Search ad revenue and content marketing budgets rise as companies realize fresh content keeps their websites in the spotlight.

Marketers recognize that online visibility is crucial for remaining competitive today, which is why they are opening their wallets wider for search ads and content marketing. eMarketer recently reported that total spending on search ads reached $17.3 billion last year and is projected to reach $19.4 billion in 2013.

Google is still raking in the lion’s share of search ad spend, the report finds. In 2012, the leading search engine brought in $12.79 billion in revenue from ads – a figure that’s expected to stretch to $17.4 billion by 2015. Microsoft and Yahoo are still pulling up the rear, earning $660 million and $1.15 billion, respectively. The source predicts Google will maintain its edge in the next three years, but Microsoft’s efforts will gradually earn back market share. 

Search ads are just one aspect of brands’ web marketing strategies. Brafton previously reported on data from the Custom Content Council, which revealed that budgets for branded content increased 9.2 percent to start off the year. Businesses now dedicate approximately 40 percent of their marketing, advertising and communications budgets to custom content.

Spending on search ads reached $17.3 billion last year and is projected to reach $19.4 billion in 2013.

While content marketing is still considered nascent when held next to traditional practices, it is quickly becoming one of the most important tools for today’s marketers. In a recent survey, MailOnline reported more than three-quarters of agencies create custom content or buy content marketing services to keep their sites saturated with engaging, informative media.

Consistent updates improve user experience because visitors get to read fresh blog posts and news articles when they return to companies’ websites on multiple occasions, but it’s also good for SEO. Domains that are regularly updated with content receive higher rankings than pages that go stale with outdated content.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.