Five Guidelines for Outsourcing Your Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine MarketingSearch engine marketing isn’t really an option any longer, it’s a necessity. Consumers will often use search engines to find products they want to purchase or providers of the services they are looking for. They will often use search engines to research and find reviews about specific products and service providers before ever buying.

Where do you rank in the search engines? If you don’t have a clue, don’t worry you aren’t the only one. However, with that being said companies are becoming more aware of the importance of being found in search engines when consumers conduct their research.

When a consumer does a search, they are what I would call a “warm” lead. They are ready to buy; that’s why they are doing their homework. Companies have become more aware of the role that search engines play in their marketing; this pushes them to either find someone in-house to do their search engine optimization or to outsource the job.

The problem with outsourcing is you must be careful to find a legit search engine marketing company and not just a company that will blow smoke and tell you what you want to hear. Outsourcing your search engine optimization can be one of the best investments you make in your marketing strategy, but if you hire the wrong company, it can also be the biggest drain on your bank account.

How do you know what to look for when outsourcing your search engine marketing? Take a few moments to review five guidelines that I have provided to you regarding outsourcing your search engine marketing. These guidelines will help you in selecting a company that is not only legit, but can also have the skills and expertise to help you in getting the search engine results that you desire.

It’s true there are great benefits to being found in search engines, whether it be Google, Bing, or Yahoo!. When someone is searching for your product or service and they find you in a search engine it not only build credibility, but it also often gains you the inquiry of a “warm” lead. A consumer that is ready to purchase.

First off, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t learn search engine marketing. You can. However, it will take time and effort on your part. The information is out there, but you must seek it out, implement it, and monitor it. There are some companies that just don’t have the time or resources to do search engine marketing on their own so they seek to outsource it. This is not a bad move, provided you do your homework and don’t get taken by search engine marketing companies that are not legit and won’t get you the desired results you are paying for.

Why are there companies out there that claim to do search engine marketing but are not successful at it? I’ll see if I can answer that for you. Search engine marketing takes time. It’s not a quick fix, and it won’t happen overnight. You also cannot guarantee search engine results because the method and the way that search engines rank a website can often change due to algorithm changes. These two things allow companies to claim they do search engine optimization but leave you with a smaller bank account and no results.

How can you select a company that is legit in search engine marketing and not get taken advantage of?

There are five things you can look for when considering outsourcing and selecting a search engine marketing company. I’m sure there are some points that some will argue with, but this will give you the basis and guidelines for selecting a company and protecting yourself.

What do their own search engine optimization results look like? For example, do they rank under terms such as search engine marketing? If not, you have to wonder why they don’t practice what they preach. There are some companies that will tell you that they are just so busy with clients, they don’t have time to do search engine marketing for their own sites. Ok, I can understand that – but would you go to a dentist that had bad teeth? Just something for you to think about.

What do their current clients say? Ask for references and then call them. It’s important to make sure that their current clients are happy with the results they have received from hiring the search engine marketing company. References are important because search engine marketing does often take time to achieve. You want to make sure their current clients are satisfied with the work and results they are getting for them.

Can they give you a plan that shows you want to expect? When you enter into an agreement with a search engine optimization company, make sure they give you a plan that shows what you should expect. Keep in mind that these are just guidelines; they are not guarantees. Any company that says they can guarantee you results most the time are not telling you the truth. However, they should however be willing to give you a plan of action and guide you in expectations along the way.

What kind of reporting will they use and provide to you? This is important. You wouldn’t go on a weight loss program and not measure results; so why would you hire a search engine marketing company and not expect them or require them to provide you with reporting that shows the progress you are making? The answer is, don’t. Search engine marketing companies that are legit are more than willing to provide you with reporting, showing milestones that they have hit and the progress they are making.

Last but not least, when searching for a search engine marketing company, ask lots of questions and chose the company that makes you feel the most comfortable when answering those questions. Search engine marketing can be expensive, so it’s important to choose the right outsource solution. You must walk away from the negotiating table feeling as if you have put your search engine needs in the right hands. Otherwise you could be throwing money down the drain, and in this economy, no one can afford to do that.

Outsourcing your search engine marketing needs can often be a great solution for companies that have limited resources in both time and expertise. There are many search engine marketing companies that have accumulated knowledge, resources, accounts, and contacts that can help you gain the results you desire when someone searches for your products or services. You just want to make sure you do your due diligence when it comes to selecting the right one, and by following the guidelines above, you’ll be on the right track.

By Laura Lake, About.com

Filed under Internet Marketing · Tagged with

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