So I did a search the other day( don’t we all do searches?) on the term, “search engine marketing” and the results blew me away. The tool, said that it had been searched upon 33,000 times! Oh and not in one month, that would be per day, on average. PER DAY!! Someone grab a calculator and do the math real quick.
Ok so, if we go by that stat, and for the sake of error we cut the number in half, that’s only a term that was searched upon 5 and a half million times in one year. Ok I have some questions…
What the hell is going on out there? Are there that many people who need help? Are there that many web site owners who have no clue what they are doing and thus are looking for search engine marketing professionals? Or are there that many search engine marketing professionals out there, that DON’T know what they are doing and are ALSO looking for help? OR, do the SE’s change so much that web owners and search engine marketers alike are constantly in search (pun intended) for help, a leg up, or any and all information that can push their site onto page one on all SE’s? (Notice I said, page one. I think getting on page one, let alone the top 3 should be most people’s goals.)
So anyway, what is it? Why such a huge number of searches on that term? Chances are the answer is all of the above. Which leads me to the premise of the title. You just really do not know what you might be getting when you hire a search engine marketing professional. But the easiest way to check their work is verify their work. But that might be where it gets dicey. I could tell you that some of the sites that I have worked on are Amazon, E-bay, and E-trade. Then I could tell you they are number one for their primary key words, and there would be no way for you to dispute it. But what you may really need to know, is what has this person done with “other” keywords and second tier keywords and phrases… what have they done to a sites overall structure before and after? and what were the immediate and noticeable results?
But this is where you can truly find the proof. Work with individuals who have actually worked with “other” companies that they don’t own. Where the relationship is strictly employee/employer. That way you can ask, What was your site PR before they started working on it? Where could you find the site before they came aboard? What is your ROI like now? Are you satisfied?
The questions are really quite simple, but some site owneres are just dazzled by the BS that these folks can throw, and they are obsessed with a high ranking and traffic and a Top 3 or top 5 rankings in 48 hours (those are paid inclusions) or better yet straight PPC rankings. If someone does not know the difference between an organic ranking and a nonorganic, it will appear as a if it is a top 3 ranking, won’t it? The fact of the matter is that the job of a SEM professional should be to educate and counsel, so that a site owner can truly appreciate what goes into a top 3 ranking. The difficulties, the challenges, and the constantly changing landscape. The space (search engines) changes so regularly that it’s almost as if someone comes into your clients office in the middle of the night and re-arranges everything and changes your passwords their passwords and logins and hides everything, and it’s up to you to put it all back together again before 9am. Then explain to your client, why they(the search engines) did it, when for all practical purposes everything you have done has been A-1. Try explaining THAT to a non-hip SE person!
I know thats a loosely based definition, but you get the point. And maybe that is why deep down, the number of searches done on “search engine marketing” is so insanely high. Because the rules of engagment change so much, we all must keep looking for the latest information to help us, to give us an edge.
Just beware of the snake oil salesman and the old adage, “if it’s too good to be true, it prolly is.” Because chances are, they might actually know less than you.