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SEARCH MARKETING BLOGGER brings you up-to-date news, opinions, links and digital, search and social media marketing tips from industry leading sources from all over the world. We welcome your comments and participation.

Editor, Darren Hughes is the Head of US Operations for Digital Clarity, a digital marketing agency specializing in the strategy and implementation of Search, Social, SMS and Email campaigns.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Would You Outsource Your Search Marketing Activity to a Third Party?

This seems to be a topic for debate at the moment. Julie Batten of Klick Communications wrote a pretty convincing article on ClickZ last month, in which she talked about the integrated structure that an agency could offer, bringing to the table expertise that could only be replicated by hiring an entire team in-house, which for 99.9% of businesses is not an option. She also talked about the increased return on investment (ROI) that could be achieved by outsourcing, along with the fostering innovation, reserving capital and time saving that can be invested in focusing on your core.


Despite the overwhelming argument outlined in the article and multiple other articles out there, there is still much resistance from business owners to let go of their PPC and SEO efforts for reasons that don't necessarily make sense to me. Okay, I can understand that some company's may have had their fingers burned by hiring a shady company, however, there are plenty of legitimate Search Marketing specialists and PPC shops, with a great reputation of delivering upon their clients objectives. So, given a little bit of research this issue can be avoided and the argument should not stand.

The bottom line is this: If you have a tooth ache, you go and see a dentist. If you need your can fixed, you go to a mechanic. This should not be any different with marketing.

Search Marketing is important and the difference between success or failure in this area could make or break a company. With that said, I can not understand why this is even a debate.

I would love to hear from you with your outsources experiences, good or bad. Sphere: Related Content


  1. I don't think most senior management understand not only the amount of time it takes to set up/optimize/manage SEM and to keep up with industry changes but also the value in diversified SEM experience.

    Most accounts that I review that were done in-house are set up using default settings with minimal thought or effort going into them. The keywords are broad and generate high amounts of traffic and there are no negatives. There has never been a search query or placement report run. Google loves this because it means the in-house marketers are going to spend more money without realizing where that money is being spent (partner search engines, content targeting, mobile, etc.) and they are going to pay premium prices for not understanding quality scores or the importance of CTR's.

  2. Fortunately I earn enough that going to the Dentist is not a problem, but I'm not sure that would be the case if I outsourced too much. Being a little guy just picking up walking around cash, makes it pretty much a one man show. Saw you on Link Referral.

  3. sorry bout that... What i think happens is that companies understand the initial costs - much like SEO - that can occur in the first 6 months, then they may experience stagnation where an agency can milk a client for fees while maintaining rather than growing. Or it can be a matter of scale. Why does the fee remain a percentage regardless of spend? The old line is that as long as you hit ROI targets, you can spend whatever. Well, whatever at x% fee can become monstrous as well.

  4. Payperclickblogger hit the nail on the head. Many of the accounts that I get are simply neglected over time. They get set up initially and the results are ok, so they tend to get less attention each month. When they are managed in house, they are often managed by someone that has other responsibilities and would frankly rather work on something else. If upper management understood how much time it takes to run a PPC campaign properly, they would outsource it. There are plenty of quality, reputable PPC management individuals/companies out there that would do a good job for them.

  5. I agree with this article. SEM is a long process, but the payoff can be worth it. You cannot just give up on it after a month. You cannot neglect the accounts. Using an outside marketing firm ensures that this will not happen. You are paying them to enhance your web presence and make your website and company worthwhile.

    A company I use, http://www.royallmedia.com, sends me monthly reports on search engine efforts and analytics reports. That way, someone is devoted to optimizing my site, and it doesn't get shoved under the rug and disregarded for other projects.

  6. Great post about Search Engine Optimization. In this time of search engine war, Every site need Good SEO Services to be on the top of the Major SERP(Search Engine Result Page) in order to make good business.