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April 21, 2008

SEO Weekend Update 04/21/2008

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Why Even Hire A Search Engine Optimization Company

There’s an article over at Search Engine Journal today that asks why people would hire a search engine optimization company or bother training someone in-house. SEI is nothing more than some tag optimization and link collecting, right? Oh heavens. Not this conversation again.

If you don’t think having someone trained in search engine optimization is valuable to your team and that you can do the whole thing yourself with minimal training, well…then you’re both delusional and a really bad SEO. It also proves that you’ve never tried to rank a site for any type of competitive keyword. Get your site ranking for a non made up word and then we’ll talk.

SEO isn’t easy. Can you save yourself the money and learn to do it yourself? Maybe. Motivated people can teach themselves to do virtually anything. Like how to jump off buildings without getting hurt. However, don’t you have a job already? Learning how to do search engine optimization the right way takes a good amount of talent and dedication. That’s time that you’re not spending on your core business. If you don’t realize that and you think SEO is just about optimizing Meta tags then you know even less than you thought.

If you’re trying to save money, cutting corners with mediocre SEO isn’t the way to go. That may actually cost you more when you fail to capitalize on the target traffic you would have received with a smart SEO campaign. Hiring a good search engine optimization may actually prove to be far more cost effective.

Is Failing At Web Analytics The Key To Success?

At WebMetricsGuru the question is whether failing at Web Analytics is often the key to success later on. It’s like a geekier version of the chicken or the egg

I don’t think it’s “failing” that’s the key. The key is using Web analytics. That initial failure is just the natural process of things. You’re not going to be perfect right out of the gate; that’s how you learn and make improvements and come away with a better Web site.

I don’t think you can have a truly successful site without the help of Web analytics. Analytics show you how your visitors are interacting with your site, where they’re running into problems, where valuable advertising dollars are being wasted due to no traffic, etc. Web analytics programs give search marketers the ability to track call to actions and to understand the conversion funnel in ways that you can’t always see when looking at sales alone. It basically allows you to make tweaks to your site while leaving the light on. You can’t fix something you don’t realize is broken. And the more stuff that gets fixed, the better your site is going to perform.

Search Marketing Budgets Increasing In Europe

Over at Search Engine Watch, Greg Jarboe reveals that UK search marketing budgets are beginning to increase as search marketers across the pond begin to see the value of a healthy Internet marketing campaign. According to Greg and the UK Search Engine Marketing Report released today, 63 percent of UK businesses plan to increase their paid search budget, while 61 percent plan to increase their search engine optimization budget. I’m sure Rory De Niro and Marie Howell of Bruce Clay Europe are glad to hear this. ;)

Key takeaways from the report:

  • One in ten companies surveyed is spending more than £1 million annually on paid search.
  • Since 2007, the proportion of companies conducting paid search (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) exclusively in-house have declined.
  • Correspondingly, the proportion of respondents outsourcing to an agency for both disciplines has gone up.
  • The proportion of agencies offering landing page optimization has increased from 71% to 76%, making this the second most commonly offered service.

Fun Finds

Marc Hausman wonders if it’s ethical to follow two of his employees on Twitter. Personally, I think that’s territory better left unexplored. Why make everyone paranoid? There’s a reason I have my Twitter account protected. :)

The Guardian reports that Google is the most powerful brand in the world. Because we didn’t know that already. Thanks.

And just a reminder: I’ll be heading down to Long Beach tonight for the SMX Social Media Marketing” event that begins tomorrow and goes through Wednesday. If you’re in town, make sure you track me down and say hello!

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