Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

‘Heroes of SEO’ spend more than 40 hours per week on routine tasks

Two thirds (66%) of SEO managers claim they don’t devote enough time to profit-generating strategic work due to the huge number of hours they’re spending on SEO maintenance tasks, according to new research by Corigan.

The consultancy also discovered multiple positive outcomes would be achieved if SEO leaders and their teams were gifted more time for strategy through the adoption of automated SEO management. These business benefits include: driving higher traffic through better SEO; increased conversion, revenues and profit; stronger customer engagement; and reduction in external spend.

The eye-opening study, Heroes of SEO: Tooling to Propel Brand Profit – which is available to download here – reveals SEOs are spending more than their salaried time on routine administrative and hygiene tasks.

The most time-consuming tasks for SEO managers are copywriter briefing (12.63 hrs/wk on average), building reports (12.20 hrs/wk) and managing external teams (12.14 hrs/wk).

For SEO teams, the tasks that take up the most time in total are CMS changes (13 hrs/wk), competitor analysis (13 hrs/wk) and rank tracking (12.53 hrs/wk).

Respondents further reported that if this precious resource was rescued they could focus on strategic aspects of their role, which they named as:

•                 Competitor analysis (chosen by 41% of respondents).

•                 Keyword research 39%.

•                 Long-tail optimisation 35%.

•                 Briefing wider content creation 35%

•                 Internal linking 33%.

Those polled expressed interest in their firm adopting a wide range of SEO technology and automation to help them save time and resource, and improve outcomes from their efforts.

Manley, Founder at Corigan, commented: “We’ve known for some time that SEO professionals are among the hardest-working folk in the marketing industry. But our survey lays bare just how much time they’re spending on maintenance work, when what these heroes of SEO really want to do is focus on tasks that would make a big difference to their brand’s bottom line.

“Encouragingly, they’re keen to seek out technology that can free them from the rigours of routine SEO work. Solutions now on-stream range from platforms housing SEO in one place therefore removing the need for multiple tech, to AI keyword identification, automated link-building and reporting. A revolution in SEO is upon us and managers and their teams stand ready to grasp the opportunities it brings for brands.”

The research was conducted by independent pollster Censuswide among 150 managers who work in SEO aged 18+ (excl. sole traders) in the UK during February 2022. Those polled were middle or senior managers, holding either in-house or contractor roles. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society, which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

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