A report from Conductor and Search Engine Watch found business decision makers and executives rely more heavily on the efforts and insights of search marketers.

A survey conducted by Search Engine Watch in conjunction with Conductor found that SEO agility is a focus for many companies in 2013. According to the survey, 71 percent of marketers said they are either “much more enabled” or “more enabled” to implement and adjust web strategies that improve search visibility compared to last year.

Respondents said their advice and suggestions receive more respect than they did previously. Executives and other decision makers have gained a stronger understanding of SEO and its role in business development. As a result, 63 percent of respondents said executives at their companies are more familiar with the metrics and data used to confirm success in organic search marketing. While 35 percent report SEO knowledge has held steady in the past year, just 2 percent reported that decision makers are less fluent in search measurement than they were 12 months ago.

Additionally, search marketers said colleagues now hold their input in higher regard. Sixty-five percent said their “seat at the revenue table” is more prominent than it was last year, as they introduce new ways to leverage search to improve revenue.

Additionally, search marketers said colleagues now hold their input in higher regard. Sixty-five percent said their “seat at the revenue table” is more prominent than it was last year, as they introduce new ways to leverage search to improve revenue.

The increased value of search marketing is evident from the results of the survey. Moreover, the increasing role of search results in both enterprise and consumer purchase decisions makes a strong SEO campaign a potential revenue driver. The survey found that executives now rely on data gathered by search marketers to inform other parts of their businesses. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they expect to use their data to improve other strategies for their company “much more” in 2013, and 51 percent said they will influence different areas “more” often.

Other business operations that can – and should – be informed by search data are content marketing strategies and product and service development. Identifying the terms users frequently search to land on a page site provides insights related to consumer demand for different offerings, as well as questions prospects have about a brand. Developing website content that speaks to these issues helps improve authority and fosters a greater sense of trust with a web audience.

Offering consumers and B2B buyers highly sought, educational information can help build the positive reputation, which leads to conversions. Brafton recently reported that trust is mandatory for more than 80 percent of people to make purchases

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.