Optimization, Schmoptimization

Earlier this week we attended the Search Engine Strategies 2004 Conference & Expo in San Jose, CA, and I must admit, I thought SEO stood for Sending Email Online.

Or something like that, which is part of the problem – that I’m not exactly clear on how SEO can help increase our lead generation and sales. (The keynote speaker and moderator – search engine expert Danny Sullivan – would not have been proud.)

Seriously, it’s not like we haven’t done some of our own organic optimization with our website and our partner sites over the past year, even a little paid search.

We have.

But when we met with some of the search engine marketing companies, one of our burning questions was: “Will investing in search engine marketing today produce the leads we’ll need to justify the ROI tomorrow?”

According to marketing consultant Robin Houghton, “Marketers may not have always realized the importance of search engine marketing. But it has an impact, both directly and indirectly, on sales, customer relationships, brand management, reputation management and market research.” (Read her article entitled Search Engine Marketing: Into the Fast Lane at MarketingProfs.com)

But how much of an impact?

Our target market is the HR service providers who sell to HR executives. We already know where to find them and how to target them via more traditional marketing efforts and brand management, without a lot of search engine fussing and mussing.

So why should we engage in a search engine marketing strategy?

We’d love to hear whether or not your organization uses an integrated search engine marketing strategy, what kinds of search engine marketing you’re doing, and what kind of results you’ve gotten – especially those of you who sell products and services in the human capital industry.

Send us your comments via email at blog@fishervista.com and we’ll share them in our next posting.

Thank you!