Outsource Search Engine Marketing?

by | August 10th, 2007

SEM has become increasingly important to all who do business and use the Web as a marketing tool (which by now should be every company). According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), the SEM market is over $10 billion in North America alone. Therefore, the biggest question now isn’t whether you should use SEM, but rather who will manage your SEM campaigns.

What should you do? It depends. When reviewing your options for in-house or outsourced search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) bid management, consider these important skills (which may not be feasible for one person):

  1. SEO specialist (certificate or training)
  2. PPC specialist to optimally manage your bids (Some Google certification helpful)
  3. Web stats analyst to monitor and analyze web traffic patterns
  4. Usability professional to ensure your campaign is engaging the user and increasing conversion rates
  5. Web designer to ensure the site landing pages are laid out in an attractive fashion
  6. Web programmer to code the site
  7. Project manager to ensure everyone’s efforts are coordinated

And the most important thing:  RULES and TECHNOLOGY CHANGE.  The team or person should have time to keep abreast of how this industry changes.



  • Thanks for the info. Lots of notes to review from your informative post.

  • Bru

    I always feel people miss the boat on SEO. SEO is really a bunch of techniques that you do to accomplish a particular goal for the client. If you lose sight of that goal, often the techniques are useless to the client.

    When I develop websites or do SEO for a client I am always asking myself every step of the way, “Will this help my client accomplish his goal?” Often the answer is “NO!” The code may be succinct (W3C standards code that needs hacks for different browsers to work properly) the software may be cutting edge (JAVA tracking software that slows page load) the pictures may be pretty (large and again slow downloads) Flash may be employed (search engines can’t read it)…etc. etc. etc. ALL scream back NO!

    So, when I sit down and really listen to the client and get him away from crap like “I want a gazillion hits every month” or “I want a gazillion inbound links”..and I finally get him to say what he really wants which is “I want sales” then I can tell him the truth about how it all works.

    Then I can tell him that if a guy in Frankfurt Germany approaches me and says, “I hear you’re the best SEO around and I want you to sell mustard to my customers in Germany.” I have to say back to him, “Sorry I don’t speak German, I don’t know anything about the German Culture, I don’t know what foods Germans put mustard on, I don’t have a clue how Germans shop for mustard. I can’t take your money.” BECAUSE SEO is about the semantics of the buyer!

    It’s not really about SEO credentials. All that stuff doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if you don’t know the cultural semantics of the buyer. That SEO that targets accurately the phrases that have the buyer sitting there in front of his computer with his wallet out and ready to buy is the best SEO in the world for that client. Because those longtail hard to find phrases that are used maybe once every 6 months are not located on any competitors website but guarantee first page placements and instant sales.

    So sales, and taking advantage of Google properly, and fulfilling the real requirements of the client are all about words and nothing but WORDS. Not links, not page sculpting (chuckle), not H1 tags (chuckle) http://tinyurl.com/nt3w5a not any of the BS you read about SEO. Sure some of it can add value, but without the right words it’s flat out useless.

    The list in the blog statement above can now be seen as it really is. A list of certifications that unfortunately have absolutely nothing to do with the real goals of the client. That’s not how you do SEO.