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General Consumer Awareness of SEM & SEO

Consumer Search Insights.

Which of the following have you heard of?

More people have heard of paid search / AdWords than have SEO / link building. One of the big issues with this question is that since it had numerous check boxes it had a lower response rate (roughly 10% vs an average of closer to 16% to 18%) & took longer for the answers to come in. In the future I can see Google adding quality score styled factors to quizes where pricing is in part based on response rate & they charge premiums for quicker responses. Anyhow, on to the results…

VoteAll (1501) 
Pay Per Click45.8% (+2.5 / -2.5)
AdWords32.7% (+2.4 / -2.3)
SEO21.3% (+2.1 / -2.0)
Link Building15.9% (+1.9 / -1.8)
Ad Retargeting14.9% (+1.9 / -1.7)

Men tend to have slightly greater awareness of SEO than women. That sort of makes sense given that most SEO conferences are heavily dominated by male attendees.

VoteMen (755) Women (543) Gender unknown (203) 
Pay Per Click45.2% (+3.6 / -3.5)45.7% (+4.2 / -4.1)48.3% (+6.8 / -6.8)
AdWords33.4% (+3.4 / -3.3)32.2% (+4.0 / -3.8)31.5% (+6.7 / -6.0)
SEO24.8% (+3.2 / -2.9)18.6% (+3.5 / -3.0)15.3% (+5.6 / -4.3)
Link Building18.9% (+2.9 / -2.6)12.2% (+3.0 / -2.5)14.3% (+5.5 / -4.2)
Ad Retargeting16.4% (+2.8 / -2.5)13.1% (+3.1 / -2.6)13.8% (+5.4 / -4.1)

People in the 25 to 34 age range tend to be more aware of these terms than other age groups.

Vote18-24 year-olds (229) 25-34 year-olds (316) 35-44 year-olds (162) 45-54 year-olds (227) 55-64 year-olds (182) 65+ year-olds (99) 
Pay Per Click30.1% (+6.2 / -5.6)50.3% (+5.5 / -5.5)48.8% (+7.6 / -7.6)44.9% (+6.5 / -6.3)51.1% (+7.2 / -7.2)51.5% (+9.6 / -9.7)
AdWords37.1% (+6.4 / -6.0)40.5% (+5.5 / -5.3)32.7% (+7.6 / -6.8)33.0% (+6.4 / -5.8)22.0% (+6.6 / -5.4)20.2% (+9.0 / -6.7)
SEO21.4% (+5.8 / -4.8)32.6% (+5.4 / -4.9)29.6% (+7.4 / -6.5)14.1% (+5.1 / -3.9)13.2% (+5.7 / -4.2)18.2% (+8.7 / -6.4)
Link Building17.0% (+5.4 / -4.3)17.4% (+4.6 / -3.8)16.0% (+6.4 / -4.9)15.9% (+5.3 / -4.2)15.4% (+6.0 / -4.5)12.1% (+7.9 / -5.0)
Ad Retargeting12.2% (+4.9 / -3.6)16.1% (+4.5 / -3.6)17.3% (+6.6 / -5.0)18.9% (+5.6 / -4.6)11.0% (+5.4 / -3.8)16.2% (+8.5 / -6.0)

The map is sort of all over the map…there are no easily definable regional patterns.

VoteThe US Midwest (320) The US Northeast (415) The US South (432) The US West (316) 
Pay Per Click43.8% (+5.5 / -5.3)47.5% (+4.8 / -4.8)43.1% (+4.7 / -4.6)48.7% (+5.5 / -5.5)
AdWords33.1% (+5.3 / -4.9)30.6% (+4.6 / -4.2)33.1% (+4.6 / -4.3)34.5% (+5.4 / -5.0)
SEO18.1% (+4.6 / -3.8)24.3% (+4.4 / -3.9)19.2% (+4.0 / -3.4)22.2% (+4.9 / -4.2)
Link Building15.3% (+4.4 / -3.5)13.5% (+3.6 / -3.0)18.5% (+3.9 / -3.4)16.1% (+4.5 / -3.6)
Ad Retargeting13.8% (+4.2 / -3.3)14.2% (+3.7 / -3.0)17.1% (+3.8 / -3.3)13.6% (+4.2 / -3.3)

People in urban areas tend to be more aware of SEM terms than rural people are. This is not particularly surprising since in smaller towns word of mouth and word around the town goes a long way (I used to live in a town of 1200 people) and in cities there is a lot more options than any one person can try & there is far greater noise/competition in the marketplace, both from a consumer and business perspective.

