The ultimate goal of SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is to get as much free traffic to your website as possible. Traffic from organic search doesn’t cost anything, and that’s the real beauty of ranking high in Google, Bing and any other search engine.
While many businesses will likely employ a mix of paid traffic, social media marketing and free search engine traffic, obviously the more free traffic you can get, the better your bottom line will be.
The old cliché of “build it and they will come” doesn’t really apply in the internet world. If you don’t get your business and brand out there, your website will just be swamped by the masses of websites littering the online space.
Estimates put the current number of websites online today at close to 2 billion.
That’s a lot of competition for eyeballs on your business website. Apart from allocating a sizeable budget for paid advertising, Google Ads and Facebook Ads, how is your website going to be seen among the nearly 2 billion sites? What’s going to make it stand out from the crowd?
You could have the most awesome looking website on the entire planet, with the most interesting content and offers, but that’s not going to make it rank high in search results. The Googlebot doesn’t crawl a website and think, “wow, this website looks amazing” and then gives it favour and ranks it high.
The only sure-fire way to rank high in organic search results is through quality, white hat SEO best practices, and it really takes an expert to put this in place.
As you are here reading this post, most likely you realise you need to improve the SEO of your business website, but are not sure whether you need to get an expert onto the task, or whether you should attempt to save a few dollars and do it yourself.
So let’s look at what a SEO specialist can do for your business as compared to taking on the SEO mountain on your own.
What’s Involved In SEO?
Many people think SEO is as simple as writing some content that targets specific, relevant keywords and publishing it. Sure, that’s a part of it, but only one piece of the overall jigsaw puzzle.
Did you also know that your website’s structure and technical details can affect your search engine rankings? For example, if Google decides your site is not user friendly and detracts from the overall user experience because of things like poor navigation, you’ll lose rankings.
To get an overview of the current state of your website’s SEO, your SEO specialist will perform a SEO audit. This will determine what’s already looking healthy, as well as areas that need to be improved upon.
A thorough SEO audit will also pinpoint anything that could actually be harming your site’s SEO performance. Things like toxic backlinks from spam sites and thin content that offers no real value can actually devalue your site in Google algorithms. And it’s the same with duplicate content.
According to Google, there are some 200+ ranking factors their algorithm uses to determine a site’s (or its individual pages of content) ranking. Only a SEO expert is going to fully comprehend all those and be able to put in place strategies that work.
Two of the most productive and positive things that can be done for your business website is adding quality content that offers real value to your visitors, content that targets relevant keywords that get traffic.
The other is acquiring, as naturally as possible, quality backlinks from authority sites. Again, good content comes into play here as well. People will link out to and mention great content. People will share great content. Many admins from authority sites are happy to accept guest posts that add value to their site. Guest posts create backlinks.
There is just so much to providing high quality SEO. There are many layers and components to it. To implement it successfully, you really need to know what you are doing. It’s really not a process for the part timer or the inexperienced.
To do SEO incorrectly can have the opposite results of what you’re looking for, so for the benefit and success of your business website, it only makes sense to hire a professional.
What a Real SEO Professional Brings To the Table
SEO professionals work in the field every single day. Just like you would naturally trust a qualified mechanic to fix your car, you can put your faith in a qualified and recommended SEO expert to put your business website on track and getting traffic.
It’s clear that there is a lot to look for when analysing the current state of a website and determining the best strategies for SEO, and an individual or company who works in the field will be subscribed to numerous tools that help them evaluate a site’s SEO and see where improvements and corrections are necessary.
All these tools cost money, and most regular business owners likely won’t be subscribing to, or even be able to decipher, these tools and what they do.
Your SEO supplier will put together a SEO package that’s tailor made to suit the specific requirements of your business and its website.
They will organise and initiate a content marketing strategy, back linking strategies, removing or disavowing any toxic back links pointing to your site that may exist.
Another extremely important component of a good SEO strategy is monitoring..
Once again, this often involves using paid tools to keep track of how the strategy is progressing and where things might need tweaking. SEO isn’t a “set and forget” scenario. It’s requires constant monitoring, and your trained SEO strategist knows how to do it all and understand what the stats are telling them.
For the average employee or business owner, tools like SEMrush, Moz, Ahrefs and co will just look like indecipherable gibberish, but to a SEO professional, they offer up a veritable gold mine of useful information and statistics, both about the client’s website and the competition.
