Matt Naeger, VP and
General Counsel, IMPAQT
Matt Naeger graduated from Duquesne University Law School and applies his legal training and
expertise to the search industry in a multitude of ways — specifically as they relate to online client
branding, as well as trademark and copyright issues. He spent six years managing large-scale direct
marketing analysis projects for Fortune 500 clients before the start-up of IMPAQT in 1999. Naeger
is also recognized as a true “thought leader” in search, frequently speaking at leading industry events
and summits, as well as being considered a go-to source for search analysts and media.
IMPAQT was founded in 1999. The company redefined search marketing and stays at the forefront
of the industry with a combination of innovation, strategy, expert staff, and analytics. IMPAQT’s
offerings include search engine optimization services, paid-search management, search education
services, agency partnerships, search analytics, strategic consulting, customized reporting, and
online/offline data integration. The company currently services Fortune 1000 corporations with
data intensive search marketing needs in the B2B, finance, insurance, pharmaceutical, retail, and
Jerri: What do you see as the current state of SEO?
During 2002 and 2003, people were starting to back away from SEO, but over the last
18–24 months, there has been a much more prevalent view of optimization. SEO has once again
become the in-vogue tactic for marketing.
People are also starting to look at how organic optimization works with paid-search marketing
strategies. In the beginning there was a more siloed [compartmentalized] approach to search engine
optimization and search engine marketing. Many organizations saw it as two different programs, and
it was either one or the other. But now people are beginning to realize they have to do both together.
When both are implemented, we have seen that they support each other and each becomes signifi-
cantly more successful than when they operate independently.
Jerri: How does SEO fit into overall search marketing?
To begin with, users still don’t necessarily understand that a sponsored link is paid for.
Even a lot of marketers don’t understand. We find that many organizations are doing either one or
the other, but they don’t do both. The way that it should be is that SEO should be a core compo-
nent of any online marketing strategy. The opportunity to capture a very large audience at what is
comparatively a small cost is something that should never be overlooked by a marketer in today’s
world. SEO should also be utilized as a means of growing the depth of understanding of what
users are wanting from your site and your company. By optimizing your web site to appear within
organic search results, you can then evaluate the relevant terms associated with your site for
potential purchases in engines where your placement may be lacking. As you evolve your online
marketing strategies, SEO and SEM should both be looked at not only as a way to capture cus-
tomers, but also as a way to understand them and in extension a way to understand the effects
of your total brand marketing efforts.
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