While SEO has been around for many years now, it’s still a relatively new concept to many business owners. If you’ve been contemplating starting an SEO campaign this year, you’re faced with a decision: should you try to do it yourself, or hire an expert to manage your online presence. Here are a few reasons why an amateur approach is one of the biggest SEO mistakes your company can make.
1. Daily maintenance
Search engine optimization doesn’t just happen once; it’s an ongoing campaign to manage your website and your online presence around the web to deliver the best results possible. You need to have a constant stream of new content being published, both on your site as well as highly-visible sites in your industry. An optimized website takes constant effort, not just an occasional, amateur effort. Doing all of this in-house will take a team effort, which will test not only your finances, but your leadership acumen. Any respectable SEO firm will have the expertise and networks already in place, so your employees can focus on what they’re trained for.
Even if you decide that it’s worth your time and that of your employees to pursue a do-it-yourself SEO campaign, you should consider whether your competition is making the same calculations. If your competitors choose to outsource their SEO to experienced, networked professionals, you’ll face a steep learning curve to keep up. A knowledgeable SEO firm can show results within a month of being hired, while you’re still learning the ropes and scrambling to build a network.
The main temptation of in-house SEO is the perception that it’s cheaper to do it yourself; but it’s as likely to be cost-effective as building your own office furniture. Your team has better things to do, and you won’t save that much money. If you’re skeptical, consult your business accounting software and add up the cost in work-hours of training and equipping your team, as well as the revenue you’ll lose by pulling them away from their normal work, and the demands on your own time as a manager. It’ll add up to a comfortable amount of money—more than enough to hire an SEO firm that will do a better job of representing your interests.
There’s a reason good marketing firms can make so much difference—they bring a broad skill-set that applies to any market, as well as an outsider perspective that makes their work more accessible to others. They often recognize angles that an expert would miss—a word or phrase may be comfortable for you, for example, but feel jargony to a layperson. They should ask questions, and make sure they understand your product and your target market, but don’t discount the value of a broader perspective.
5. Comparative advantage
One of the most important principles of economics is comparative advantage—that we should all focus on what we do well; which is why we don’t tailor our own suits, or build our own cars. Time you spend learning how to do an SEO firm’s job is time you’re not spending on innovative ideas in your own area of expertise. Hiring out your SEO will save you money and headache, and make you more effective in every aspect of your business.
Aimee Watts is a staff writer for Mobile Moo. She has spent ten years telecommuting full-time, and loves spreading tips and advice for fellow work-at-home parents. She loves gadgets, new ideas, and skiing with her two favorite people: her husband and teenage son. They live in Evergreen, Colorado.