If you’re looking for a search marketing agency or consultant to help with your needs, your best bet is to ask other search marketers with similar problems–such as companies your size. If you don’t have anyone whose recommendation you trust, a  great place to find search consultants is the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (www.sempo.org). You might also check out the vendors who present at the leading industry conferences, such as:

  • Search Engine Strategies. The longest-running search marketing conference, SES is held every few weeks throughout the year in cities around the world. Each conference lasts two to four days and features sessions for both novice and expert search marketers.
  • Search Marketing Expo. Run by the most experienced search conference organizers in the business, Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman, SMX is held numerous events each year at a city near you, aimed at newbies and veterans alike.
  • PubCon. More technical than the other conferences and far less structured, PubCon  grew out of after-hours networking at the SES conference into a three-day event that stands on its own. For technical experts, this event is the most valuable one for solving problems, learning new techniques, and keeping up with where search marketing is headed.
  • Search Insider Summit. MediaPost runs a well-regarded conference that is more intimate than the others, with many larger brands in attendance.

Regardless of how you make your vendor list, there are no shortage of ways to compile the candidates and check them out. The leading vendors appear at these conferences and more, so you can easily hear their viewpoints on the industry.