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Bringing Sem In-house


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#1 chriscbs

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:49 AM

I'm not sure if anyone caught this article by Gary Angel on E-Commerce News about Bringing Search Engine Marketing In-House.

I can appreciate both sides of the argument of agency vs. in-house, but I can't help but feel that this article is very one-sided.

I'm feeling the need to argue some of his points, and I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

- He starts by comparing the outsourcing of PPC to the outsourcing of Payroll. I can agree that payroll is not a differentiator and PPC is, but how about comparing PPC to marketing? Most companies employ some kind of marketing firm, even though it can be a core differentiator. Is that not a better comparison?

- Another fear that is brought to light is the idea that within an agency, the majority of the SEM knowledge falls on one or two people, and if someone leaves, the competitive advantage is gone as well. An equally compelling argument can be made about an in-house SEM person leaving (and worse, going to work for a competitor). I'd also argue that an agency SEO/SEM has the advantage of working on many accounts, and quickly accumulating knowledge from a number of perspectives. I also strongly believe that a lot of knowledge is passed around within an agency. If one of us learns something, everyone takes advantage of it.

- He also states that the only real differentiator in the PPC world is a PPC bid-management tool. What about landing page design, compelling ad text, and shopping cart conversion optimization?

He concludes by saying: Therefore, if you've been thinking about the possibility of bringing your SEM efforts in-house, there aren't necessarily any compelling reasons why you shouldn't.

Doesn't that statement oversimplify it just a little?

To replace an established SEM agency, you're probably looking at hiring an SEO, a person to manage PPC, a talented designer (if you don't already have one), and a web developer ... and then managing the process of getting them all to work as a cohesive unit (something that the agency has already accomplished).

I should also say that I met Gary at SES Chicago last December and we chatted briefly. He's definitely a good guy, and I think that he has a lot of industry related knowledge; I just can't help but disagree with him on this point!

#2 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 11:15 AM

To replace an established SEM agency, you're probably looking at hiring an SEO, a person to manage PPC, a talented designer (if you don't already have one), and a web developer ... and then managing the process of getting them all to work as a cohesive unit (something that the agency has already accomplished).


True. On the other hand, this is also true of any other business unit you need to establish. Most businesses aren't going to also outsource R&D, Engineering, Technical Writing, Payroll, Marketing, and Accounts - every business unit needs some kind of specialized knowledge, new employees, and team work. If you're willing to invest in establishing that team for your SEM as well, you might as well.

You also then have the distinct advantage that your SEM team is 100% invested in your business, rather than dividing their attentions between dozens of different clients. You know for certain that your SEM team has your best interests in mind.

I'd argue, though, that there's a place for a qualifed outside search marketing consultant during the hiring and team development phase, however. If you want to make certain you're hiring the best possible people for your team, it's probably worth the price to hire somebody to help you with that.

(And to disclose, I haven't read the article you're referring to...)

#3 bwelford

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 03:45 PM

I believe that marketing should be a core activity of the company and you should build up the internal resources to do it well. However as Joe said, in getting to there, an outsider who can help you 'learn how to fish' rather than 'doing the fishing' for you may well be a very useful way to go

#4 A.N.Onym

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 06:48 PM

This is the same issue with outsourcing SEO. You only not have an inhouse SEO (or outsource SEO), if SEO isn't the core functionality of your company or you don't need significant traffic.

However, I'd agree with Barry that every company should have an inhouse SEO/SEM.

#5 iamlost

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:56 PM

In my experience with medium to very large companies there were two recurring reasons for outsourcing SEO/SEM:
1. cost:
* the actual cost of contracting out can be less than hiring/training/retaining similarly qualified staff.
* contracting out can have accounting advantages beyond actual cost.

2. structure:
* SEM cuts across traditional business structure: IT, Personel, Sales, Advertising, Marketing; even into Finance and Operations.

A consultant is an outsider whose interdepartmental wanderings are more easily accepted than some poor staff SEO whose memos go up, aside, and down upsetting everyone along the way before perhaps returning.

I tracked one memo (requesting a single header change) along a 23-step process over 4-days requiring 9-authorisation signatures. And the executive board had been wondering why they were being hammered in the SEs.

