Should I hire an external SEO consultant?

Do I turn to an SEO agency for this? Or is it something I can manage myself? Any guidance would be appreciated.

Top voted answer
Katina Beveridge

Katina Beveridge, Director at

Hi Mike, you can certainly learn to do SEO yourself. It is a skill that can be self taught. SEO is time consuming and is an ongoing process. You need to continually be doing work on your website every month to both gain and then maintain rankings.

What you need to way up is how much your time is worth to you. Are you better off spending your time on tasks that will generate immediate income into your business and let the professionals take care of your SEO. Or If money is tight then by all means knock yourself out and learn. Some great resources are online training such as the lynda tutorials

Kate Smith

Kate Smith, Head of Marketing at The Kate Project

Hi Mike,

LIke Katina, I agree that you can manage this yourself, but it is time consuming to do effectively. If you are in a very competitive sector SEO is very important and hard to do efficiently/effectively if you are competing against big corporate players who outsource this task.

SEO strategy includes not just managing the metadata and structure of the content on your website, but it also includes the content itself, backlinking, removing unwanted links and of course tracking your competitors.

The many changes that Google make mean that you need to have both the skills to perform SEO and the time to research and understand the changes that they make and how to improve your digital standing. Tools like MOZ ( can help you understand the scope of what needs to be done and you can then decide if you want to manage this yourself or seek out specialist help.

If going to an external resource, remember to set quarterly targets for them and make sure you read and understand the monthly reports. They know SEO, and you know your business and sector so you can definitely refine their strategy with your knowledge.

Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons, Consultant at

When it comes to SEO it is something you should learn and do yourself. If you know how SEO works you will start writing better posts/site content. SEO isn't hard, it is just making sure you are organised and putting some thought into what you are doing with your website. And at the end of the day, that is something you should be doing anyway.

Don't freak out and don't get sucked into the SEO kit scams. All you need to know about SEO is freely available on the internet. Finding the material is part of the learning process, pay attention to what you are searching for and look at the results you get. Don't just read the content on the websites, look deeper! look at the structure, use of words and dig a little deeper by right clicking and selecting view source.

You can get a lot more out of a website if you take the time to look at it properly. If your competitor is ranked higher in Google, what search phrase are you using to find them. What wording are they using on their website to get so high.

Tim Stokes

Tim Stokes, Managing Director at Profit Transformations

Hi Mike,
Its a great question and I'm glad you're asking.
I wholely believe you are best to do it yourself, as you will save thousands of dollars and get better results.
I offer a half day marketing training course that goes into it in details. If your time is valuable then its a very effective use of time and money to get the info you need to do it yourself. Having been a researcher of SEO for 15 years I've found fact based SEO is the only way to do it. Learning what the facts are can take many months or years as it did for me. 
I've tested variables with SEO but without knowing what facts you need to focus on it makes it hard, because then you're blindly trusting people. 
First you need to learn all about on-page SEO to get your site in order.
Part of that and probably the most overlooked is the copywriting and image selection of a website. Website developers are far better programmers than marketing experts so these two things, especially the copy is poorly executed.
Making a website visitor friendly as well as Google friendly is what SEO is all about.
Trying to learning all this yourself for free will probably take you years. I learn by paying some of best SEO guys in the world, and testing to see facts of what they recommend.
Its a mine field to wade through as many just quote other so called experts, who often aren't experts. Plus Google keeps introducing penalities that affect rank as they get smarter and smarter. 
Some things haven't changed with SEO and I doubt will, but some things do. Knowing why that is helps you a lot.
If you'd like to have a chat about it or have questions let me know. 
You'll get some value out of this blog post on SEO I wrote recently: 

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