We review yet another buyer's guide to search engine marketing, this one focused exclusively on agencies operating within the United Kingdom.
E-consultancy, a publisher of internet marketing reports and research has issued a directory of UK based search marketing firms. Like the Marketing Sherpa guides to SEO firms and PPC firms that I reviewed earlier, E-consultancy's directory features an inside look at key players in the UK search marketing industry.
The E-Consultancy reports feature more detail than the Marketing Sherpa profiles, however, including case studies and self-proclaimed reasons firms are differentiated from other firms. There are also some fascinating market positioning charts that show both current and future plans for each firm in several areas, including business focus, type of services offered and company culture for each organization.
The criteria for inclusion in E-Consultancy's directory were also somewhat more stringent than those for Marketing Sherpa. The criteria included:
- Analysis of capabilities (products and services offered)
- Ability to take on and fulfill new projects
- Recommendations from trusted sources
- Google visibility
- Business models
- Company Web site
- UK status
The first part of the guide is devoted to an overview of the current search marketing landscape, including its value, drivers of growth and other factors. Several high-level executives from the firms profiled are quoted in this section, offering interesting insights directly from the trenches of industry practitioners.
Among the key trends noted by these observers is that keyword inflation in pay-per-click search marketing will drive marketers back toward natural search engine optimization; that traditional marketing directors are finally embracing search marketing as a pivotal piece in the total marketing picture; and that local search services are adding a new dimension of reach for many companies, if they only take advantage of it.
Next come pricing models and a few pages dedicated to helping buyers find the most appropriate search marketing partner. In these areas, the Marketing Sherpa reports are much more comprehensive and useful.
The directory of firms makes up the bulk of the report, covering 23 UK search marketing firms. The 187 page report is available free to E-Consultancy subscribers, and for £79 for non-subscribers. A free 21 page sample from the report it also available.
NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.