A company that brings SEM inhouse must fully understand, accept, and entitle the process or it will die screaming in smothered frustration.

#6 projectphp

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:56 PM

I think, despite being an outsourced SEM, that inhouse can make a lot of sense.

However, the solutuion would need to be pretty specific. I don't get why inhouse ppl don't multiskill. I doubt many businesses could justify as fulltime web developer, but a web dev/SEO/SEM/Online Marketer/Online Evangelist (read: blogger/blog commenter/forum participant) might make a whole lot of sense.

Such a person has the benefit of being "in teh loop" about teh business, able to doa ranhge of tasks at rather short notice, and keep the agenda of Search in everyone's face, as we all know the issues caused when search is an after thought.

However, several of the poitns on both sides worry me.

I also strongly believe that a lot of knowledge is passed around within an agency. If one of us learns something, everyone takes advantage of it.

That only matters if you are allowed to. An inhouse Web Dev will have far greater control than an agency, especially for large businesses in whihc politics is such an overiding factor.

Knoweledge that can't/isn;t allowed to be used is really rather useless knowledge.

Therefore, if you've been thinking about the possibility of bringing your SEM efforts in-house, there aren't necessarily any compelling reasons why you shouldn't.

Hmm. See, all his points, to me, don't really add up to much of anything solution wise. Sure, there are no reason s not to, but neither are there reasons to.

A marketing team that added the web guru I mentioned above would benefit hugely. An inhouse PPC put in the hands of someone incredibly uninterested (a marketing person say) would be a disaster (I have seen this happen repeatedly).

To take SM inhouse requires a solid, quality solution, and one that is significantly better than outsourcing. Find that, and you have an argument worth hearing.

#7 A.N.Onym

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 10:21 PM

I don't get why inhouse ppl don't multiskill. I doubt many businesses could justify as fulltime web developer, but a web dev/SEO/SEM/Online Marketer/Online Evangelist (read: blogger/blog commenter/forum participant) might make a whole lot of sense.

You see, to multiskill, one needs to be really interested in his job and in learning. Some people just sit and do the tasks, given to them from the bosses, while others learn something new to become better. That's how I got to this forum: I was trying to learn something new on my own.

As for internal communication, this may not happen. In one of the companies I have been working in, there were 3-5 people becide me, busy with different tasks. We didn't talk or cooperate much, because the tasks and their difficulty were different.

I suspect, as Michael said, it takes a special approach both to fostering your inhouse SEO and internal communication, if you really want to reach the sky with an inhouse SEO.

#8 projectphp

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 11:00 PM

I think that is probably why so many don't do it. Rather than take the huge risk, and fall short, hiring an external agency provides the "middle of the bell curve" approach that won't get you fired, and also blamability.

I am not sure how hard it is to find a person like I mentioned. Web dev, especailly inhouse, can get pretty dull. Throwing on top a few other tasks seems like a great way to fill out a job. For sure, it takes the right person, but with teh right person, it would fly.

#9 iamlost

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 11:50 PM

but a web dev/SEO/SEM/Online Marketer/Online Evangelist (read: blogger/blog commenter/forum participant) might make a whole lot of sense.

but most companies pay didley squat for labour.

Read some SEO/SEM employment ads - they want the farm and the kitchen sink and many years experience for entry level wages. Often the qualifications list exposes total ignorance of real designer/SEM requirements.

A person that is interested and experienced enough to be so cross trained can contract out at a multiple the employed wage and benefits rate for exactly the same work while being appreciated rather than taken for granted. Or build and run their own web ad/affiliate/ecommerce network.

The greater the web presence the more sensible inhouse SEM. But what does sense have to do with it? The turf wars and restrictions and pitance wages that I have seen (been out of contracting for almost a year) and still hear about have little to do with sense and much more to do with bureaucracy, routine, and privelege.

#10 projectphp

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 12:50 AM

Not everyone wants to work for or by themselves.

