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Why it’s vital for SEO to be top of your new year’s resolution list

By charlotte tomlinson |

Hallam

|

The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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December 8, 2021 | 5 min read

As someone who works in SEO, you might say I’m a little biased on this topic. Nevertheless, I’m here to tell you how important a focus on organic search is to your 2022 strategy (and beyond!). In fact, I firmly believe your organic presence and SEO efforts are going to be more important in 2022 than ever before.

Hallam on why it's imperative to create unified, omnichannel digital marketing strategies.

Hallam on why it's imperative to create unified, omnichannel digital marketing strategies.

First things first, let’s look at some key stats. In 2021, organic search is responsible for 53% of total traffic on the web. This is despite several seismic shifts in consumer behavior, the rise of mobile search and the dramatic changes to search engine results page (SERP) layouts, including local packs, knowledge graphs and featured snippets, all of which push more organic searches below the fold. Organic is still the channel that delivers the most traffic to websites by a wide margin.

And that’s not the only data that attests to the importance of focusing on SEO:

  • Organic search drives over ten times more website traffic than organic social

  • Paid drives only 15% of traffic

  • Nearly 26% of internet users use ad blockers, which affects paid campaigns but not organic

  • B2B and tech companies generate twice as much revenue from organic than any other channel

But it’s not just about the levels of organically-driven traffic - it’s not enough to appear organically in search engine results pages. And this is where SEO as a discipline comes in, which is all about increasing overall organic visibility through higher rankings but also by being otherwise featured on the SERP pages such as in the knowledge panel. SEOs are interested in being as visible as possible for important customer search queries across the whole marketing funnel in order to drive more traffic and revenue for a business.

Data on click-through rates from the SERPs drives home just how important SEO is. Does anyone ever go to the second page?

Well, studies show that the first five organic search results receive the most clicks (approx 70%). And the percentage declines steeply from first to fifth, with the first position claiming 28-34% of the clicks on average (depending on the layout of the search results and SERP features delivered for that search term), with second position claiming 15-17% of the clicks, third approximately 11% of the clicks and so on - you get the picture.

With all that in mind, it’s no wonder that, in SEO, we tend to say that the second page of Google is where content goes to die.

In summary, organic as a piece of the overall pie is large and looks likely to grow - and SEO is all about ensuring your business gets a bigger piece of that pie. It’s a no-brainer!

More and more of our audience across B2B and B2C are online

The past couple of years have seen a surge in digital transformation, as precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic. Internet usage has increased, meaning people using search engines to find what they’re looking for is at an all-time high. In B2B, for example, combined search (organic and paid) now averages 76% of overall traffic. In a way, this has enabled some B2B businesses to rely less on traditional marketing such as exhibitions or events and more on digital channels.

As we enter 2022 - still in the face of instability and uncertainty - investing in SEO that will provide your business with long-term strength makes sense. Whilst SEO is not a ‘quick win’ and can take months and years of sustained effort to come to fruition, once you’ve reached a successful point, it’s relatively easy to maintain and build on those solid foundations.

This can be a stark contrast to other tactics such as PPC ads for sales activation, where you have to consistently pump budget into campaigns month after month to see any return on investment: the moment they’re switched off, the benefit is lost.

However, that’s not to say that paid media campaigns aren’t also a vital tool for online success, especially those that are intended to build long-term brand awareness. In fact, paid and organic search should work hand in hand - according to studies, integrating PPC and organic SEO efforts results on average in a 25% increase in clicks and a 27% increase in profits over isolated or disconnected efforts.

This is why it’s imperative to create unified, omnichannel digital marketing strategies, and not to focus on any one channel in isolation. Instead, savvy marketers will maintain SEO at the core of their marketing strategy. For 2022 and beyond, ignore SEO at your peril.

Charlotte Tomlinson, organic performance director at Hallam.

