Search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer a secret weapon of cutting-edge, Web-savvy marketers. Even traditional companies have to make sure that search engines like Google and Yahoo find them consistently—because search engines are the primary way that prospects and influencers learn about products and services.

Too often, companies ignore search optimization or shelve requests for it simply because senior management does not understand it well enough to provide the necessary leadership and support. And if top management does not view it as priority, marketing and sales people are disinclined to pursue it. They will apply traditional, "accepted" tactics, shying away from one of the most efficient, measurable ways to get in front of prospects.

Too often, executives focus on the technical aspects of SEO and lose sight of the more important strategic aspects. Meta tags, spiders, pageviews, and visits don't mean much to company stakeholders and shareholders. Results—in terms of better leads and more of them - do.

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