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SEARCH MARKETING: Do you need help with SEO?

Think back to the last time you wanted to buy a product or service for your business and had no existing supplier relationship. How did you find a supplier? Chances are, like most people, you searched on the Internet. You know the results in the right hand column are paid for, so you probably favoured those in the left-hand column, believing their high rankings meant they were reputable companies.

In fact the companies in the left column have probably paid as much for their position in the rankings as those in the right hand column. They will have achieved their position by paying experts to optimise their sites for precisely that purpose. While search engine optimisation (SEO) can be extremely effective, it is also complex. It involves mysterious algorithms, site coding, and enabling proper site 'spidering'.

Given its effectiveness it is little surprise that website owners are prepared to pay large sums of money to people who can master this 'black art' on their behalf. However, many have found that SEO agencies do not always deliver what they promise and a growing number now prefer to keep it all in-house. Increasingly, the key issue is whether to build in-house resources or use an agency.