I think Chris is a swell chap, but IProspect's recent study is no good. Chris Sherman wrote about the recent IProspect search marketing study.
While many overall search marketing campaigns are evaluated using more sophisticated business-related metrics, the individuals responsible for the campaigns aren't held to similar standards.
Can You Honestly Judge SEO Employees On ROI? NO:
There are so many outside factors that I think it ends up hurting the employees concentration if they are held liable for fluctuations in business from third party sites they don't entirely control.
As Sites Age & SEO Builds Upon Itself Good SEO Becomes More Profitable:
I have been a business partner when random $4,000 orders came in a number of times in a few day stretch, and have also been around earlier when the same business was only making about $3,000 a month. While that partnership is profit share, I don't think it is fair to evaluate SEOs on that end number if they are just an employee for a large SEO company.
Some Customers Suck:
What happens if you work for:
- a site in a small market or
- a site with a stupid owner or
- a site with a bad host or
- a site owner who does not share all offline sales information?
Bad deal for the worker bee?
Small SEO Firms Are Not Less Sophisticated Just Because They Fail to Measure Useless Numbers:
Most small SEO firms are NOT going to be focused on results per employee (simply firing useless employees and keeping good ones). Most larger SEO firms are going to be geared toward selling contracts more than evaluating the exact numbers. To me, from what little bit of the market I know, the larger companies opperate more based around selling perception of great service as being reality.
Different Brands & Markets Have Different Margins & Sizes:
Judging SEO employees within an SEO company based on end financial performance of merchants heavily skews data.
For about 8 months I was an inventory manager for one of the largest inventory companies in the world. In drug stores I often counted the low value hard to count stuff (cany isle) to allow other people to count the more expensive stuff to balloon their production numbers so they could get raises. My boss would sometimes give me flack for having one of the lowest production numbers. Some days I would end up being forced to count the pharmacy stuff. On my first day doing that I was about twice as efficient as the experts, yet on a performace basis I would have looked like crap for most of my employment cycle.
Most People Who Care Enough to do a Good Job Can Only Devote Attention Toward a Few Cliets at a Time:
So much of the employee productivity is going to be luck of the draw.
Sure it smooths out over time, but if your employees are doing services that are useful and worth selling most of them are going to be vertically oriented and / or working on a small number of sites at any given time.
If employees know exactly how profitable everything they do is then why should they even want to work for a company that is so backwards that they feel they have to measure everything the employees do in some arbitrary box?
The study continues with more numbers that are IMHO useless, like...
Separating SEO From Brand Value:
Fully 45% said they cannot determine whether SEO or PPC provides a higher ROI.
If it is a good business worth marketing how can you fully separate your SEO efforts from their intrinsic brand value unless you use sattellite sites? If you do good SEO shouldn't it be intertwined with their brand and improve their brand value?
The Real Results of the Study:
Many big SEO companies are going to try to spend tons of money trying to brand their way of doing things as the only way that is correct, but in all honesty most of the best SEO services come from smaller providers.
If you go through the studies you may come up with the same conclusions Mikkel did:
I hope I am not the only one that recognise this for what it is: A piece of BS promotional crap with onle goal: To promote and sell iProspects way of doing things. I am sorry, but this is SO American that I can't say how much I dislike it without breaking the forum TOS
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