In the digital age, most business owners know that site optimization is a necessity. But there’s a prevalent assumption that SEO is something anyone can easily take on themselves. Although you can find quite a bit of information on the internet about SEO, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to achieve the results you want by going the DIY route. In fact, making a rookie mistake could garner some negative attention from Google — and that could mean bad things for your business. In today’s post, we’ll discuss the risks of DIYing your SEO and what you should do instead.
Why Shouldn’t You Do Your Own SEO?
First of all, mastering search engine optimization will require a significant time investment. Just grasping the basics will take quite a while. Even if this is an area of digital marketing you’re interested in learning more about, you’ll need to consider what this could mean for your business. When you have to devote that much time and energy to learning a new skill, this will undoubtedly take away from essential operations. And because SEO best practices are always evolving, you’ll be responsible for learning on a continuous basis. Underestimating the time commitment and the complexity of SEO can result in feelings of frustration, stress, and confusion. That’s not an experience you need to deal with.
Say you forge ahead with DIYing your SEO anyway. It’s highly possible that the time you dedicate to this endeavor simply won’t pay off. If you lack the understanding and skill set, your results aren’t likely to impress anyone. In fact, you may not see any real results at all, despite your best efforts. You might be using outdated tactics or be unable to execute a viable SEO strategy. Not seeing any improvement in your rankings can be discouraging enough, but you might also risk making matters worse.
When you don’t have a lot of experience with SEO, it’s easy to accept all advice as good advice. Unfortunately, SEO is a lot more complicated than you probably realize. Some of the suggestions you might read about on the internet could end up getting you in trouble. “Black hat” SEO tips might sound good in theory — and sometimes they may actually seem to be successful. But that success will undoubtedly be short-lived. Google does not take kindly to those who flout the rules. If they realize you’re using underhanded tactics in an effort to boost your rankings, they may very well penalize your site for it. Your rankings could drop dramatically or your site could disappear from search results altogether. No matter how big your business is, you probably can’t afford to take that risk.
The idea of saving money on marketing is appealing, but remember: you’ll get what you pay for. If you pay nothing and waste precious time trying to DIY your SEO, chances are you won’t get much out of it in the end.
Here’s Why You Should Hire an SEO Agency Instead
We’ve already gone over the risks you take by attempting to DIY your SEO. But is working with a Dallas SEO firm really that much better? In a word, yes.
When you work with SEO experts, you’ll be benefitting from their immense amount of experience and knowledge. Because this is their field of expertise, they’ll be much more equipped to devise a stellar strategy for your SEO. They’ll be up-to-date on all of the changes being made in this sector. Google adjusts its search engine algorithm roughly 500 to 600 times per year; you can’t be expected to keep up with all that. But your SEO analysts can. They’ll have the resources, the tools, and the prowess needed to make these efforts a success. Not only will this make it more likely you’ll achieve your marketing goals, but it’ll also allow your business to thrive in other areas. After all, if you don’t have to spend your own time learning all about SEO, you’ll be able to put your energy where it can actually make a positive impact.
What to Look For in an SEO Agency
Now that you’ve determined it’s best to hire an SEO agency to handle this part of your digital marketing, you can begin the search process. But what exactly should you look for in an SEO company? With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to discern the firms that are all talk from the firms that can walk the walk. But if you keep these points in mind, you’ll be headed in the right direction.
- Your SEO company should not make unrealistic promises: It’s understandable that you’d want to know exactly what you’re getting for your money. But SEO isn’t always a sure thing — even when your team is highly reputable. Any quality SEO company knows that search engine optimization isn’t an exact science; we tend to know what works, but we can’t make any promises. That’s why you should steer clear of any SEO company that makes guarantees that sound too good to be true. For instance, if they promise you’ll double your traffic, assures that they’ll improve your rankings overnight, or pledges to secure a specific number of backlinks, they’re probably not on the up-and-up. Whether they’re simply inexperienced or they’re purposely using substandard tactics, you won’t want to stick around to find out what will come of their promises.
- Your SEO provider should be open, honest, and communicative: It’s important that your SEO company is able to address your concerns, questions, and overall needs. A company that’s notorious for being non-communicative will only be able to offer frustration and confusion. You should also be able to trust their judgment and that their ethics are what’s guiding them (rather than the temptation to make a larger profit). While we’re all in business to make money, you need to feel secure in the knowledge that your team isn’t merely trying to up-sell you on services you don’t actually need to make a quick buck. Your SEO agency should be able to advise you about the services that are more worthwhile and about what you can do to make the campaign even more successful. If they’re condescending, dismissive, or unprofessional, look elsewhere; unanswered or curt emails should be a red flag. If you require more of a hands-on, educational approach, you’ll want to work with a firm that can provide that.
- Your SEO agency should be able to provide results: While we mentioned you should be very wary of any SEO firm that makes guarantees, you should feel secure in the knowledge that your SEO team can deliver. They should be able to offer data and examples that illustrate the successful results they’ve achieved for other clients. By viewing their portfolio, you’ll be able to assess the areas in which the SEO agency excels. Ideally, your SEO provider should regard itself as a learning organization and be dedicated to providing an ongoing education for their team. You shouldn’t automatically dismiss an agency that’s brand new, but the team should be experienced and respected. They’ll need to demonstrate the success they’ve achieved for previous clients and explain how their work with various industries can help your business achieve your goals. While some white label SEO companies may not be able to provide you with client information, you should at least be able to find out more about the agency online or through personal references. Some businesses have unrealistic expectations about SEO, but if people are consistently saying the company wasn’t able to deliver, you’ll want to keep looking.
Finding the right SEO agency can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. But now that you’re armed with this knowledge, you can go into this process feeling prepared and knowing what you deserve.