Why Companies Don’t Hire Search Engine Experts

Many companies try to do search engine optimization "in-house", even though optimization has become so complex that many in-house experts make serious mistakes. Why does this matter?
The vast majority of Internet users use search engines to find products and services.  If your site isn’t designed and optimized properly and submitted to search engines on a regular basis, your chances of getting listed are little to none.  So why do companies insist on designing and marketing their own site?

Reason/Excuse One: We can do it "in-house"
Do you have someone "in-house" who is good with computers? Perhaps your IT department manager or even the person who designed your website. You may think that because they "know about computers" that they can get your site designed and listed on search engines. The problem is that your website is a marketing tool, not a technology project. These people may be able to create a website that functions correctly, but will it close a sale?

Over the years search engines have gotten much smarter about website submissions and have changed how and when they will index your site. This makes it more difficult to get a site listed. They also change what they look for on a regular basis. Some tactics that worked a few years ago will actually hurt your rankings today.  
Search engine experts subscribe to several on-line newsletters, read the latest books, and have the experience of marketing several websites. Chances are your "in-house" expert already has a full-time job and more pressing duties. Do they really have time to not only do the actual submission and redesign but also to keep up with all the changes?  

Reason/Excuse Two: We purchased a program that will submit our site for us.  
Just like the saying says "If it’s too good to be true, it probably is". Thinking that a low-cost program will take care of optimizing your site and then submitting it is a fairy tale.  You have most likely seen ads for software programs that claim to "submit your site to hundreds of engines". These claims simply are not true, or they submit to search engines that no one uses and only exist to collect contact information to sell.   

The major search engines (Yahoo!, Google, MSN) do not accept automatic submissions (which is what these programs do). They require you to either pay a fee to be listed or have a "ransom note" submission. Basically what that means is that when you submit your site you must type in a code that appears in the form of a graphic. Programs can’t read these graphics so they never know the code is there. If the code is not typed in correctly the submission is never made. This  "ransom note" system exists for the sole reason of rejecting automated submissions.

Reason/Excuse Three: Too expensive to hire an expert
Optimization and site submission is generally far cheaper than other forms of marketing when you consider the number of people you can reach.   Let’s say you run a half page ad in the newspaper for one day at a cost of $800.00. Sure 200,000 people read the paper, but how many of those people are interested in your services? Of those that are interested, how many will "stumble across" your ad? With on-line marketing, paying an expert will get your site listed on the top search engines, giving you exposure to millions of potential buyers - buyers who expressed an interest in your services. Plus by using your website logs, you will know the exact number of people that visited your site and "read your ad".    

Reason/Excuse Four: You can’t figure the return on investment (ROI)
You can easily budget your on-line marketing and figure the ROI if you know a few key figures:

September 1, 2002

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