Did some surveying to understand how much has changed in terms of where most online marketing budget is spent here in Q4 of 2010. The results? Not what you think. In fact, the study actually hurt my ego a bit, considering I had thought the entire world was doing SEO now, but as you’ll see below, 52% may be using email or other online marketing instead.

Most Online Marketing is Not SEO

Well, at least according to the 100 people I surveyed last week. Take a look at the chart below to see where budget is being spent online today.

Graph Depicting Where Most Online Budget is Being Spent

That’s right, most of the marketing budgets (at least for online advertising) is being spent on Email or Other. Here’s a breakdown:

  • 52% Email or Other
  • 22% Social Media
  • 16% Search Engine Optimization
  • 10% Pay Per Click Advertising

So What Does This Mean for Us SEO’s?

It could mean that society is still skeptical over the value of our inbound marketing strategies, or that they simply don’t know what it is or how it works. Based on the number of local business SEO calls even I get every day, I’m doubtful that the reason is the latter.

Either way, it shows that there are many businesses who are not yet investing in search engine optimization as a primary means of online advertising, despite the fact that it is the most affordable way to capture traffic, get leads, and sell products. Sad that most businesses still don’t know that search has the highest ROI:

Graph: SEO Versus Other Online Marketing

Where’s Your Online Marketing Budget Spent?