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Irish companies are failing to take advantage of search engine optimisation (SEO), a new study suggests.

According to a report by Captivate Digital, 53 per cent of leading Irish firms do not appear in the top five search engine results based on a simple keyword search within their category.

Director of Captivate Digital John Dunne said: "The results show that many leading Irish companies face considerable challenges in raising the profile of their products and services on search engines.

"Our survey shows that the importance of having a strong search strategy is critical, otherwise it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind."

The study also reported online advertising spend in Ireland is set to increase by some 54 per cent.