When I came for an interview here at Sleeping Giant HQ I thought I knew a lot about search marketing, having been in charge of sales, marketing and running websites in my previous roles. I even did some extra research before the interview to make sure I could really talk the talk.

However, I was surprised to be told by Luke, who was interviewing me and is the managing director of the agency, that he wasn’t up to speed with search marketing. This shocked me, because I thought that once you knew the basics, that was it and you could do everything you needed to, with just the investment of a small amount of time. And why was the managing director of a search agency not up to speed with what his company offers?

Worrying? No not really.

Don’t get me wrong, Luke knows an incredible amount about search but more on a strategic level and not looking at the detail of accounts. As they say the devil is in the detail!  Even being surrounded by it on a daily basis he feels that he is not fully up to speed because he isn’t running accounts every day.Plate spinning professional.

Luke has exactly the same problem as I had when I was running magazines or projects – a lack of time. Lack of time to keep up to date with the ever evolving Google analytics or new updates to their algorithms. I have only been with the company for six weeks and even in that time there have been several changes that I know of.  He doesn’t have time to put together PPC accounts, check and re-check, test and re-test. He spends his time running a business, which involves meetings, emails, doing marketing, talking to people, selling, paperwork, answering the phone, and generally being a professional plate spinner.

This is why he employs experts, who solely deal with PPC or SEO, and they love it. Every day it’s different and they follow it avidly so they can implement the latest techniques and their clients see visible results that they can talk about.

I always thought that I was doing enough SEO or PPC in my previous roles and spending plenty of time reading the latest tips and tricks, but I was very wrong. Looking back at what I was doing, I realise I just couldn’t give the time to it I needed to, whether it was identifying the correct keywords and testing them, or sorting out new content and links for the website. Who can honestly say that if they put aside three or four hours to do something that they will spend that time solidly doing that? I know I tried and failed. Just too much happens to distract us from one minute to another.

I have learnt an immense amount about search marketing over the last six weeks, with much more to learn. One thing I have learnt is that if I wanted to do an effective SEO or PPC campaign I would employ an expert who could put the time in solidly to do the job properly and, ultimately, get me a better return on investment.