The “unknown” density category only had 32 total responses, so that is just noise.

VoteUrban areas (793) Rural areas (113) Suburban areas (563) Urban Density unknown (32) 
Pay Per Click45.4% (+3.5 / -3.4)38.9% (+9.2 / -8.5)47.8% (+4.1 / -4.1)43.8% (+16.9 / -15.6)
AdWords35.6% (+3.4 / -3.3)27.4% (+8.9 / -7.4)29.3% (+3.9 / -3.6)40.6% (+17.1 / -15.1)
SEO24.7% (+3.1 / -2.9)15.9% (+7.8 / -5.6)16.9% (+3.3 / -2.9)31.2% (+17.3 / -13.3)
Link Building15.5% (+2.7 / -2.4)17.7% (+8.1 / -5.9)16.2% (+3.3 / -2.8)12.5% (+15.6 / -7.5)
Ad Retargeting14.6% (+2.6 / -2.3)19.5% (+8.3 / -6.2)13.3% (+3.1 / -2.6)31.2% (+17.3 / -13.3)

There are not many clear patterns among income (that surprises me as I would have thought there was a strong correlation). However, once again, the data is skewed to exclude most people with higher incomes, as there was only 1 response at > $ 150,000 / year.

Here is the opening chart, followed by the same chart

VotePeople earning $ 0-24K (178) People earning $ 25-49K (828) People earning $ 50-74K (371) People earning $ 75-99K (88) People earning $ 100-149K (24) People earning $ 150K+ (1) Income unknown (11) 
Pay Per Click43.3% (+7.3 / -7.1)44.2% (+3.4 / -3.3)48.8% (+5.1 / -5.0)52.3% (+10.1 / -10.3)50.0% (+18.6 / -18.6)0.0% (+79.3 / -0.0)45.5% (+26.5 / -24.2)
AdWords34.3% (+7.2 / -6.6)31.9% (+3.3 / -3.1)35.0% (+5.0 / -4.7)28.4% (+10.2 / -8.4)20.8% (+19.6 / -11.6)100.0% (+0.0 / -79.3)45.5% (+26.5 / -24.2)
SEO21.9% (+6.6 / -5.4)20.4% (+2.9 / -2.6)23.7% (+4.6 / -4.0)13.6% (+8.7 / -5.7)29.2% (+20.0 / -14.3)0.0% (+79.3 / -0.0)36.4% (+28.3 / -21.2)
Link Building19.1% (+6.4 / -5.1)16.3% (+2.7 / -2.4)14.6% (+4.0 / -3.2)12.5% (+8.5 / -5.4)12.5% (+18.5 / -8.2)0.0% (+79.3 / -0.0)9.1% (+28.6 / -7.5)
Ad Retargeting13.5% (+5.8 / -4.3)14.1% (+2.5 / -2.2)17.0% (+4.2 / -3.5)12.5% (+8.5 / -5.4)20.8% (+19.6 / -11.6)0.0% (+79.3 / -0.0)27.3% (+29.3 / -17.5)

Here is the chart again with those last 2 columns lopped off

VotePeople earning $ 0-24K (178) People earning $ 25-49K (828) People earning $ 50-74K (371) People earning $ 75-99K (88) People earning $ 100-149K (24) 
Pay Per Click43.3% (+7.3 / -7.1)44.2% (+3.4 / -3.3)48.8% (+5.1 / -5.0)52.3% (+10.1 / -10.3)50.0% (+18.6 / -18.6)
AdWords34.3% (+7.2 / -6.6)31.9% (+3.3 / -3.1)35.0% (+5.0 / -4.7)28.4% (+10.2 / -8.4)20.8% (+19.6 / -11.6)
SEO21.9% (+6.6 / -5.4)20.4% (+2.9 / -2.6)23.7% (+4.6 / -4.0)13.6% (+8.7 / -5.7)29.2% (+20.0 / -14.3)
Link Building19.1% (+6.4 / -5.1)16.3% (+2.7 / -2.4)14.6% (+4.0 / -3.2)12.5% (+8.5 / -5.4)12.5% (+18.5 / -8.2)
Ad Retargeting13.5% (+5.8 / -4.3)14.1% (+2.5 / -2.2)17.0% (+4.2 / -3.5)12.5% (+8.5 / -5.4)20.8% (+19.6 / -11.6)
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