Search engine optimization is the holy grail of Web site traffic generation. The more your site is optimized, the higher it will appear in search engine results. Many publishers are debating whether to hire a full-time staff to manage their SEO efforts or outsource. If you choose to outsource, here, via Chris Knoch, principle consultant, best practices team, at SEO firm Omniture, are some deliverables to keep in mind:

  • Look for a project-based arrangement. Try to avoid recurring monthly fees because there’s a diminishing value after the firm does the initial work.
  • Make sure you train your staff and the people managing the Web site to follow best practices rather than having somebody come in at a later date and redesign your Web site and change the way it works, that impacts cost. When it comes to building out the best practices, all the vendor should be doing is looking at your Web site, seeing what you’re doing right, seeing what you’re doing wrong, and then moving on from there. Think of it as a SWOT analysis.
  • A four to five-figure cost is about the industry norm to have somebody come in and advise you over the course of 30-60 days. The most variable costs are the analysis and monitoring. If you have a Web site that has 50,000 pages it should cost more for the company to come in and analyze it and, on an on-going basis, report on it. Also, if you have hundreds or thousands of keywords that need to be tracked and adjusted, common among magazine publishers that deal with many subjects, this adds to the costs.