Why should your small business outsource search engine optimisation (SEO)?
Search engines are becoming an important sales and marketing channel for small businesses. What are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your SEO? What should small business owners consider?
Whether you run a brick-and-mortar store or an online business, for increasing your reach to your target audience, you cannot ignore the effectiveness of search engine marketing in today’s age. Once you decide to spend some marketing budget on search engine optimization for your website, it is always the best to outsource it to a search engine optimization agency.
It has been proven by statistics that more and more businesses are turning to a digital medium for promoting their products and services. This is not to say that conventional marketing channels are no longer useful but digital marketing has some unique benefits to offer. For example, with the help of the internet, you can showcase your business across geographical boundaries, interact with your potential customer or business associates sitting at any part of the world, finalize a business deal and can even complete a business transaction.
Search engines are the places where people go to find answers to their questions:
"where is the nearest barber?"
"is Kevin the barber any good?"
"Is Kevin open on the weekend?"
When you run a local business, you need to make sure that the questions which are applicable to your business, are answered on your digital channels (website, directories, social media). Then you need to make sure that your answers go beyond just your business, but also the products and services you sell. That goes to all the channels, as described above.
Once you have the content right (answering potential questions from your potential customers), you need to make sure your channels are continuously updated, and inquiries are coming in (website inquiries, facebook messages, youtube comments, phone calls, etc.
There's a lot of work involved in that. You can employ someone to do it, but it's most likely to be a team of people with various technical skills.
Alternatively, you can outsource it to an agency, and get your marketing director to monitor their actions and successes (or lack thereof).
Search engines scan your website to ensure they are providing their user with the best source of information. The aim of Search Engine Optimisation is ensuring your website will provide the best experience to your user - in turn being exactly what the search engine is looking for. It's a huge topic which to do effectively can be extremely time consuming.
You can find programs like SEMRush which once set up points out what needs optimising on your site but it isn't cheap, can be time consuming and you need to understand how to use it effectively. Someone who already has this knowledge is definitely able to do this for you a lot quicker than working it out yourself.
Unless you are up to speed on the latest algorithms, key words and search terms I recommend that you hire a pro who can do it well. You do not exist today if you cannot be found online. As a business you must have a website and I’d argue businesses always need SEO because the whole point of having a web site is to make it easy for customers to find you. Being invisible online is a terrible strategy so making sure your site is keyword rich, mobile friendly, loads quickly and produces meaningful content today is the price of entry. That also happens to be a great foundation for effective SEO.
The reason for outsourcing SEO is the same as to why you would outsource any service. Sure, you can do it yourself but as with graphic design or even fixing a sink, if you want it to be done right, get someone in who has spent years honing their craft and building their expertise in driving the best results. An agency has the time to examine trends and changes in the search algorithms, will understand how to best maximise results and how your business can best take advantage.
And SEO is a constantly evolving beast. If you can't dedicate the time to stay on top of the changes and implement the new best practice to your digital assets, get in an expert.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, outsource your SEO.
Sure, you can learn and do it yourself. But if you’re serious about getting results and SEO is a key strategy in your marketing, then get SEO experts in as soon as possible.
SEO covers a big area, from keyword strategy and content to on-site and off-site SEO. There are always new updates with Google’s algorithm and ranking. You will have a lot of ground to cover if you go the DIY route. Your SEO strategy will also depend on whether your business is online or local, your target audience and their buying behaviour.
At the very least, you can consult a SEO expert who can guide you in the right direction, if you need to save money or if you can’t afford a full-time employee. Since SEO is a long-term investment, it’s important to start on the right footing.
You should be working on areas that you’re good at, and outsource your SEO and any other areas you are not excelling at. Here are more information on hiring a SEO company or expert, including costs.