And everyone needs to start somewhere. If you an code a bit and do a bit of basic web work, you can grow into an accomplished SEO, so teh experience part, I agree, isa bit silly.

have little to do with sense and much more to do with bureaucracy, routine, and privelege

Agreed. But then, markets pay what they deem teh work to be worth. Give it a few years, and see what these skills, as standard, are worth.

#11 Sush

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 01:43 AM

An outsider is always an outsider though we do outsourcing when it is reallly helpful for the business.

However I always prefer to have my own resources to get the best results.

From SEO to designing I always like to maintain a continous flow between all the tasks. So that involved person can realize how their contribution is related with the total project. SEO is not enough without a good design and clean coding for a site as well as SEM can not run alone without satisfying your visitors. Therefore you need to be well informed and provide relevant information to your visitors. So at the end of the process you can not deny the importance of content writer or a creative communicator.

#12 kestrel

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 05:14 AM

To replace an established SEM agency, you're probably looking at hiring an SEO, a person to manage PPC, a talented designer (if you don't already have one), and a web developer ... and then managing the process of getting them all to work as a cohesive unit (something that the agency has already accomplished).


I've found a lot of smaller design agencies already have the design and development skills, but don't have specialist SEO skills. In these cases they seek a contractor to assist them in the long term hope that they will either develop the skills in-house or learn how to fish for a skilled SEO.

Then there are those that have already realised the importance of SEO i.e. the larger agencies, super affiliates, businesses who depend on SEO, and neither would dream of not having a full-time, in-house SEO.

they want the farm and the kitchen sink and many years experience for entry level wages. Often the qualifications list exposes total ignorance of real designer/SEM requirements.


Then there are the inbetweens who fall into this category...

They know they need SEO/M but they either, don't realise that it's a bit more than keyword research and header tags, or they don't realise the potential ROI, or they are speculating in a new area of business for the company, and thus are only willing to pay a pitance.

Agreed you can hire an SEO for a lower hourly rate than a private hire domestic cleaner gets, but will they give you all that a truly skilled SEO can?

*edit*

Actually yes they probably will. Because some skilled SEO's are having to except these wages...

Edited by kestrel, 07 February 2007 - 05:19 AM.


#13 A.N.Onym

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 05:24 AM

Yes, janitor wages for expert skills (as good expert as they don't have or know anyone, who could objectively evaluate the knowledge level) is common. The only time I have seen a good salary offered is when they already had a SEM directory and they needed an assistant (or when the company has already worked with a good SEM).

#14 egain

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 05:25 AM

There is possibly one other thing not been mentioned (which applies to the UK market at least) and that is the lack of skilled resource. Something like traditional marketing/web design is quite well resourced in terms of human resource. However I know from having my own company, and previous experience in a large North West based agency that getting that skilled resource is very very difficult in the current market.

That tied in with the cost of hiring someone to do such a job, does put a lot of people off. Why pay someone 20+ per annum when you can pay an agency circa 5K+ for the same service (figures ropey i know) when both probably will deliver similar ROI's

Edited by egain, 07 February 2007 - 05:25 AM.


#15 kestrel

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 05:39 AM

There is possibly one other thing not been mentioned (which applies to the UK market at least) and that is the lack of skilled resource.


I have seen the same. So if SEO's are in demand then why the poor wages?

From my experience many still don't understand the benefits of SEO or what the organic results are. Here in the East of England many are still hooked on PPC and SEO is a new concept (some not all).

For that reason, as a freelancer, I try to target those that already know what SEO is, and what it can do for their business, rather than try and ask someone to part with, what can after all, be a significant sum of money.

Those that understand, realise it's a small amount compared to the ROI.

#16 egain

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 05:48 AM

Completely agree Kestrel, and thats part of the problem (the wages), and the lack of "understanding" of SEO in particular.

I think many of the FTSE companies get SEO, however there is still a large scale misunderstanding of SEO, caused either by lack of education of previous bad experiences.

#17 chriscbs

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 08:00 AM

Wow, great discussion.

Multiskilled People
I'm not sure how good you can get at one thing if you're pushed to be multi-skilled. I'll take development as an example. The dev world moves so fast when it comes to web technology. Every project that we do has the latest and greatest .NET component, more AJAX integration, fewer steps to checkout in the shopping carts, etc. If I were to grab one of our software engineers and say, "start reading up on SEO, because you're going to be optimizing some of these sites, too," their first reaction would be, "in addition to keeping up with all the new dev tricks and best-practices????"

