If you have a small or medium sized business, rising to the top of your local search engine results can be a major boost to your business. You want to have top search rankings, more traffic to your site, and you want that traffic to convert to sales. So, how do you get your site in front of your online consumers? Through SEO, or search engine optimization. Implementing strong SEO can certainly help improve your search rankings, and therefore your business, but is it wise to pay for outside SEO assistance?
Is it Necessary?
First you must ask yourself if you really need professional help with SEO. If you are working in an industry that is very unique, without a ton of competition, you probably do not. For example, if your SEO is focusing on very specific markets, for example “dog trainers in Lexington, KY”, you can probably improve your SEO very easily without paying for help. However, if you are offering online services to a competitive global or nationwide market, you might benefit from the competitive advantageous that professional SEO services can bring you.
Thinking Long Term
When you hirer SEO support, in most cases, a team will help you develop code and copy for your site that is going to help you climb the search engine results. You might stay at the top of the rankings for a while, but then find your placement slipping. This happens because either search algorithms change, your competition beefs up their own SEO, or a combination of these and other reasons. Your site is going to need ongoing SEO strategies and assistance in order to stay ahead of the competition in the long term.
Can You Do it Yourself?
Search engine optimization is not as difficult or complicated as it may sound. There are a few very simple strategies that you can put into place to increase your site’s visibility without paying for help. Increasing your SEO is largely about putting in the time and effort, and is concerned very little with actual technical skill.
You can improve your SEO by having high quality and relevant copy, having correct coding, linking to pertinent information, and organizing your content effectively using descriptive headlines. All of these strategies can be easily learned if you have the time. Some companies will say that they have uncovered the “secrets” of SEO, but SEO secrets are just that: secrets. The major search engines never reveal exactly how their algorithms operate, and all of the marketing companies are simply using their own educated guesses.
A Question of Time
The decision of whether or not you should hire outside SEO help for your site boils down to whether or not you want to invest your own time into the project. A large part of improving SEO is staying on top of your content and frequently posting original, valuable, and relevant information. If you are running a business, you may not have the time to dedicate to this type of project, or your time would be put to better use elsewhere.
Combining SEO and Pay Per Click Advertising
If you are going to invest in paying for SEO services, you should aim to get the most value for your dollar. You can do this by choosing a marketing team that has a clear and decisive plan for your site. In order to get the highest return for your money, this plan should incorporate not only SEO services, but also paid advertisement campaigns. If you are going to be paying for marketing services anyway, you may as well use both strategies in order to see both immediate and long term returns on your investment.
Valerie Mellema is the owner of Words You Want, a ghostwriting service offering SEO packages and more.