What Size Company Should You Hire?
If you haven’t already read the first three parts of this series on hiring a professional search engine marketer, you may want to take a moment to check them out: Farming Out Your Search Marketing, Reviewing Service Offerings and Prices and Finding a Reputable Company or Consultant.
Now that you’ve learned what to look for in a company and where to find a company, you’re getting to the point where you’ve found some firms to consider. Now you'll need to move to the next stage in the decision process; deciding if you want to work with an individual consultant, an SEM-only firm, or a marketing or web design firm that also offers SEO services. The decision can be a difficult one, and there are pros and cons that go with each option.
(Keep in mind that the following comparisons aren’t meant to provide sweeping generalizations, but rather some of the potential pros and cons that can come with hiring different types of professionals. Any one of the three options below could end up being the best one for your company, it all depends on what you are looking for in a search marketing vendor.)
Working with an individual consultant can be your best option in quite a few situations. Some of the most well known search engine marketing professionals in the business are solo artists, many of them even working out of home offices. You’ll want to take the following points into consideration when thinking about hiring an individual consultant.
Pros to hiring an individual consultant
Cons to hiring an individual consultant
SEM-only Specialist Firms
Working with a specialist firm that offers purely SEM services can be a great way to know that you are hiring someone who has the time to focus on the industry and to become a highly specialized expert. Some of the best-known SEMs are part of solo, or very small promotional companies and are quite skilled at working with the web designer, copywriters and other marketing professionals that may already be working on your web site.
Pros to SEM-only Specialist Firms
Cons to SEM-only Specialist Firms
Large Marketing Firms
As SEO services grow in popularity, it's becoming more and more common for web design firms and full service advertising agencies to add optimization services to their list of services. More and more firms are realizing the importance of presenting a complete integrated marketing package and in learning how to tie together the performances of search marketing, email, print, and other types of marketing campaigns.
Pros to Large Marketing Firms
Cons to Large Marketing Firms
Whomever you hire, make certain that they speak to you in a language that you understand. If they are not willing to clearly explain each step of the process to you and answer any questions that you might have, give serious consideration to selecting another vendor. SEM can make or break a web site and working with someone that you can understand is essential to the process.
No matter what type of professional you choose to hire, you'll want to carefully check credentials to be certain that you aren't hiring someone who is just getting started and using your web site as their guinea pig. There can also be problems meshing your search engine marketing strategy with the rest of your marketing plan and web site goals if the professional doesn't approach the job from the proper angle. It is essential that search engine optimization efforts be considered part of your overall marketing strategy and that the professional you hire is able to make this happen.
Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
May 2, 2005
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jenniferâ€™s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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