In its Digital Outlook Report 2009, online marketing agency Razorfish finds that search engine optimization (SEO) will become an increasingly important part of marketing campaigns – overtaking even pay per click.

The company says that 2009 is likely to be the first year that paid search budgets for companies will fall and predicts figures could drop by as much as 10 percent over 2008 figures.

In contrast, the company says search engine optimization (SEO) is likely to get its due in 2009 with many major advertisers finally jumping on board.

The report says there are a couple of major factors that will go into the shift from paid search to organic SEO.

"First, after three years of intense focus on paid search, advertisers are more confident they are covering the relevant ground in that area," says the report. "They can now shift their attention to how they appear in unpaid listings, using SEO – a tactic many have neglected. Second, pressure on marketing investments is causing advertisers to get more from less."

Razorfish says that many companies may be drawn to search engine optimization (SEO) because of its relatively low cost.

A report last month from eMarketer predicted that search engine optimization (SEO) will grow in the next five years with companies spending $3.8 billion by 2013.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.