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QotD: Suggestions For Third Party SEM Services?

Interactive Marketing Professional and Pop Culture Enthusiast Jason Verwey has some questions for the One Degree community on Third Party SEM Toolkits. He asks: 

What is your POV on using a third party service for SEM rather than going directly to Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc.. Have you found that the value of optimization, expertise, project management, and freeing up resources balances out the cost of service?


  1. Keith Holloway
    Keith Holloway April 13, 2007

    As a Search Engine Marketing provider, I can’t give you a completely unbiased answer to this question, but I can give you a few things to think about:
    Good SEM’s will be working on dozens or hundreds of clients and can bring the experience and expertise developed though all of these to bear on your account. There is no learning curve required, and no need to stay up to date on all of the ongoing changes with the engines.
    These SEM’s likely subscribe to various online services for keyword research, ad and bid optimization that they can spread the cost across many accounts. If you were to purchase and maintain these services yourself you have no economy of scale.
    There should be several people working on your account at various levels; Google and/or Yahoo certified technicians doing the actual work, and experience marketing managers reviewing the work and recommendations before they present management reports to you for review.
    Depending on the size of your campaign, the cost of the third party help should be far offset by the savings in search engine spending and increased results. A good firm will also provide assistance in modifying your web site to increase conversions that may help improve the effectiveness of all of your marketing campaigns.
    I am assuming from your question that by search engine marketing, you mean paid search advertising only, and are not including the other important part of search marketing; search engine optimization. With the competitive nature of SEO, there is no question in my mind that a quality outsourced provider will be able to provide results that exceed what you could do in house, providing a better overall value.

  2. Roger Garcia
    Roger Garcia April 15, 2007

    Unless you have the right set of skills, resources and expertise in-house (which few companies actually do)- the value that third party SEM services can provide justifies the cost.

  3. Jason Verwey
    Jason Verwey April 16, 2007

    I appreciate your feedback guys. Thank you.

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