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SEO: Quantifying the value of know-how

Alex Christie

25 October 2010

While search marketing has traditionally not been a particularly price sensitive industry, emerging players have inevitably brought competition to the marketplace. Companies may be tempted to appraise their campaigns purely in terms of the laundry list of deliverables received, yet this doesn’t tell even half the story. Poorly utilised campaign deliverables that don’t yield measurable ROI are effectively pointless.

Although low cost SEO solutions may deliver some value in the short to medium term, these may also severely compromise future site performance. A consistent approach and best practice techniques are therefore key to ensuring sustainable rankings.

While dubious or downright unethical optimization techniques may deliver swift results, these are seldom sustainable and may lead to ranking penalties or search engine exclusion in the long run, with disastrous consequences for future search marketing efforts. Similarly, corner cutting or lacking implementation in the early stages of a search marketing campaign can also reduce the overall results achieved, hence getting the basics right upfront is critical.

Search engine marketing is as much about expert knowledge as it is about responsive campaign management, making sustained performance over several years one of the key indicators of an agency’s worth. Although basic SEO is not quite alchemy, running an integrated search marketing campaign that delivers incremental ROI over time requires a robust approach, industry leading research tools and top flight human capital. Settling for anything less is playing with fire.

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