Whether you are SEO savvy, or have no idea what SEO is, (Ahem, it’s a little thing that stands for search engine optimization – or rather, making sure your website can be found in Google), outsourcing the most critical pillar of your marketing program can be a very beneficial and profitable decision. It can also be confusing.
Because SEO is a somewhat intangible service, it can come across as unnecessary or less important than say, ‘getting on Twitter’. However, when SEO is done correctly, and well, search engine optimization will raise your ranking in Google, drive targeted traffic to your website and increase your online leads and sales over time. (‘Time’ being the operative word here.)
Though you may know a thing or two about SEO best practices -- such as adding popular keywords to your web content and not using Flash -- today’s SEO basics are constantly evolving. There is more to consider now than ever before. SEO is no longer a DIY venture for most serious businesses. The landscape has grown far too technical and competitive for most in-house marketing teams to handle on their own.
There are four huge reasons why having the SEO expertise of an agency is critical to growing your business online:
1- SEO is not a one-time service.
SEO is a constant effort that relies on measurement, research and response. There is no such thing as a one-time plan for SEO. This is because, not only does the search landscape change on a regular basis, to compete in the search engines, your content has to be fresh and you must put daily effort into building links that strengthen and drive traffic to your website. Anyone who tells you they will SEO your website one time and you will rank competitively in Google is lying. Straight up.
In fact, most websites don’t start seeing results from their consistent SEO efforts for about a year. It is very difficult to rank on the first, second, or even the third page of Google right away. Ranking well requires a focused and constant SEO strategy that integrates many other marketing channels (see #4, below) in the process.
2- Good SEO targets and drives quality ‘ready-to-buy’ visitors.
Good SEO focuses on driving surgically-targeted markets to your website. An SEO analyst will work closely with you to understand your business goals. From that point, they should be able to tell you where your markets are, what they are searching for and help attract them to your website.
Without an expert to help you find your audience online, you will spend a lot more of your budget casting a wide net and only get low-quality leads in return.
A quality SEO will also work with you to make sure your visitors end up on the right page of your website depending on what they are searching for. Your customers are 100% more likely to buy when they are taken directly to what they want. It’s key to remember how impatient we have become as web users. If we are unable to find something in a couple clicks (or even a couple seconds!) we click the dreaded back button.
3- SEO requires a team.
Search engine algorithms are changing constantly. Although you may think SEO is all about keywords and Pay Per Click, you will find quite quickly that it takes a lot more than that to see consistent results.
Companies that are looking to achieve true benefits from SEO efforts require a team that is focused on nothing else. Unfortunately, the days where you could drop a few keywords on a page and rank are long gone. SEO is technical. It’s ongoing. And it’s time and labor intensive.
Rarely do we find an organization that has time to both manage the ongoing daily marketing tasks associated with SEO and the expertise to analyze the data and leverage that info to truly impact their website’s search engine performance.
4- SEO isn’t limited to things you do on your website anymore.
Great content marketing, social media marketing and cold, hard IRL (‘in real life’) marketing are all HUGE parts of how your website performs in the search engines. And when I say these components are ‘huge’, what I really should say is they are ‘critical’.
If you do not have an ongoing strategy for driving traffic, building links and authority, or engaging with an audience using social media, your SEO will suffer and so will your ranking. In fact, all of these tactics are more impactful to your web ranking than adding keywords to the content on your website.
If you’d like us to review your website and let you know where we think your SEO could use some love and attention, feel free to contact us for a consultation.
Have a question or want to add a point about why you think or don’t think an SEO agency is necessary? Please leave us a comment below – we answer every one.
Photo by tpower78, and licensed through Creative Commons.
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