Finding a great search engine marketer requires two key elements:
- Ensuring you’re willing to spend the budget and/or time necessary to make it happen, and
- Finding the right agency for the job
Finding the right Agency
Typically you’ll find that those offering search marketing are in one of three camps:
- Marketing Consultants that are trying to show they’re cool and can play with the young companies
- Web Designers that are desparately trying to provide every web service under the sun to a typically small number of clients
- Boutique Search Marketing Agencies who typically know what they’re up against
Beware of the first two. There’s definitely exceptions to the rule, but in general marketing consultants don’t actually engage in many real-world campaigns, meaning they’re providing advice on the theories of web marketing without actually understanding the practice of engaging in the trench warfare that is SEO and SEM.
Web designers are often self-taught, which isn’t a bad thing; self taught designers can often be better equipt to handle the business world of web design than those fresh out of design school. The problem is that web design is a very different thing from search marketing, which is a heavily data-driven service tied to customer relationships and numbers more than anything else.
Web designers can be great at these things, but more often than not you’ll find the analytical coders to be the better fit for expansion into the web marketing world than those that start with designing rather than building. Even then, be careful! Self-taught coders are often so accustomed to figuring everything out on their own and claiming to be an expert that they get a major ‘pie-in-the-face’ moment when managing SEO campaigns. At your expense.
Marketing Consultants are occasionally a good start, but typically they’re in the game to sell services through specific 3rd party companies that shove you into a particular niche market of what they offer. This means that despite their claims of being consultants (supposedly there to help you pick the right services) they instead drive you towards the service they want you to choose, rather than the best one for you.
Even worse, consultants often come from the standard offline marketing world and pretend to know a thing or two about web marketing. Some of the principles are the same, but the execution is very different.
Be sure you trust your consultant before putting your money down.
Boutique Search Marketing Agencies are the key. An agency that puts the structure of your site and, more generally, it’s SEO at the forefront of the build are the folks you want to be talking to about bringing in more business using your website.
Having the necessary budget or time
Search marketing is no different from everything else in business; you have to be willing to either spend the money or spend the time. If you’ve found a cheap search marketing service, then chances are it’s either going to not work or even worse, it’ll work short-term and destroy your site’s rankings long-term.
But the right cheap services is cheap because they’re not promising you the world. For example, our entirely free DIY SEO guide provides you with the tools to do your SEO yourself for $0. And to sweeten the deal we’ve got super-cheap options to help you with the more difficult processes — like obtaining backlinks to boost your rankings. If you want reports, set ’em up yourself or ask us to do it for you; your choice! If you want to pay for on-site SEO rather than do it yourself, you’ll need to fork out a bit more.
In other words, find out exactly what you’re getting, how long it lasts and what the expectations are for the campaign. If your search marketer is promising you specific results, be wary. If your search marketer isn’t providing details about how their technique works, tread carefully. Ensure that your project is well defined and precisely priced. Be sure that if you’re being told certain elements you must do to keep your SEO working to your benefit, you’re prepared to do it OR pay someone else to get it done.
And that’s really all there is to it! Finding the right company for the job and devoting the right budget, which may include your time, will get you the best possible service for the money.
…and hey, be sure to consider us for the job, too.