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Search Engine Marketing - The US Department of Commerce recently announced that online sales rose 7.8% in the third quarter of 2002 to $11.1 billion, whereas retail sales rose only 0.3%. No more cognent argument can be made for companies to get the most out of their web sites, which accounts for the growing interest in search engine optimization (SEO).

Once you have determined which search marketing services you need and which firms you might want to work with, the next step for your company is to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP)Your organizations' aim is to collect proposals that represent clear and appropriate solutions for your business needs. Needless to say this can be a challenge.

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Search marketing campaigns that achieve results are often customized to your web based business. SEM is not a templated business where one campaigns' solutions is the right one for another. The search engine algorithims, your website visitors search traits, and the design and architecture of your web based presence are important issues to ensure success.

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To find out about your potential partners your request for proposal should include the following items:

  • Begin with an introduction that offers solid, preliminary information about your company, your web site, and the goals of the project.
  • Identify your online competitors.
  • State the format for proposals and your deadline requirements.
  • Ask for as much information about the SEO firm as you require.
  • Request a detailed list of the cost and payment schedules.
  • Request references.
  • Include any terms and agreements, including which company owns any of the new content created during an optimization campaign.

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Once you have gathered all the RFQ's that you will want, weed through the ones that do not qualify, and then you can begin telephone communication to make a final choice.

Making a choice of Search Engine Optimization Specialists need not be a burden if one follows the above outline and does their homework. The ethical individuals and firms that practice the art professionally will soon shine through


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