MarketingSherpa released the latest edition of its Search Engine Marketing Guide last week, which takes a look at the US search engine marketing industry.

The company surveyed 2,475 marketers in June and July this year, who have responsibility for their company’s search engine marketing.

The guide takes a look at statistics on conversion rates, SEO versus PPC and more. The report also charts growth rates and ROI figures for search marketing versus other marketing tactics.

Highlights of the report:

Growth of search engine marketing
The search marketing industry is continuing to grow rapidly. The guide’s stats show that the industry has grown by 31% in the US, ad globally by 39% so far this year.

The guide predicts that this rapid growth will slow over time, though it notes that search budgets for many companies are increasing rapidly, suggesting that more companies are looking to expand their search engine presence.

In-house Search Engine Marketing
The report notes a trend towards in house search engine marketing, 247 of those surveyed had brought their search marketing in house in the past twelve months, though this was difficult for some firms as they found it hard to find suitable staff.

However, many still prefer to out source this area of marketing, saying that they were very happy with their agencies and saw this as a potential waste of time and money.

In addition, the number of companies employing specialist search marketing agencies increased over the past year.

Organic search/PPC
The guide reports that a greater emphasis on natural search has put pressure on marketers to improve their own websites, while smaller firms, due to keyword price inflation, have started to pay more attention to natural SEO.

Marketers also feel lee concerned about click fraud than this time last year, though this may be a change in perception rather than a reduction in click fraud rates.