Are you getting the ROI you should be from EACH individual marketing program (PPC, SEO) that you’re running?
There exists what I’ve always called one-stop-shops. They’ve been around ever since I’ve been in this business, a long time.
A one-stop-shop will deliver SEO, PPC & Websites as well as other services. Now, this is appealing to a business owner, obviously, because you only have one bill, one sales person, and one customer service person, and sometimes only one report of results. It’s pretty convenient.
How does it work practically when it comes to your ROI? Well, it depends. Small time companies that don’t have a lot of staff, eh. Big companies? It can be good because they have the resources. But it’s hit or miss and you’ll have to play the game to find out.
Let’s see the pitfalls of working with a small time one-stop-shop:
1. They have a small staff with usually one person doing several technologies. This is a problem, why? Well, you already know. Specialists are specialists and generalists are generalists. When you have an eye problem, you don’t go to a general doc, you go to an eye doc. SEO, PPC and Social Media Marketing are all SO specialized now that a generalist just cannot keep up with the changes and complexities. Entire firms specializing in just one of those technologies have been cropping up for years and years and for good reason. Not to mention that SEO in particular has become more complicated than it ever has before and unless someone is a total specialist in it, they are using techniques that are years’ old. Believe me, I see it all the time. A big one-stop-shop however may have entire departments with entire teams that are essentially specialists, which is what you want.
2. They outsource their work to India, the Philippines, etc., or other foreign companies using websites where they find and pay laborers literally $1 per hour, to work on your project. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with it. However, I’m not a fan and I‘ll tell you why. One, their mistakes are aplenty. The communication barriers are many and mistakes get made. And my biggest issue is that they are potentially sharing your logins and passwords with strange people in foreign countries. And hopefully it is secure. But who knows? Like I said, I’m not a fan.
3. They can cover up or hide the non-results of a non-performing water damage leads program with the reports from their other programs that are performing. This is not hard. They can give reports showing results that were driven by PPC and cover up the fact that they got bad or absolutely no SEO results, and the same can be done conversely. This can even be done with call tracking. You could do “SEO” on a web page, and then drive PPC calls to that same page, and then then you cannot delineate what is what, but you just got “results.” Each form of marketing generates it’s own ROI, they are NOT all mixed together. So neither should your reports, or your results. If they are, you’ve got unrealized revenues for sure.
And by the way, if you ever see a company that is “Google Certified” for SEO, thats a lie, Google does not have a certification for SEO, only PPC, AKA Adwords.
So what is my point here for you? It’s this:
1. Each marketing form of SEO, PPC and Social Marketing has its own ROI and should be very, very separated in your mind, on reports, and in your revenue reports. Anywhere you have them mixed up, you’ll have unrealized revenues.
2. Make sure you vet your company. Ask them the tough questions – How are my reports separated? Who is working on my SEO, PPC? Is it the same person? How long have they been doing SEO, PPC? Where did they learn it? Are they a specialist in PPC or SEO? Is the work on my project outsourced to a guy in another country? Does he have my user names and passwords? How do my reports separate out where my calls and revenues are coming from? On and on…
3. Don’t be lazy about your marketing resources because of thoughts like, “this guy does everything.” No huge, successful company thinks like that. They use who works and who can realize a profit on their marketing spend, and they manage multiple companies typically. Ask the guys at Leo Burnett.
Convenience always takes a backseat to revenues, any day of the week.