Most companies are not using the appropriate metrics to evaluate the success of their search marketing employees -- and thus their search marketing programs -- according to a study commissioned by Isobar's iProspect and conducted by JupiterResearch.

The iProspect Search Marketer Performance Study found that only four out of 10 search marketers are being evaluated based on business goals, such as ROI or total sales generated. Instead, most marketers are being measured against intermediate metrics, like Web site traffic volume or top search engine ranking.

"It should be more like eight out of 10," Rob Murray, iProspect's president, told ClickZ News. "I would expect more companies to look at end results than focus on the means to the end."

Murray attributes the lack of measurement of business goals to the inability of many marketers to adequately tie conversions -- especially offline conversions -- to search marketing activities. The study found that less than two in 10 search marketers are being evaluated on offline results generated by their SEM efforts.

"You can't judge what you can't measure," Murray said. "Most people build a Web site to have an impact on the buying continuum. If someone converts offline, and you're not linking it with your search marketing efforts, you're not evaluating the full returns you're generating, and you can't make a full evaluation."

Get the full story at ClickZ