Why is SEO important?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process through which a site is optimized through modifications that have the goal of convincing search engines to rank the site on the first page of google searches made with certain keywords.
The importance of SEO becomes obvious with a little reflection. Any business that wants to use a site needs to have a method to bring visitors to that site. There are two main methods to do that, organic and inorganic ones. The difference between them is that for the inorganic one you directly pay for those visitors, which got the nickname of paid traffic. Examples of this being Facebook and Google Ads. The problem with these methods is that once you stop using them the traffic stops coming as well and in the last years the price you must pay has risen. In 2020 it is expected to continue to rise.
On the other hand, organic methods have the goal to bring visitors without always paying for them. For example, a social media strategy has the goal of building an audience on one or more platforms and send it to the site. While SEO focuses on attracting the majority of those that search certain keywords in search engines like Google. The good thing about these methods is that once you stop investing in them the traffic continues for quite a long period of time. The best way to obtain good results fast with these methods is to hire professionals.
The main difference between organic and paid traffic is the speed with which they bring results and the effects they have in the long run. To put it simply, paid traffic is fast while organic traffic takes time to build. On the other hand, once you build organic traffic you will continue to have it for a fraction of the costs of paid one, which you will also lose the moment you stop paying for it.
Another important difference is the potential of the method used. As you can read on moz.com: “Organic search results cover more digital real estate, appear more credible to savvy searchers, and receive way more clicks than paid advertisements. For example, of all US searches, only ~2.8% of people click on paid advertisements.” As you can see, by using SEO the volume of traffic you can get is much bigger than any other method.
Every site needs custom modifications or additions and many of them depend on different factors, like the keywords for which the site needs to be ranked and the methods used. The process itself has very high complexity and to learn it is even harder because you need to grasp a vast amount of concepts and algorithms, do in-depth research until you understand all the changes made over the years by the search engines to the algorithms used to establish the ranks. The process will also require an extended period of experimentation.
Fortunately, some individuals and companies specialize in SEO. You can outsource the task to them because they can bring the best results in the fastest time possible. Although, you must understand that those results will not come overnight. If you work with the best you will have results within months, otherwise, it may even take years.
But indeed there are some situations (which you will find in this article) in which it is better to do SEO yourself without hiring someone else to do it for you. This decision should consider the situation of your business and the stage of the site.
Do It Yourself vs Outsource SEO. Which one is best for you?
As mentioned above you have two options if you want to optimize your site for search engines. To do it yourself or outsource SEO services to specialized professionals. There are three methods through which a company can do its own SEO but all of them deserve the effort and resources invested only in certain situations.
The most effective method to take care of this task is to outsource it because the investment you make will bring you better results than any other alternative, with the exception in which your company also provides SEO services.
Before you decide the method you want to use, you must understand some things. The most important difference between these two methods is the fact that it will cost you more (in the long run) to outsource the task but the results will come much faster. On the other hand by doing the task yourself or hiring someone to do it indoors will, sometimes, cost you less money but the results will come much slower.
The question you should ask yourself is if the slower results ( and returns as well) are worth the money saved? In most situations, not outsourcing means that you sacrifice future profits to save money now. Of course, you are the one who knows your company the best and only you can do the math but do not neglect to consider all the factors because any superficial decision that you make is a gamble for the future of the business.
The next part of the article will present the options you have if you want to keep the task “in house” and the situations in which this method is useful. You will also find the pros and cons of outsourcing SEO. All the information has the role to help you make a decision about which method is the best for you.
What do you need to know about doing In-House SEO?
As mentioned above there are three methods of keeping the task “in house”. The first one, and the most complicated as well, is to build a new department which will have the sole purpose of doing SEO. This will require a very big investment in both the hiring process, equipment, tools, and the salaries of the employees.
SEO is not a common skill and not everyone can do it while those who did spend the time to master this skill will very rarely work for a single company. Most of them will work only on project-based jobs or they will build their own company. Because of this, the process of hiring enough people for an SEO department will cost you a big sum of money.
