Do i need a full time seo employee?

I need seo done for 1 site that's still new. It's a niche listings/ecommerce site.

And i need to make a hiring decision for this - whether there's a need for a full time employee dedicated to seo or is part time or a contract sufficient?

Here's some info and assumptions :

1)The site's dynamic - so perhaps all ON PAGE SEO - keyword research, page title, meta tags etc. could be built in programatically and is perhaps ONE TIME EFFORT.

2)Most(perhaps not all) ON PAGE SEO is taken care at the start or initially so doesn't need much time devotion later.

3)Most ON PAGE SEO for a DYNAMIC site is a programmer's job(as probably a seo employee doesn't understand programming) with some assistance from a seo employee for KEYWORD RESEARCH etc. So once built into the software, it DOESN'T NEED much effort on part of the seo employee in the later stages.

4)OFF PAGE SEO IS really where the seo employee would really spend most of his/her time - like build some links, write articles/blogs, directory submissions etc.

So considering that there's just 1 site and that most effort for the seo employee is concenterated on OFF PAGE SEO, do i really need to hire someone Full Time?

You're most welcome to add your own views and perspectives to this. It might help someone else as well in the future in their hiring decision.

And please feel free to move this in the appropriate section if i asked this in the wrong category.
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This is really open ended, but I will take a stab at it from a web developer, content creator, business person perspective.

Hiring a full time really qualified employee could be expensive but worth it if this is a high volume, high income site.  However, this should be contrasted against a consultant who has many clients and experience with various search engines (if you want to target more than just Google).  It is possible that you could do a combination of a lower cost content creator with periodic consultation to get what you need.

A consultant could be a good place to start (you can interview a couple to get a better understanding of the process with no obligation) before deciding on a full time employee.  Hiring an employee can be less costly if you put them to work effectively.  But short of that, a consultant can be a good way to start.
Eric AKA NetminderCommented:
need for a full time employee dedicated to seo

Absolutely not.

a contract sufficient?

I wouldn't.

Your assumptions are flawed, unless you eventually want to get Panda'd. I don't want to disparage the people who make a living advising organizations on how to improve their page rank or search results; there are a lot of really bright people who know their stuff, who are a lot more qualified than I am to tell others what to do. I can tell you, however, what EE's SEO guy said a month or so before he left the company: that tweaking a site to improve SERP results won't help much, and can even hurt.

Google, if you believe what they say, is attempting to define "quality". We can argue forever about whether they're being disingenuous about that -- it seems that some site operators "know someone" at Google who can "adjust" Google's systems to favor their sites over others -- but if one takes Google at its word, then Google is looking at the entire user experience -- not just keywords and meta tags and all the other things the SEO pros from 18 months ago used to recommend.

That being the case, then I think it's critical that a site come across as being genuine in its interaction with its visitors. We know, for example, that the amount of time someone spends on a site is important; I don't know about you, but I can't stand reading something that's straight out of Marketing 10 at some second-rate junior college -- and Google's evaluators apparently agree.

They're looking for interaction between the organization and its visitors -- which is kind of funny since it's virtually impossible to contact a live body at Google about why one's site has been Panda'd. Go look: finding anyone to contact about anything is strictly by email, and responses are strictly auto-generated. Based on what we know about Panda, Google should be on the third page of its own results at best.

But they make the rules, even if no one is actually told what they are or what to do to counteract the effects of Panda, so we all live with them. The bottom line: your site IS your business; it's not advertising for it. So concentrate on actually doing business, and you won't have to worry about what your meta tags and keywords are.

Tony McCreathTechnical SEO ConsultantCommented:
I'd agree with Aeriden,

I have several client I consult with on a regular basis. In many cases the work is done by their staff or their website developer. My job is to direct them to do the right things. Typically I have to do a lot of upfront work, after that it tends to be limited by how fast the staff can catch up with the work I provide for them.

I wouldn't agree that you can fully automate onsite optimisations. You can make your system do the right things but you still need a human to create the information to feed into it. And it should be constantly fed.

I often hear "My WordPress is fully SEOed, I installed the SEO plugin". The plugin is if little use if you don't spend the time to learn how to use it, enable features and fill in all the extra data it requires for every page.
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Shalom CarmelCTOCommented:
It depends on the Volume and Rate of change to the web site, and on the total income that can be attributed to the web site. Is the web site THE revenue generator for your firm?
A full time SEO job can be justified only if it is likely to have a positive impact on your revenues.
I suggest that you use the advice given by previous experts: start with a consultant, and have a methodology to evaluate the impact of web site changes. If whenever the consultant recommends changes the web site traffic ( and revenue ) increase, then having a dedicated employee might be beneficial. You will have to do your math to find out.

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ee-itproAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your suggestions.

 Since i do understand the seo stuff to some extent,  what  i'm bending towards is doing the on page seo myself... do the keyword research and then embed the programming needed (dynamic site with lots of user generated content) to take care of the title,<hx> tags and so on etc. into the code.  

For off page seo, probably i can outsource the individual tasks such as link building to outside contractors .

I suppose this not only saves me money as not having to pay a regular employee but also hire people based on performance .. if an outside contractor does not deliver results perhaps change him/her.  

The site is still new, not much traffic or hits... so probably this model gives me an opportunity to test out things and see what works and what doesn't.

What do you guys think?
ee-itproAuthor Commented:
Thank you all... seems i've figured out my own answers...
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