• http://www.highrankings.com/seo-services Jill Whalen

    Great article!

    I would add one more to your list:

    Technical SEO consulting, especially if going through a website redesign or adding new product/service offerings. This is an area that the in-house SEO may not has as much experience with, yet it’s critical to get right.

  • http://www.widerfunnel.com Raquel Hirsch

    Great Blog post, Duane.

    We started WiderFunnel Marketing (www.widerfunnel.com) almost 3 years ago to only provide conversion optimization services to clients Ithat is *all* we do).

    The first year, we’d spend most of our biz dev time explaining what conversion optimization was; why you should test; how it is superior to “guessing” and “opinions” (I am not kidding.

    However, for the last year and a half (since October 2008, to be precise), we are getting increasing numbers of prospective clients who have started testing in house only to hit the wall: either the integration to the back end isn’t working or after testing two or three variables, they have ran out of ideas on what to test.

    I love your quote: “If you have never had a conversion optimization expert do work on your website, you’ll be shocked at the difference they can make.”

    I know. We do. They are shocked! :)

  • http://www.TorranceToyota.com Jason

    Good post…. As you say, most of the agencies for all of these things are not truly experts, but the few who are can make a difference that is shocking.

    Now my question: How in the world do I find those few who are spectacular at their jobs? I don’t have the time or money to go through the haystack looking for the needle, so how do I get the right person/people from the beginning?

  • http://www.widerfunnel.com Raquel Hirsch

    Jason,

    Here is a suggestion: get in touch with us and put us to the test ;>)

    iwant@widerfunnel.com

  • Duane Forrester

    INteresting. :) Hadn’t seen this column as being alead in for sales pitches, but there we go… :)

    @Jason – I’ve learned, the hard way on this. One of the best ways is to:

    1 – ensure you have budget and can afford the fees – obviously, experts cost money :)
    2 – work your own networks and ask people direclty who they have used, then whihc of them they might recommend
    3 – due diligence – ask for references and check them out – NEVER skip the step of asking a past client of someone you are considering if they would hire the expert again. ;)

    Failing that, or perhaps I’m just offering a shortcut, but drop me a note via Linked In and I can give you two companies I high recoemmend, from first hand experience. :)

  • http://www.widerfunnel.com chrisgoward

    @Duane Good tips. Due diligence is critical.

    I would also suggest asking for examples of the process and results. The WiderFunnel case studies speak for themselves:
    http://www.widerfunnel.com/proof/case-studies

  • http://www.ericward.com Eric Ward

    Duane – Agree that link building is a crucial aspect of an overall awareness strategy, and seeking help from those of us who do it all day, all week, all month, all year, all decade is a wise move. The single most important aspect of link building is in recognizing the specific approach and tactics that are most appropriate for any given site. This is where a link building expert can be most helpful. At the same time, there is a vast disconnect between real expertise and people who think they have real expertise. Sites continue to use pointless link building tactics at high cost and come away with nothing. And often at the suggestion of an “expert”. Also crucial is recognizing that link building is not just about organic rank. Some of the most successful link building strategies have nothing to do with search rank, and everything to do with qualified click traffic and/or conversions. The site itself dictates the tactics that can work. What works for site A often is useless for site B. This, to me, is where the link building expert earns his/her fee. The ability to evaluate a client’s site and based on that evaluation, select the most impactful link building tactics. Even then, the final step is just as crucial. Helping the client understand why, and helping them become truly enabled so they can take over parts of the process if they want to. Link building, or better stated link marketing, can be an incredibly sophisticated process depending on what it is you want to accomplish. Or, it can be dead simple. Knowing when and why and how is the real holy grail us link builders should be striving to deliver.

  • http://twitter.com/MercyMathews Mercy Mathews

    I completely agree with your post. Excellent ideas. It always helps to call in an expect for critical aspects, even if that means outsourcing. Perhaps you’ll check out my link: http://www.outsourcetofreelancer.com

  • http://twitter.com/MercyMathews Mercy Mathews

    I agree with what you’ve written. I would add content writing to your list as companies could really use some professionally written and optimized content which greatly differs from the keyword-stuffed pages that dot the Internet today. I’ve written a case study on outsourcing here- http://www.outsourcetofreelancer.com/CaseStudyEffectiveOutsource.html