The point I'm trying to make is that it's possible to be multi-skilled, but at the end of the day, what is the quality of the output? You've got someone who excels in one area, and is at best decent at SEO, decent at design, decent at dev, for example.

To me that seems like much more of a way to cut cost then it does a way to create differentiation among your competitors. If you want to be the leader, I still think you need a group of people that are all highly-skilled in their area of expertise, that know how to work together to deliver SEM results. Whether you hire them all in-house, or hire an existing group (agency).

True. On the other hand, this is also true of any other business unit you need to establish. Most businesses aren't going to also outsource R&D, Engineering, Technical Writing, Payroll, Marketing, and Accounts - every business unit needs some kind of specialized knowledge, new employees, and team work. If you're willing to invest in establishing that team for your SEM as well, you might as well.

I think that brings up two interconnected points. First, the decision has to be partially governed by the size of the organization. Second, what does it take to provide SEM results that meet the standards of the particular organization?

For the majority of our customers, SEM means PPC management, natural optimization, and everything that happens after the visitor gets to the site -- shopping cart optimization, call-to-action design, web statistics analysis, ongoing testing, etc. Which means, IMHO, at the absolute least three or four talented people.

For other organizations, it may be possible to get away with one multi-skilled person, and a PPC bid-management tool.

#18 A.N.Onym

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 08:34 AM

Frankly speaking, there isn't that much new going on. Sure, new languages appear, new tricks come along, but if a person is professional enough (writing readable and secure code from the start), then there aren't many problems with following another industry.

When it comes to SEO, it all evolves around the people, not the search engines. So, this means you don't need to track the SEs and only need to find more ways to deliver quality to your customers. And there's a limited amount ways to do that.

It is clear that one person can't be expected to do everything at once. However, it should be reasonable for a SEO to be able to create a well researched article, code some HTML/CSS/PHP and also know about social (word of mouth) marketing.

You are correct in a way that one person can't be a developer and a SEO at a time. His/her preference will pick one, anyway. That's why partnering with someone, who can barter a service should be helpful for any parties involved.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 07 February 2007 - 08:35 AM.


#19 fctoma

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 03:50 PM

Bringing SEM/SEO in house is exactly what we did back in 1999. I believe it was a good move for me and the company. I started here as a sales guy, we develop software at the company I work for and when I started in 97, they had a two page, pretty much text site.

We went to one of the first SES conferences hosted by Danny; I think there were under 200 attendees, in San Fran. It was an eye-opener and I instantly got interested. We had maybe 200 visitors a month, really slow back then. Now, we average 700 visitors a day. 90% of these visitors are from SEs.

I credit our in-house SEM, plus the in-house knowledge of our software work flow, and all the pieces that fall behind within the company. I have an internal knowledge and passion for our software, thus making it much easier for ME to do our SEO, rather than an outside company. I still do sales, but most of my time is focused on SEO/SEM.

Over the past few years, we've received tons of offers from SEO companies wanting to "SEO" our site. Once I get them on the phone, it always is the same story. Most of them haven't even taken the chance to look through our site before they call. Most of them have no clue what we're about. Most of them cost twice as much as my monthly salary.

Anyways, I'm a big fan of SEO in house. If you have the will to learn, its a great job! Constantly moving, constantly learning.

Have a great weekend from Idaho!

<edit>Signature, Frank. Signature</edit>

#20 cline

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 05:26 PM

One key issue the article missed was how many FTEs you need in SEM. If you don't have enough SEM work for a full FTE, preferably two, you don't have enough work to allow an inhouse person to specialize in SEM. SEM is sufficiently complex and rapidly changing that if you don't specialize in it, you cannot do it well.

This trumps whether SEM is a core function of the business. I've got lots of clients who are 100% dependent on SEM for customer acquisition. But they need only a small amount of SEM work. They're far better off getting that from a specialist than trying to do it inhouse.

