Aberdeen Report:What Does it Take to Create Best-In-Class SEM? Search engine marketing is one of the key strategies for online marketing. But doing it well still remains elusive to many organizations. The Aberdeen Group interviewed over 200 organizations to find out what it takes to create "best-in-class" search engine marketing.The research report is called: What Does It Take to Create Best In Class Search Engine Marketing? - Best Practices in Paid Search, Paid Inclusion, and Search Engine Optimization. It is the culmination of a survey of over 200 organizations during September and October of this year. The survey found that over 71% of organizations have some form of formal SEM initiatives in place. The purpose of the report is to help us understand what organizations do to create successful search engine marketing strategies. For this report, Aberdeen defines search engine marketing as: paid search, paid inclusion and organic search. The report tells us what actions these "best-in-class" companies take, what capabilities they implement (including the technologies they use) and what the roadmap to creating a successful SEM strategy should look like. Aberdeen defines "best-in-class" in the following way: * Current return on marketing investment (best-in-class has over 108%) * Year-over-year change in brand awareness (best-in-class has over 30%) * Year-over-year change web conversion rates(best-in-class has over 21%) * Year-over-year change in web site traffic (best-in-class has over 29%)

Successful SEM Strategies Include

Aberdeen found that best-in-class organizations had some common characteristics: * 79% provide access to real time analytics (or near real time) to track initiative performance * 74% have the ability to adjust their tactics in real-time or near real-time * 73% use campaign manage technology

A Roadmap to Successful SEM

There are a number of things an organization needs to do to create a successful search engine marketing strategy including: * Implement formal and repeatable processes for SEM development and management * Establish an SEM team to help develop expertise in SEM and work better with stakeholders and have rules for accountability * Make use of predictive analytics technology such as website keyword density analysis, campaign management and customer relationship management These are just the highlights of the report. It's clear that formal processes are critical to successful search engine marketing strategies and that technology plays a key role - especially technologies that can provide real-time analytics and predictive analysis. You can read the report in its entirety on the Aberdeen Group website.