Even after you manage to build the team, your cost will be very high because this is skill is very valuable so the salaries will be high as well. Only newbies will accept low salaries but they won’t be able to produce the results you want.
Overall, your costs for using this method will be much higher than outsourcing the task. Of course, any investment has its returns and the advantages of this method are there in the form of total control over the process and, in time, you could use your SEO department to provide this service for others. But you must consider if such a big investment of money, time and resources would produce higher returns in other parts of your business.
The second method is to only hire one person and let him take care of everything. If the salary is high enough then you will be able to do this, but a single person will never be able to obtain the same results as a team of professionals.
Only companies that are still small and their SEO needs are not very big will be able to use this method successfully. And even then, after it starts growing the need for a team will appear and the solution needed will still require to build a full team or outsource to one.
The last method is to learn and implement it yourself. This particular method is used by startups because it is more profitable for them to invest time instead of money in this process. Also, when the moment to outsource SEO arrives the experience and expertise obtained through this method will be very useful to find a good SEO company.
In the end, if a company does not want to provide this service, then the best alternative will always be to outsource the task. The only other reason to not outsource is if you do not want to share any information about the company. By outsourcing this task you will need to provide certain information about the business. Next, you will find more information about outsourcing SEO.
Outsource SEO, How to find a good provider?
Outsourcing SEO is not a complicated task. As long as you know how to search for a good company the process can be easy, fast, and very profitable for your business. Including the process through which you find one, the collaboration with an SEO company can be broken down into four stages.
The first thing you must do is to find a good SEO company. There are some general rules which you need to follow to make sure that you will find a team of professionals, not some amateurs.
- Proven results. Experts are not afraid to showcase their results. Make sure that the company in which you are interested in presents on their sites the results they got for their clients. Of course, to make sure that these results are veritable you should check them. You can do that more easily if you can use the SEO tools used for analysis. Otherwise, the best method is to check directly with the client and in this way you can find much more information about the SEO company, not only the veracity of the results.
- Strategies. Every SEO company has its strategies and you want to find those that bring results in the long run. In SEO there are ways to bring very fast results, sending your site on the first page of a search in weeks or even days BUT these strategies are short-lived because they are made to take advantage of loopholes and once the search engines patch them your site will drop instantly. You must always make sure that the strategies used by the partners you choose are designed to maintain these results for the long term.
- Prices. SEO is a costly investment and the differences in prices that you will find on the market will make it hard for you to make a decision. The more renowned an SEO company is the higher the prices they charge for their services. If you do not want to learn anything about SEO and you only want the results then find a renowned provider and you are set. Of course, that will cost you extra. On the other hand, you can get the same result with a smaller company. If you follow these steps you should be able to find this type of provider. You will pay a lower price for the same results, but you will have to invest a little amount of time in the searching process. The decision is in your hands.
In “5 Ways to Spot the Best Agency”, the five essential aspects that you need to look at when choosing your partner are described as: Check credentials and track record; Verify references and portfolio; See if you can reach common objectives; Examine the communication process; Set data confidentiality and white label reporting.
DIY or Outsource SEO: The final decision
This is a very important decision for your company. If you make the right call, the profits you will make from this will be enormous. But this also makes it harder to decide. To prepare for this decision, you should firstly accumulate some general knowledge about SEO.
You don’t need to do in-depth research, only the general concepts because knowing them will help you make the right decision of outsourcing SEO or not. Even more, this decision will help you even after you made your call. For example, you can read futher about effective SEO strategies to rank your website.
If you decided to do it yourself it will be easier for you to start. You will know where to go and what to do. Another benefit would be that you will know how to make an analysis and approximate the results you will be able to bring.
On the other hand, this preparation will also help you have a good collaboration with the SEO provider. You will understand what they are talking about, read and understand all the reports you will get and even if someone tries to scam you with black hat strategies, you will be able to realize it instantly and prevent a tragedy.
In the end, all the decisions are in your hand and this article only had the role to show you what to expect and to give you advice that will help you make the decision which will bring the largest amount of profit to your company.