There's also an efficiency issue. Several years ago a headhunter tried to lure me to take an inhouse position. Great sounding position, excellent compensation. But when I found out how big the program to be managed was, I asked the headhunter, "this is only a 5/hr per week job. What am I going to do with the other 35 hours per week?"

#21 Feydakin

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 01:49 PM

Cline hit on a good point.. For many companies bringing in a new employee that doesn't produce a product just isn't a viable option.. It can be easier financially to work with a sontractor that you can bring in and let go as cash flow dictates.. You can't do that as easily with an employee.. Especially one that everyone sees as "sitting at the computer and playing" all day..

We know that this isn't true, but when people not only don't understand your job, and only see you sitting at a computer all day not producing a product that can be sold, it can be hard..

#22 projectphp

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 09:59 PM

I asked the headhunter, "this is only a 5/hr per week job. What am I going to do with the other 35
hours per week?"

Surely keep up with the "complex and rapidly changing" industry :)

SEM is sufficiently complex and rapidly changing that if you don't specialize in it, you cannot do it well.

I just don't believe that. I truly don't.

And even if it was true, it would make outsourcing worse, as many comapnies won't have 100% of their staff interested enough to actually learn the new stuff (I worked at a place like that, where very few people kept up with the industry). That makes agencies pot luck, with some excellent staff, and some rotten staff.

To me, the 80/20 rule applies bigtime to SEM: 80% of the gains can be acheived with a modicum of learning. The question then is: how much of the extra 20% can an outsourced solution get us, and will it justify the cost?

IMHO, there are there 4 main "groups" of SEM spenders (with their best option in brackets):
1. (Both) SMEs as a one off and infrequent cost, e.g. setup and infrequent maintenenace. That is about all a small local carpet company probably needs, as well as many other small players.
2. (outsource) SMEs of a reasonable size with a decent budget that won't justify the cost of an inhouse team, e.g. the people who spend $1-3 K a month outsourcing it.
3. (either) Those that spend on outsourcing the cost of one employee have a choice: a lot of corporate knowledge in one person's head or outource for likely lesser results and greater cost.
4. (inhouse) Large firms with more than one person looking after SEO and PPC.

The really big players (4 above) IMHO need an inhouse team. 10% of 2 million a year spend (a reasonable agency cost) is two people's sallary + a dedicated tracking sytem. heck, 10% of 1 million a year probably is. These staffhave the following benefits:
1. 80 hours a week between them to stay up to date, and only one client to manage.
2. They are available onsite fulltime to train inhouse staff and/or present to higher ups as the need arises. And it will!
3. They can get that 20% through spending the time that, lets be honest, it requires.
4. Are free to dream up Linkbait ideas and stay active with relevant online communities (bloggers and the influencers). The calssic "Evangelist" like a Matt Cutts or Zawodny.
5. Should provide a skill set that allows neglected tasks to actually be done (crossing SEO i-s and dotting SEO t-s that take more time than is justified for a web dev team).

The best SEM firm can't possibly compete with that, and offer only a wider knowledge from various clients as a benefit in comparison, and I doubt that is really that massive a benefit to offset the above.

For everyone else, outsourcing, in some capacity, probably makes more sense.

#23 Jexley

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 10:29 PM

5 years ago, when I was a lowly Associate Developer at a huge-and-growing company, we started poking around in our traffic reports and decided to try and get a little more of that SE traffic.

2 years later, and 31% of our online sales (~12K/day) were folks coming through the SEs. I was still a developer, but my job title had a "/" added to it and my pay went up quite a bit simply because I was given an alloted amount of time to "do that thing with the landing pages" a week and it made us sh*tloads of money.

That was a few years and another continent ago, and I'm not thinking of branching our company's SEM services to include training.

My thinking is, if you don't want to have recurring costs on your SEM and you don't have the dough to go out and hire somebody (of which the market here is sparse) for in-house, then why don't you have the experts (me) come in and train somebody up on some preliminary SEM skills?

20% of what I first learned all those years ago is what I could've gotten off of any decent forum thread these days, and the other 80% can only come from experience. If I can spend a couple days teaching the 20 (and getting paid reasonably well to do it) then a company can measure this value over time (with their own employee's time as a resource) as the other 80 is being built.

