Answer: The demands that b-to-b marketers face in today's online marketing world are constantly changing. The fact that search engine marketing (SEM) can be tracked to a level well beyond most other marketing techniques has led marketers to use it as a crutch to deal with these changes. As a result of the increasing costs associated with pay-for-placement SEM, and the substantial fluctuations that exist in the market, the organic side of SEM and the practice of search engine optimization (SEO) are once again taking prominence.
As b-to-b marketers look for an alternative to high-cost/short-term solutions-like paying for placement-SEO with its long-term/low-cost solution is once again proving to be a valuable technique. Marketers are building sites that accomplish all the things necessary to be successful in the online world-sites that are creative, deliver on what they promise and have been built to maximize accessibility by search engines.
Building these new sites is only the first step in the process. B-to-b marketers must also focus their attention on how they are tracking the results generated by their new sites. Gone are the days where marketers were able to look at increased site traffic as a barometer of their success. Today, it's necessary to be able to show direct conversions and sales from your site. Marketers need to build systems that are capable of tracking the keywords and search engines that lead to sales for their company. Even with the lower cost of SEO, the long-term benefits are only going to exist if marketers pay attention to what is and is not working to drive sales. The powerful benefits of SEO can only be recognized if you are properly tracking the results.
Matt Naeger is VP-general counsel at Impaqt, a search engine marketing provider.