- In-House Optimization Is Cheaper
Research indicates less than 1 percent of marketing budgets go to SEM, so
it's no wonder many Web sites will be improperly optimized. Yet SEM pros get
better rankings faster because they've mastered the complex, technical,
ever-changing submission process that has such a steep learning curve.
Outsourcing is cost-effective because the pros benefit from economies-of-scale
after the initial outlay in personnel, technology, and process development.
In-house SEM lacks such cost maximization.
- It's a One-Shot Deal With Submission Software
Submission software promises the moon. But how can software get the same
kind of results reputable vendors provide for a fraction of the cost? There's
no way software can identify keywords automatically or optimize your content
and HTML coding. All the engines have specific submission guidelines that
change like clockwork. It's not one-size-fits-all, and no software program can
customize and update to the degree required for maintaining top
- SEM Leads Are Inferior to Traditional Media Leads
This is the opposite of reality. SEM leads are the most qualified leads you
can get because people searching for products and services on search engines
are in "action" mode and ready to buy. Search engine traffic is qualified
because users initiate the search with a purpose, making these leads targeted
and more valuable than those from the "broadcast advertising" methods used by
- SEM Traffic Isn't High Quality
Ideally, it'd be nice to have an integrated marketing campaign with TV ads,
direct mail, email, banner ads, and search engine marketing, but not everyone
can afford this. When your marketing budget is limited, the place to start is
with SEM. A properly optimized site can produce leads and sales within a short
time period. Case studies have shown that search engine traffic is equal to or
better than traffic from more expensive sources.
- Guaranteed Top Rankings or Your Money Back
Money-back guarantees are worthless in search engine positioning because
outcomes are always unpredictable and ever-changing. New submissions are
always being added to databases, changing rankings continuously. Bottom line:
technicians simply cannot control the search engines.
- You Need Listings in Thousands of Search Engines
Submission software claiming to "Submit to 1,500 directories and search
engines" will get you listed in many FFA (Free For All) engines. FFA listings
are worthless and don't begin to compare to directories and engines like
Yahoo! and Google. A likely result: Your name gets on email spam lists.
- Once You Achieve Good Rankings, You're All Set
Search engine positioning requires trial and error, and success is
ephemeral. Today's top listings will change tomorrow; sometimes, listings
change on an hourly basis. Maintaining positioning requires constant
monitoring and tweaking. It can't be guaranteed, and results aren't permanent
- SEM Doesn't Give a Good ROI
This is actually a falsehood. The ROI for SEM is excellent compared to
other marketing methods, especially when compared to keyword banner buys.
Marketing Sherpa case studies also illustrate this by comparing the results of
banner ads, direct mail and SEM. With SEM, you get better conversion rates,
lower cost-per-click, and lower acquisition costs.
- Professional SEM is Too Expensive
SEM has proven cost-effective compared to banner ads, direct mail, email
marketing, and print advertising. For instance, SEM deliverables are half the
cost of keyword banner campaigns, and SEM provides specific measurable
- All SEM Services Are Alike
Fact is services and pricing vary widely. SEM is striving for ethics and
standards although there will always be a few questionable providers. Ask your
provider to define services, pricing, contracts, and reporting. Verify the
provider's experience and proficiency by interviewing past customers.
- You Can Save Money With Pay-Per-Click Engines
You hear about buying PPC traffic and getting featured listings for free in
the major search engines. This is partly true because of partnership deals,
but your best results come from a well-integrated SEM campaign that includes
optimized pages for both human-powered and crawler-based search engines and
enhanced link popularity. A PPC campaign can be expensive without cost
management and ROI verification. Lastly, some users avoid featured listings
because they consider them tainted.
- A Buyers Guide to SEM Vendors Is Gospel
It would be nice to depend on an SEM buyers guide, but the industry changes
too rapidly for any guide to remain current and accurate, even with updates.
While I'm proud of the rating Web-Ignite gets in a popular industry buyers
guide, I would still recommend that you get referrals from people you know and
interview prospective vendors in depth. Always trust your own judgment above
someone else's opinion.