Despite a tough economy, a number of studies show that companies will continue to spend money on online marketing in the new year, including search engine optimization.

A December content marketing study from Junta42 found that 52 percent of marketing decision makers intend to increase their content marketing budgets in 2009, with 31 percent saying they plan the increases to be significant.

"More and more marketing professionals now realize that tomorrow’s marketing is all about developing a conversation with customers," said Junta founder Joe Pulizzi. "Without valuable, relevant and compelling content, that’s pretty much impossible."

Many have cited the increased accountability and ROI involved with online marketing in their decision to maintain or increase their online marketing over the next 12 months.

Another study last month from BtoB magazine found that only 25 percent of companies intend on cutting their online marketing budgets in 2009.

The studies match beliefs from web users, with a MS&L study finding that 59 percent saying they can tell a lot about a company from the content on their website.