The Digital Essentials, Part 3
Developing a robust digital strategy is both a challenge and an opportunity. Part 3 of the Digital Essentials guide series explores five of the essential technology-driven experiences customers expect, which you may be missing or not fully utilizing.
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When I stumbled across the article blatantly titled, “How to Avoid Hiring a Bad SEM Vendor” on SearchEngineWatch.com, it made me want to forward it to every marketing manager/small business owner who exists.
The reason I want to do this: because the article is honest.
And it would be helpful to anyone who has the responsibility of hiring an SEM vendor – anyone who knows that their business needs to have a search marketing strategy but does not know how to create and execute one. One of the most difficult parts about the search marketing industry is that it is always changing, so as a non-search marketer it can be hard to identify the good from the bad vendors.
How to solve this? Adam Stetzer points out some great tips, some of the most important ones:
– Don’t trust guarantees
In search marketing, this likely means the vendor is using ‘black hat’ practices. OR it means they are not providing you with reliable analytics/results, which brings us to his next point…
– Ensure you have clear deliverables
If a vendor does not provide you with an audit and roadmap for your SEM strategy, it will be difficult to hold them to the work you are paying them for. SEM may be always changing with subjective results, but deliverables can be produced – if you need proof, ask us!
– Don’t purchase on price
You get what you pay for. And the truth is, any “discount” or low charges will likely end up costing you much more by ending up doing more harm than good to your website because they were not spending time doing custom and quality work.
– Hire a honest and reliable vendor
Easier said than done, but very true. You should find your search vendor, they shouldn’t find you. Do research and find a team that has proven results. I know our team is good because we research websites before discussing their search marketing with them, ensuring that we will be valuable to them.
And finally, what I think to be his most important tip…
– “…be prepared to learn about search engine marketing enough to manage the vendor well…”
As the person responsible for hiring your search marketing vendor, do just that: hire a search marketing vendor, don’t try to become a search marketer. I say this because if you followed Stetzer’s tips, you have a search marketing team that you can trust. So rather than spending your time doing what you are paying them for, use it to keep up to date with the search industry. Then leverage them as a resource when questions or interest arise.