest and most successful brands such as FedEx, Monster Inc, Travelocity and Siemens to manage billions of dollars in natural search assets.

We are delighted to announce today our partnership with e-consultancy on a new study titled SEO Trends: Issues and Opportunities that will provide insight into the move to metrics and technology and shed light on the rapid maturation of the SEO industry that is happening right before our eyes.

A few of the key findings:

  • 3 out of 4 SEO professionals state that SEO metrics have more influence on business strategy decisions than 12 months ago
  • 65% of organizations expect an increase in their SEO budgets this year
  • 9 out of 10 search marketers overwhelmingly find value in the SEO platform as it offers improved information gathering and analysis in such capabilities as rank tracking, automated alerts and on-page functionality.

Download the study here to understand how the SEO industry is rapidly evolving to metrics, tools and technology.

(and of course, as always, your feedback and comments are greatly appreciated.)