In today’s competitive landscape of internet marketing, we are surrounded by incredible talent in every arena. SEO’s, copywriters, PPC professionals, affiliate marketers, and social media marketers are sprouting up everywhere; and they’re getting better at honing their craft.
While your average SEO might be able to rank for terms related to your business, does he/she understand what happens next? This was brought to my attention recently over dinner with a client prospect, who was expecting that all I would do is get them to rank for terms, and then send in the invoices. While this would make my job unquantifiably easier, it wouldn’t make me a very effective marketer.
While you do want “the right tool for the right job”, this doesn’t mean that internet marketing consultants aren’t responsible for delivering good integrated tactics that support a comprehensive marketing plan. The job of an SEO isn’t just to get rankings, much like the job of a copywriter isn’t just to write an article, or a social media marketer to make something hit a front page.
Unfortunately, I think that the internet has enabled people to become highly skilled in a single area, but completely ignorant of others. It has become common for the self-start internet marketer to have no clue about marketing basics like market saturation or ROI. We have bred a generation of online marketers that are penny wise yet pound foolish.
Over dinner, my prospective client was very pleased to hear that rankings were just the beginning of a consulting campaign. The SEO that he was working with previously had set his expectation that getting his site ranking was the goal (A Fortune 500, mind you). As I explained that working through optimizing keyword selection, bounce rates, and conversions were all part of the process, I began to wonder how many companies, even large ones were working with marketers that were only doing half of their job?
Cross pollinate, I’m confused to see SEO’s sitting in SEO panels all day at conferences. Shouldn’t you know this stuff already? Go check out a PPC panel, or learn about reputation management, why drone out on the same stuff that you breathe daily? Or, go even further — go check out a conference that you’ve never been to! Go read something by Dale Carnegie or Zig Ziglar rather than buying the latest SEO Book.
Likewise, if you’re looking to hire — ask questions about your consultant. Do they seem to have a good marketing sense? Or are they just looking to implement some tactics to get a few quick results for you? I’m not saying that they should be an “All In One” solution to your marketing, we all specialize in our specific areas for a reason, but the best are well rounded.