Things to consider when deciding to do it yourself or hire an SEO agency
DIY SEO is something that every business can do to instantly start improving their rankings on search engine page results (SERPs). Simply focussing your efforts on the right keyword selection, content creation and sharing your content across multiple platforms will help you improve your search rankings to some degree.
However, these days, if you want to compete online in highly competitive industries marketers and business owners need to look beyond traditional on-page SEO to rank number 1 in SERPs. To properly SEO your website, a broad range of skills are needed for things like improving website performance to building backlinks and content writing, not to mention the time necessary to do so.
Many businesses simply lack the resource and skill set to fully optimise their websites for search. No wonder more than half of all businesses chose to hire the services of a professional search engine optimisation agency instead.1
That’s not to say that DIY SEO can’t be done. With the right training, research and practice you will start to see improvements in search rankings. Before deciding on whether you need to hire the services of a professional SEO agency or to DIY though, you might want to consider the following.
What is involved in SEO?
SEO is the process of optimising your website and its content so that it ranks high in search engine results for specific phrases (search terms) and words (keywords). The goal of SEO is to get you found online by more potential customers. It increases traffic to your website and physical location (if you have one).
The SEO process is normally categorised into one of three areas of SEO.
On-page SEO is about optimising the content on pages of your website for specific keywords and search to improve visibility in SERPs. This includes things like updating title tags and metadata, H1, H2 and H3 headers, internal link building and keyword optimised written content and alt tags.
Off-page SEO is anything done outside of your website online that has the potential to increase your search rankings, your website’s traffic and visibility online. It includes things like Backlink building, social media shares, guest blogging, local directory citations and more.
Technical SEO is about optimising all the technical aspects of your website so search engines can easily read and understand it. It also includes technical components that impact user and/or page experience. Technical SEO includes things like site speed, broken links, site maps, robot.txt files, duplicate content, security and structured data.
What is Holistic SEO?
Holistic SEO is a relatively new term that is starting to get thrown around. Holistic SEO takes a more customer-focused approach. That is, it is about optimising for customers vs. optimising for search engines. Holistic SEO also focuses on optimising all parts of your online profile to provide what the target audience is looking for online.
Due to several Google algorithm updates, it is now more important to take a holistic, customer focussed approach to SEO. In turn, businesses see even greater improvements to their search rankings than via traditional SEO practice.
Holistic SEO things to do to improve visibility online?
- Buyer journey mapping
- Keyword research and strategic keyword selection
- Competitor research
- Website tracking and data analytics
- Content Strategy and planning
- Consistent and regularly content writing and content creation
- Social media account management
- Consistent and regular sharing of content to socials
- Website performance improvements
- Internal link building
- Backlink generation including outreach campaigns
- Google my business page optimisations and updates (especially for local SEO)
- Managing customer reviews online and responding to them the right way
- Local directory listing citations (especially for local SEO)
- Guest blogging
Understanding which areas to focus on to best optimise your business is sometimes a challenge for businesses. A qualified SEO strategist can help you understand where to focus your energy. In saying that, more and more is needed for businesses to stay on page one of SERPs.
Given the importance of digital marketing and being found online through search, you have to ask yourself, do you have the time to properly optimise your site?
Do you have the skills to SEO?
You’re good at what you do. That’s why you started your business in the first place.
That’s not to say you can’t also DIY SEO. You know your customers well and what they might want to read about. That alone means you can start to create content of interest to add to your website or to post about.
Some businesses have internal marketing resources that manage websites and content creation. However, the unfortunate truth is that these teams are often already stretched across multiple responsibilities, or they lack the technical capabilities to maximise your website’s performance. SEO requires a mix of skills from research and analytics to content writing, social media management, on-page optimisation, and technical capabilities.
It’s also important that you don’t make easy mistakes that could hurt your online rankings. Ensure you’re across all search engine expectations and Googles guidelines for search ready websites.
SEO agencies like Found Online have teams of experts in their fields. Experts like these spend years mastering their skills, many of which can’t just be taught. Furthermore, SEO agencies are focused on all current and future changes to ensure they keep clients top of search results. This means far superior results in search and less likely mistakes that could harm your search results.
Do you have the time to SEO?
Time is no doubt one thing that most business owners and managers lack most. Do you have the time to learn and master SEO or to create and share new content consistently online? To research, analyse data and engage with customers via social media daily? And can you keep this up consistently?
Sometimes simply knowing what matters most is confusing for many business owners, wasting their time and their marketing resource, only to rail to get results. Mistakes can be made easily resulting in penalties from search engines and recovering from them can be tough.
SEO agencies like Found Online have tried it all before. We know what works and what doesn’t, and we know how to build an effective SEO strategy. Furthermore, we have a team of content writers and web developers ready to go to build your online presence. This means you can focus on what you go into business for in the first place.
What is the cost of professional SEO services?
Services for SEO range anywhere from a few hundred to well over 10 thousand dollars per month. The difference in costs normally boils down to what you want to achieve, and how many hours per month is required to achieve those goals. That is, you are normally paying for time and expertise.
With so many packages available from so many SEO providers there is likely to be an option that suits your needs. Whether it be complete holistic SEO services or simply pick and choose your services to support your marketing efforts.
We do advise you to be wary of cheap SEO services that promise the world. You may think that you have found a good deal but generally, low-price options fail to deliver results. That’s because they generally use Blackhat SEO tactics, like buying backlinks from toxic sites, which will only harm your search rankings in the long run, or you are simply paying for such little activity on your site each month that you will not see results for a very long time.
In the end, SEO services should more than pay for themselves. While it may take a few months to see the results you want to see, your SEO provider should be able to get enough traffic to your website to generate enough enquiries, bookings, or sales, that will more than pay for their cost.
Be careful to avoid lock-in contracts with providers that will fail to get you results. And make sure you know what you are paying for.
How competitive is your industry?
If you are looking to improve your website’s visibility for local search queries and you’re the only business in the area providing your services, then DIY SEO is probably all you need to do. In fact, you can probably get away with doing very minimal on your website to get good local search rankings.
However, if you are trying to get your website to rank on page one in a highly competitive industry where there are hundreds of businesses like yours all competing for a similar space, then DIY SEO might not cut it in the long run.
More than half of all businesses employ SEO service providers to make them stand out online. Can you compete with that?
Benefits of DIY SEO
In saying all of that, there are many benefits of DIY SEO or at least having internal marketing teams manage your SEO.
You know your business better than anyone. You know what stories to write about, what products are going to launch etc. So, DIY SEO can improve efficiencies and responsiveness to competitors and market activity.
You know your customers better than anyone else so you should know best what they are looking for online.
SEO should be part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Not just some add on tricks to get around search engine algorithms or minimal on-page SEO work. Because of constant ranking algorithm updates, businesses need to consider all parts of digital marketing and its impact on SEO. Internal SEO can improve your consistency across all mediums.
Why Found Online SEO Agency Sydney?
Found Online is a local SEO agency in Sydney that provides services across all areas of digital marketing. We deliver customer focussed, data lead, holistic SEO that gets businesses in competitive spaces online better search rankings sooner.
Talk to us about areas you need help with to maximise your SEO efforts. Contact us on 02 7906 8405 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.