The First Step Is SEO Consultancy Services
Once you’ve decided on a SEO professional you can count on, the very first step in the process is consultancy. Your SEO advisor will discuss your business goals, objectives for SEO and the kind of budget you have to work with.
While there are ways to speed up certain aspects of SEO if you have the funds, overall it’s a long game, where results can take time to bear fruit.
Let’s now list just some of the key things your SEO professional will discuss with you and implement on your behalf:
- Keyword Research and Analysis – Keywords that are relevant to your business, it’s products and services need to be targeted. This is one of the key ways potential customers will find you in organic search results.
- Analysing Your Competitors – How is your website fairing compared to your closest competitors’ websites? This is an essential step in determining the best SEO strategy to get your website ahead of the competition.
- Mobile Optimisation – Google now places a huge focus on websites being mobile friendly, due to the vast numbers of people accessing the internet via a mobile device. Your business website needs to be optimised for mobile users so the UX is an easy and pleasant one. Otherwise your site will get penalised in the rankings.
- Complete On-Site Optimisation – Various on-site factors need to be addressed so a site is fully optimised for SEO, and one of the key elements is ensuring the relevant keywords are being targeted in the content and metadata.
- Quality Content – This will come in the form of your website’s information and products/services pages, as well as regularly adding content to a company blog. People search for content, and content brings in traffic. Your SEO consultant will organise this regular content for you on your behalf.
- Link Building – This includes both internal linking, where one page of your content will link to another page on your site, external linking to handy resources and authority sites and, most importantly, getting natural back links to your business website. Link building is a process that can take time, so it’s best left in the hands of the experts, as you don’t want to get this part wrong.
- Social Media – Your business and brand needs a social media presence as Google monitors social signals as well when it comes to your business. Getting your social content shared, as well as the content on your site, indicates to Google that your content is valuable and that your site should be ranked higher.
- Local Optimisation – Appearing in things like Google maps when people search for your type of business in their local area will help get you more traffic. Local optimisation can also include things like geo-targeting, so when someone searches for the services you offer in your area, your business shows up high in the results.
- Tracking and Monitoring – Putting strategies in place means very little if results aren’t tracked and regularly monitored. Organic traffic will be tracked, as well as the effectiveness of your sales funnel to ensure it’s getting the desired results.
The list above includes important aspects to the SEO jigsaw that your SEO consultant will handle for you. It’s not an exhaustive list, as there is even more to SEO, but it’s enough to give you an idea of just how valuable a SEO professional can be to your business and the visibility of your website.
The Dangers of Doing Your Own SEO
One of the biggest hurdles to doing your own SEO successfully is the rules are changing all the time. An SEO specialist has their finger on the pulse of the industry and keeps a keen eye on what Google’s up to. You’re likely busy with running your own business and don’t have the time, or the experience, to keep tabs on the changes or what to implement to keep your SEO up to par.
And speaking of time, how many business owners, or even their busy staff, have the spare time to constantly work on designing and instigating SEO strategies. Content marketing itself can be very time consuming, let alone everything else that goes into good and thorough SEO.
Your business isn’t about offering SEO services, so having your staff spend copious amounts of time learning SEO, implementing strategies and monitoring the results takes valuable time away from what they were hired to do in the first place.
You’ll also need to invest in some tools to properly audit your business site and monitor results. It’s another business expense that’s not really necessary when you can have a SEO professional handling it all for you.
One of the greatest dangers of handling your own SEO is mistakes. While some mistakes might not be that critical overall, others can lead to a drastic loss of search engine rankings, effectively killing your business in the online space.
Do you really want to take that chance?
A prime example of this might be poor, or black hat, link building strategies. If you have an employee handling your SEO who understands back links are important, but doesn’t understand that they need to be quality links, they could inadvertently cause serious harm to your website’s SEO and your brand’s reputation in Google.
Hiring a Professional Is Well Worth It
Yes, it does cost money to employ the services of a quality SEO expert who knows their stuff, but it’s well worth it, and is a tax deductible business expense anyway.
Even if you were to handle your own SEO, it would be costing you money in staff wages, tools, and possibly a drop in business if mistakes are made.
In the long run, a good SEO consultant will make your business more profitable, easily offsetting the cost of their expert services.
It only makes sense to go the professional services route and get your business website on top of the competition, where it deserves to be.