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I'm actually evaluating all the options again. in-house, agency, both?
generate a sample list of keywords that you would target. How much admin time does it take? what is the dollar amount attached to that time? compare those with agency proposals - is there a better ROI? Is there value-added?
Best bet is to do this evaluation as scientifically as possible. Build out a worksheet that tracks sample time, cost, pros, cons. All of the options in one place will help you get a real picture before deciding.
2 of us in the office are very experienced at managing the campaigns ourselves. and another 3 people can be trained.
However we have decided to outsource all of it to a 3rd party who specialises in just doing this, they have 6 staff who are all experts in managing PPC campaigns, having seen some of their results was mindblowing, and stuff we would never think of doing ourself.
Personally speaking in the UK, I have only come across about 3 companies who know their stuff, and in the USA I only know of 1 company who rock in this industry (I am sure there are plenty of others)
THE most importanat thing when doing PPC is ROI, so I want a campaign manager who brings experience of various sectors, and then apply that as and where necessary to my campaign.
I would say to anyone thinking of doing PPC to go to a PPC specialist rather than an SEO who also "dabbles" in PPC bid management.
as for it being easy :0 - not the way the industry is heading...
Its okay saying "you type in www.google ... and in the box you type in this ..."
Let's just look at say, link verification - it isn't the most exicting job in the world and it can be easily brushed over or ignored.
Would you let your paperboy do your tax returns?
>>I am sure somebody that actually knows how to do it already like an SEO firm charges an arm and leg.
An SEO firm that knows how to do SEO will, of course, charge their regular client rates. Those might be different when sub-contracting for a developer who's outsourcing their SEO, which many do, and it may be possible to negotiate a special rate, which some do in some cases.
>>I don't want to spend much I can train somebody to do it.
Sure, you can hire a secretary, and you can train them to do SEO. There are plenty of sharp paperboys, too. Some are college students who would rather be trained for SEO than deliver papers. There you go! The local college placement office is a great place to find good help.
>>Once you know what you want done and it is just a data entry job
This is where it gets really confusing. Titles can be written according to a set laid_out format across all pages, but what is there about doing SEO that's just data entry?
How long do you think your "secretary" will stay on with you after he/she develops those skills? My guess is not long! (unless of course, you cough up a larger salary...)
Either hire an SEO firm and pay the fees, or hire an experienced in-house SEO.
The only way to do it cheap is to do it yourself.
Another problem is that a consultant or firm will always be trying to upsell you or overcharge. Computer consultans are up their with used car salesmen to me. I have been in this industry for 8 years and have never met an honest computer consultant. I guess that is true everywhere. Everybody wants your moeny. Nobody will tell you how to do something cheaper if it puts money in their pocket. I'm glad I know how to fix things myself.
What do 3rd parties charge for that kind of thing?
Often, you can make things very easy for a second person by creating scripts that they can fill in (and automate tasks wherever possible). Just make sure you set targets and review/check up on what they are doing (an ongoing process).