Marketing Technology Agency

Content by The Drum Network member:

Hallam

We’re a multi-award winning full-service digital agency based in the UK, and a trusted partner to some of the world’s biggest national and international brands.

Putting digital at the heart of our clients’ future success, we create innovative strategies that deliver significant growth and exceptional results through our integrated web design and development, SEO, PPC, CRO, Social Media and PR services.

We strive to innovate and share expertise and for the second year have organised the Midlands’ biggest digital conference - Nottingham Digital Summit. This event brings together industry experts from the likes of Google, Virgin Media, Jaguar Land Rover and Experian to inspire over 700 local business people with the latest digital trends to grow their companies. What’s more, all proceeds go to support The Nottingham Samaritans.

Our services

As a full-service agency we’re able to use our combined expertise in a range of digital marketing specialisms to create multi-layered campaigns and strategies:

- Our high-impact technical SEO campaigns deliver results that improve client visibility in search engine results pages;

- We create award-winning websites – technically sound, visually stunning, with seamless user experiences;

- Taking paid advertising to the next level, our data-driven insights and highly crafted, bespoke in-house tools deliver business-changing results;

- Tailored PR campaigns have raised clients’ brand awareness and secured top coverage across the digital landscape;

- We have a proven strategy using testing tools and monitoring clients’ online visitors, establishing the greatest impact on CRO and delivering permanent performance improvements;

- Harnessing the true power of social media we build creative, innovative campaigns that truly create a digital buzz.

Bringing together industry-leading expertise, we employ 65 people across core delivery teams from our Nottingham base.

Our clients

We partner with international organisations such as Speedo, The United Nations, Esso, Saint Gobain and Suzuki as well trusted UK brands such as Raleigh, Travis Perkins, The BBC, Jägermeister, TTS Group and Castle Rock Brewery. We consistently deliver transformational results; on average our clients see a 69% rise in organic traffic, 54% increase in ecommerce revenue, and a 65% increase in lead generation.

- Raleigh Bikes’ new website delivered improved conversion rates with a 675% increase in ecommerce revenue year on year, and a 370% increase in their Black Friday sales attributed to our Digital PR campaign;

- We helped Speedo deliver brand consistency across national and international digital channels, streamlining their online user experience;

- Our social media strategy for the United Nations helped them reach more than 15 million users worldwide;

- A bespoke website for Virtual Runner increased their average spend per transaction by 80% with a 57% increase in subscriptions since it’s launch.

“Hallam have delivered above and beyond what we expected, and are an absolute joy to work with.” ~Rikke Hennum, Campaign Coordinator, United Nations Free & Equal Campaign

Our people

Developing our staff, both personally and professionally, is one of our business objectives. We invest heavily in staff training and development, with wellbeing initiatives that include weekly yoga sessions, unlimited home working and mental health training.

We invest a combined 900 hours per month (2 days per employee) on a protected learning time initiative with everyone receiving an annual training budget of £2,000 to use on courses of their choice.

Our awards

We’re incredibly proud of our track record. Our work has been recognised across numerous industry-renowned awards with five trophies at The Drum Recommended Agency Awards, including the Grand Prix - award for overall best digital agency.

Our awards and nominations span all areas of our expertise. It’s just one of the things that pushes us to stay ahead of the curve for our clients and it’s a great feeling when that work gets noticed. Check out a selection of them:

The Drum Recommended Digital Agency Awards

- Grand Prix - Agency of the Year (40-99 Staff) Winner

- Search

- Usability

- Client Service

- Full Digital Service

Google Premier Partner Awards

- 2019 EMEA Winner of the Growing Business Online Award

- 2018 finalists in Shopping Innovation and Display Innovation

DADI Awards

- finalist

UK Digital Experience Awards

- Best Online User Experience B2C - Silver

- Best Agency - Winner

- Shortlisted for three awards in 2019

European Search Awards

- Best Large SEO Agency - Finalist

- Best Large PPC Agency - Finalist

- Shortlisted in five awards in...

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