Why Do I Need an SEO Specialist?
Full disclosure: I’m a blogger, not an SEO Specialist. However, I work with them, rely on them, and lean on them to make sure people will read my blogs because they will be able to find my blogs. I’ve learned enough to be aware, but I’ve also learned enough to realize I can’t do my job and that of an SEO specialist and still have time to sleep.
Yet, it seems like companies who are happy to hire a blogger feel that’s all they need, and even try to rope me into this vast and convoluted specialty that is absolutely critical to your business website’s success. No can do, amigo. So let me attempt to explain how your investment in a true and solid SEO company can pay for itself, and you can let me do the content writing.
Google’s ever-changing algorithms
What can be working and best practice one day can be quite different the next. In fact, Moz.com reports that it changes multiple times every day. While you could simply log in and link to view these changes, you then need to interpret them. And if you wish for your site and its pages to rank high, you need to invest a lot of time, away from your business of selling tires or providing accounting services, in order to keep up. SEO specialists make it their job to track these changes and how it might impact your site. Generally, when a company is made up of experts in a specific discipline, they can also make sense of it and relate it to your business in far less time, and create an effective strategy to respond to it.
We help websites understand what’s happening with Google (you may have read up on their Penguin update in late 2016), but it’s more to educate you to know what to ask your SEO specialist (assuming you have one), rather than give you a DIY role. Do get comfortable with the terms – and there are many, including acronyms that would make the military jealous – but do so in order to have a good conversation with an SEO expert.
Onsite v. Offsite SEO
There are two things that you need to keep up on for your site SEO, and the one most people understand are onsite (or on page) SEO. These are the keywords, H1 (title) tags, and alt tags that are placed on images – all of which help raise your SEO in a search based on what terms your customer or reader is using the most frequently.
That can be seen as low-hanging fruit for anyone who’s a little web savvy, but if you aren’t committed to reviewing every element on your site, including every image, H1 tags, links and structure, you will likely get ding’d by Google.
Offsite SEO is also trends and tools that impact your page offsite, and you need to pay attention to that just as much. SEO experts apply strategies to other pages that will positively impact your site. Social media marketing, backlinks from quality and credible sites, and blogging on other sites all play a role in boosting your SEO. That’s a lot of dogs to walk, and frankly our guess is that your company didn’t set out to be in the dog-walking business.
You may be looking at a minimum of $1,000/month if you are considering a reputable SEO company that can deliver. If you’re a small business, that can be daunting. However, what you should expect in return saves you time (and that’s money too), staffing, and visibility.
- While you sell widgets, an SEO specialist applies his knowledge to treat every page on your website as an advertising campaign, using keywords and phrases that lead customers to your business over your competitors’.
- SEO companies worth their salt have multiple specialists working on your site, as well as your related social media platforms, to build a comprehensive strategy. Hire one person directly, and you’re likely overspending already, not to mention the time you invested reading through scores of resumes and interviewing
- Making a mistake on your site – be it a title that’s incorrect, a photo with an incorrect name, or using the same focus keyword too often – could land your site far down in the page rankings, or worse yet, blacklisted. That my friends is called tripping over a dollar to save a penny.
Keeping up with trends
Marketing is impacted by technology, and your website is no exception. What may seem unrelated, like ride-sharing apps, or the latest in voice search technology like Siri and Alexa, can change how you need to structure your website and its content. