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SEO Knowledge Gap Prevalent Among Business Owners

     -     Dec 22nd, 2019   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex subject matter that seems to be changing all the time. While most accountants, CPAs, and marketers understand the importance of having a brand-appropriate site that can capture the attention of prospects, it’s the details of how various components fit together that create confusion. While not everyone cares to learn “how it works” it’s important that business owners (partners) understand the elements needed to ensure new opportunities are generated. This can be a challenge for the marketing team because they often lack in-depth training and knowledge to provide the needed education. According to a survey conducted by Fractl, SEO Knowledge Gaps, 25% of surveyed business owners are vaguely familiar or not at all familiar with SEO. This statistic alone reveals a challenge and an opportunity to raise internal awareness.

The purpose of this blog post is to highlight various survey results that accounting marketers may find of interest and demonstrate why it’s important to continually educate leaders about the process.

About the SEO Survey

The survey was conducted online and included 977 respondents such as business owners, executives, managers and marketers. While the survey was not specific to any particular industry, it’s important to note that 394 of the total respondents were business owners and the rest a mix from the other demographics.

Key SEO Survey Findings

  • Familiarity with SEO – As mentioned above the survey was interested in understanding the respondent’s level of familiarity with SEO. 10% of business owners indicated they are not at all familiar, 15% vaguely familiar, 21% somewhat familiar, 29% mostly familiar and 25%very familiar. For nonbusiness owners, 27% not at all familiar, 16% vaguely familiar, 30% somewhat familiar, 17.8% mostly familiar and 8.8% very familiar. The results show that while there is some familiarity with SEO amongst respondents, it’s clear the need for additional education is necessary.
  • Google Search Rankings – The survey also wanted to uncover how well respondents understand how Google determines search rankings. According to the survey, 6.2% of business owners have no understanding, 28.7% have little understanding, 39% have a moderate understanding, 22.6% have a good understanding and 3.6% have expert level understanding. For nonbusiness owners, 9.9% have no understanding, 41.9% have little understanding, 34.8% have a moderate understanding, 11.7% have a good understanding and 1.7% have expert level understanding.

Source: Fractl

  • Site Speed – To test SEO knowledge the survey asked respondents to indicate (true or false) if site speed is a Google ranking factor. 55.8% of business owners indicated true (the correct answer), 12.3% false and 31.9% did not know. The survey also asked respondents to indicate (true or false) that Nofollow links do not impact Google search rankings. 6% of business owners indicated true (the correct answer) while 18.7% indicated false and the balance indicated they did not know.
  • Value to Company – Given the other results, the survey wanted to understand how SEO is viewed in terms of importance to the organization. According to the survey, 11.3% of business owners indicated it’s not at all important, 15% slightly important, 29.3% moderately important, 25.9% fairly important and 18.4% very important. While there are some businesses that will receive limited value from SEO, the results above demonstrate the consequences of lack of understanding.

Source: Fractl

In Perspective

It’s unreasonable to think every business owner, regardless of industry, will have a good understanding of SEO. The digital divide amongst age groups is a reality and for some it’s just not relevant. However, for others, SEO, content marketing and amplification could have a meaningful impact on business development, new sales and brand building. However, the challenge remains that if many marketers and managers do not have a deep understanding of SEO, how can they educate their Partners? Making sure business owners understand the connection between SEO and lead generation is absolutely critical especially when the time comes to ask for funding to launch, maintain and refine a SEO or content marketing program.

The survey results provide limited insight into where many are in 2019 with their understanding of SEO. It’s necessary for marketers, and others, to start increasing awareness about the value and potential results possible.

What do you think? What has been your experience with internal education? Leave your insights in the comment section below.


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