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UK search spending on the rise

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UK marketers are spending more on online search as the economy emerges from recession.

More companies are planning to increase their spending on both paid search and natural search, according to the fourth annual UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report from Econsultancy, in association with digital agency Guava.

The proportion of companies who said they would raise their budgets for this spending over the next year has risen to 60% from 55% at the same time last year. Forecast spending is also up for pay-per-click search advertising. Some 52% plan to increase budgets here, compared to 45% last year. But 14% said they are planning to decrease their paid search spending and only 4% plan to spend less on SEO.

Econsultancy’s UK research director Linus Gregoriadis said: “Search marketing was pretty resilient during the recession but there has nonetheless been a marked increase in both SEO and paid search investment this year.

“Companies continue to report an increased media cost for paid search, and in particular for Google AdWords, but this has not stopped the majority of companies increasing their Google investment. Sixty per cent of company respondents said they are investing more on Google than they were a year ago, compared to only 10% who are spending less.”

More than two thirds (69%) of search advertisers using Google say that prices for the keywords they routinely bid on have gone up in the last year. An even higher proportion of agencies (71%) say this is the case.

Some 500 client-side marketers and agencies, also found that 65% of companies are planning to increase their spending on social media marketing over the next 12 months, an increase from 48% in 2009. Spending on social media marketing helps to grow traffic and links.

The full Econsultancy / Guava UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmarking Report 2010 can be downloaded here.

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