Should You Outsource SEM?

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Should You Outsource SEM?

Search engine marketing and search engine optimization both require a bit of skill and a lot of effort.  Although succeeding at these techniques begins with website design, an experienced developer isn’t always the best person for the job.  With the steep costs charged by SEM firms, several businesses have resorted to outsourcing these efforts to save money and get better results.

Skills Needed

In order to determine if SEM should be cultivated in-house or outsourced, one must first understand the skills required for such as task.  When it comes to effective marketing, these skills are generally divided in the following categories.

Linguistic Aptitude: For the most part, SEM is a linguistic strategy that calls for the matching of the language used by web surfers as well as the language on your website and how it is interpreted by the search engines.  Because some of the most skilled web designers often used highly technical terms, many of them are not able to clearly present content to the visitor.

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Research: Accepting the fact that you don’t know something and taking the initiative to learn is a key to effective SEM.  Extensive research will enable you to find out what keywords your niche market is using, how a search engine handles JavaScript, how Flash can be incorporated into an SEO campaign and much more.  When combined with a good knowledge of marketing, sound research can help you find all the answers you need to the burning questions of SEM.

Technical Experience: The more experience one has with web technologies, the better they will be at SEM.  This comes in handy when working with campaigns such as AdWords and Overture as search engines have a different system for the links used in these programs.  Additionally, someone with an understanding of the web should have knowledge on what type of URLs and redirects are SEO-friendly.    

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SEM Experience: Although it goes without saying, the more experience SEM expert has, the more qualified they are for the job.  Don’t be fooled by someone that simply has a site or two under their belts.  Get definitive proof on a person’s SEM background before investing into their claim.  This can be done by obtaining WebPosition reports and server stats for the sites they have worked on.


There is so much that needs to be considered in terms of in-house or outsourced SEM activities, especially when the campaign involves more than keywords and link popularity.  You need to think about costs, turn around time, the firm’s experience and much more.  One way to make this determination is to hire an experienced SEM vendor to provide some insight.  A reputable vendor should be able to evaluate your ROI potential in the investment of an SEM venture.  This will give you a few ideas on how to improve the design of your website and optimize search engine traffic conversions.  Because such a move can help you decide on what an SEM investment is worth, it also works wonders on the decision of whether to outsource the operation.

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