Does Your In-House SEM Crew Cut It? 6 Surefire Time-to-Outsource Signals

crew2Companies seriously reliant on Internet marketing often reach a daunting crossroad, whether to grow a more substantial in-house SEM team or bolster internal marketing efforts by outsourcing. As a rule it’s difficult for small and mid-size companies to commit sufficient resources to keep up with voluminous daily research required to keep current. However as in all outsourcing vs. in-house-building decisions, there can be advantages to traversing the corporate learning curve towards nurturing indigenous capabilities.

Here are 6 surefire signs that it’s time to consider outsourcing your Internet marketing to a professional search marketing firm (actual examples):

1 Last month the pay per click expense ballooned from $3,300 to $6,100 while sales remained flat compared to the same month last year. The solution was to implement daily budgets in AdWords which resulted in ads not running after 7:30PM each night. The top 3 ads in Panama, including yours, all have headlines reading “Literal Keyword, Free Shipping.”

1.5 The only in-house keyword research tools are those available in AdWords and Panama. The PPC account manager doubles as the one-man IT department, never uses negative keywords, and doesn’t track the difference between exact, phrase, and broad match. He really doesn’t understand what content match or site targeted display ads are.

2 Free analytics without conversion tracking are not cutting it. You’re not associating PPC expenditures, site referrals, and investments in content with specific sales and cash flow. It’s very difficult to calculate the ROI for each AdGroup. Nobody has any idea if the expensive new site design resulted in increased direct brand search sales.

3 Confusion reigns as to why former Google first-page organic listings have all been pushed to page two by YouTube , Wikipedia, and Google News results. You’ve heard of Personalized and Universal search but don’t understand the ramifications to the bottom line.

4 Nobody in your marketing department has ever visited StumbleUpon, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Netscape, Flickr, and thinks YouTube is only for kids. Social media means Yahoo personals. The Marketing Director has never head of Technorati.

5 Your competition’s CEO is blogging 3 posts a week and is receiving links from major online trade publications. It seems like their organic listings are rising. When you check out her blog it’s hard not to notice that your former customers are commenting on posts.

6 There is no institutional mandate to study current trends in SEM. No one is researching search marketing every day and there is no annual SEM conference budget. The marketing director has never heard of Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan, Barry Schwartz, or Todd Mallicoat.

Blog Resources:
Search Tip: In-house, or Outsource?

Search Engine Marketing: In-house or outsource?

SEM / SEO In-house Blog

When to Outsource SEO and When to Keep it in House

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