This seems, to me at least, to be the most logical answer to the question of bringing SEM in-house or hiring an outside firm, and I plan on marketing it. Whachoo think?

#24 A.N.Onym

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 10:52 PM

Jexley, you make a good point about a company having someone teach an internal worker, but perhaps not the point you wanted to make.

Mostly, the best choice would be to hire a SEO consultant for a company to teach an internal worker (a developer) all the general stuff (the 80%, not 20%), while the rest of the stuff will be learned during the process by the worker. The costs of hiring a consultant to train an employee are very, very small, compared to the potentially increased profits in the future.

#25 backgammonnn1234

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 09:39 PM

I think with seo there is alot of talent out there both locally and overseas. You just have to get lucky and land a good one even if it means getting ripped off on a few bad ones, but your risk reward ratio is better overseas where a few misses wont break the bank.You would be very surprised where u can find world class seo's at :angry: (and im not one of them lol)

Jexely, sounds like u got hot at the right time. Sometimes it isnt just about talent, its about timing.

#26 A.N.Onym

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 09:46 PM

I think with seo there is alot of talent out there both locally and overseas.

Yup yup.

I can't say that not choosing overseas SEOs carefully is useful, though.

#27 Jexley

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 10:07 PM

A.N.Onym, fair enough, that IS what I was trying to say.

I picked the wrong week to have a newborn baby and to stop smoking all that crack.

#28 bragadocchio

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 10:36 PM

Welcome to the forums, Jexley.

That really is an excellent point, about doing some training in-house to start with, and developing some (possibly written) internal processes and intellectual property that can stay around in case there's a need for even more folks to work in that area can be really helpful.

As an employee of the company who knows other things about how things work, that initial training could cover some other areas of working for the company, too. Even if inadvertantly.

#29 cline

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 07:01 PM

SEM is sufficiently complex and rapidly changing that if you don't specialize in it, you cannot do it well.

I just don't believe that. I truly don't.


I believe you are taking my statement in an extreme way. To put it another way, how much beyond SEM do you think can be done while also being good at SEM? I'm talking about normal people here, not folks who are super-capable.

And even if it was true, it would make outsourcing worse, as many comapnies won't have 100% of their staff interested enough to actually learn the new stuff (I worked at a place like that, where very few people kept up with the industry). That makes agencies pot luck, with some excellent staff, and some rotten staff.


Bad management is not unique to outsourcing. It's the same as with inhouse.

To me, the 80/20 rule applies bigtime to SEM: 80% of the gains can be acheived with a modicum of learning. The question then is: how much of the extra 20% can an outsourced solution get us, and will it justify the cost?


Let me give you a case study. The marketing director of one of my clients is a former coworker from before I started my company. We'd fallen out of touch, but she remembered me as the company's SEM guru and had my personal email address. She'd struggled with doing SEM for months, without substantive success. She emailed me for advice. I wrote back saying I'd put out my SEM shingle. Her firm became a client and I did a dramatic SEM turnaround for them. She couldn't do SEM because she couldn't focus on it. She would be entirely capable if she did focus. She's really smart, with Ivy MBA and undergrad degrees. But she could only give SEM about 20% of her time.

I'm not talking here about firms that have so much SEM work they can hire an internal SEM staff of 3+ FTEs. At that point the insoursing/outsourcing decision becomes complex, but below that the case for outsourcing is compelling.

#30 projectphp

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 09:03 PM

I believe you are taking my statement in an extreme way.

Most likely. Unintentionaly, I assure you.

To put it another way, how much beyond SEM do you think can be done while also being good at SEM? I'm talking about normal people here, not folks who are super-capable.

Good question. I think that monitoring SEM is pretty easy. I don't think you need much talent to do basic AdWords changes (change bids, monitor ROI etc), nor basic traffic reports.

I do think, though, that setup and getting it going requires skill. That is where outsourcing should occur for most businesses, as a one off setup cost and some basic training, with the opption for future contact.

Let me give you a case study.

Great example. I think we aren't as far apart as you think.

But she could only give SEM about 20% of her time.

