Jessica Bowman, Director of SEO,
Jessica Bowman is the director of SEO for Business.com and does independent consulting. She rel-
ishes the human side of SEO, the art of SEO — getting people to do what you need to be done.
Bowman has managed search engine optimization for up to seven different divisions across the
North America and Europe, in five different languages. Her diverse experience in project manage-
ment, web-site usability, and process analysis has given her unique insight into working with IT to
get things accomplished — one of the biggest challenges for in-house search marketers.
Business.com is the leading business-to-business search engine, directory, and pay-per-click adver-
tising network. Business.com helps business decision makers quickly find what they need in order
to manage and grow their businesses, and enables advertisers to reach them across the business
Internet through premier partners, including the Wall Street Journal Online, Forbes, BusinessWeek,
Hoovers, and more.
Jerri: How does having your search marketing in-house differ from hiring someone to help
you with your search marketing strategies?
The overarching tactics that need to be executed are the same for both search marketing
in-house and outsourced.
The key differences are:
The innovativeness of your strategy due to differences in experience/knowledge of doing
your search marketing. Many in-house search marketers fell into their role and/or are
fairly new to the world of search marketing. Their challenge is to compete in the SERPs
with competitors who have hired a more experienced search marketing person or agency.
When bringing search marketing in-house with dedicated resources, you now have some-
one there 40 hours a week, in the halls and at meetings, who is able to represent and cham-
pion search marketing, keep it top-of-mind and high in the priority list. In contrast, when
you hire an agency, then the selling of search marketing changes is left to someone who has
other things on their plate.
Jerri: Is there anything about search marketing that’s more difficult when you’re doing it
Yes, you’re busy in meetings! When you’re in-house, there is a lot of networking and
schmoozing that has to happen to get and keep search marketing efforts a high priority and not
removed from projects. Just because you know what needs to be done to boost your organic rank-
ings does not mean it’s easy to implement — there are priorities, politics, and red tape that must
be overcome, and some people are just resistant to the changes needed for search marketing. It
is a challenge to be the person in meetings, networking and schmoozing, and also the person
who has to execute the search marketing tactics. It can be done, it is just challenging.
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