I think that can be enough. If an SEM sets up reports in a way that ppl can understand, that 20% can be plenty. Unless a business needs to amke changes constantly to AdWords et al (how many are in that boat?) then it really isn't that time intensive!

#31 cline

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 09:45 PM

I don't think you need much talent to do basic AdWords changes (change bids, monitor ROI etc)


I must suck at recruiting because I find it difficult to hire and train people to do so called "basic" Adwords changes.

I do think, though, that setup and getting it going requires skill. That is where outsourcing should occur for most businesses, as a one off setup cost and some basic training, with the opption for future contact.


I can't imagine any of my clients getting bid management done with "some basic training". Besides, we've got inhouse bid management tools that are not available directly to clients.

Great example. I think we aren't as far apart as you think.

Actually I was trying to say the same re your position.

QUOTE
But she could only give SEM about 20% of her time.

I think that can be enough. If an SEM sets up reports in a way that ppl can understand, that 20% can be plenty. Unless a business needs to amke changes constantly to AdWords et al (how many are in that boat?) then it really isn't that time intensive!


SEM without PPC?! I only have one client that doesn't do Adwords, and their situation is unusual. Making changes constantly to Adwords is the norm, not the exception.

#32 chriscbs

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 03:33 PM

It's been a while since I've had a chance to get back to this discussion, but I'm happy that I found the time today to do so.

If any of you missed it, Gary posted again about our discussion on his blog.  He makes a couple of good points, and calls me a slut.   :P

I just found the time to formalize my reply to his post - my thoughts are on the AWS blog.

I think the discussion is really centered around the idea of what does it really take to do SEO effectively, and what kind of services do you need from a web marketing vendor.

I'm starting to think that a lot of companies do a poor job of selecting a web marketing partner, and then they're not happy with the results or the relationship.  This might be a result of not understanding the services, or not being completely clear about what they can do internally, and what they need help with.

#33 A.N.Onym

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 07:52 PM

It may be also a result of the marketing partner not being efficient enough, too.

Or, alternatively, they simply had high expectations and wanted everything quickly, cheap and a lot of it, too.

There are a lot of reasons why a company may be disappointed with a SEO. Partly, this can be alleviated by the SEO, of course (by not working for someone looking for cheap labor, too).

#34 swainzy

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 11:57 AM

SES '07 interview with Greg Jarboe on keeping up with SEO, in house SEO.

"If youíre looking for a job, SEO is currently in high demand. Thatís right; search marketers are having manpower issues both in agencies and in-house. In an interview with Webpronews at the SES conference, SEO-PRís Greg Jarboe spoke with us about this growing trend. This tremendous lack of people is causing a big problem for search marketing companies. They have to either conduct a significant amount of training to their own employees, or steal already qualified employees from other companies."
WebProNews.com

Thanks Yuri! I fixed it. My last copy and paste before Greg must have stuck. :D

Edited by swainzy, 01 May 2007 - 09:30 AM.


#35 A.N.Onym

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 11:19 PM

Donna, I believe you meant to include this link.

P.S. Greg (and Mike) also talk a tad about Google bombing, too.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 30 April 2007 - 11:31 PM.


#36 bragadocchio

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 11:36 PM

It does look like Donna got her links mixed up.

Nice interview. Good point that schools aren't teaching students about search. I had the chance to be a guest speaker today at the local university near me, and it has the most polished internet marketing class that I've seen on the University level.

#37 A.N.Onym

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 12:46 AM

Yeah, pity there wasn't much said about integrating search into governmental educational activities (except that it isn't happening much).

I was thinking of visiting my school and university, too. Those youngsters are already creating websites, so some SEO/M basics might help them big time (or maybe even get them hooked up on it, along with usability and - one can hope, right? - accessibility).

Ahem. Sorry for offtopic.

Yeah, hiring students from colleges/universities, as Greg suggested, is, perhaps, the most efficient way to bring new blood to the company, as the students will learn the best SEO knowledge and also will not demand a high salary for a half a year or two. And it can very well be another reason to go tutoring to school/university for a SEO leader, looking for new, sharp heads and pairs of hands.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 01 May 2007 - 12:50 AM.




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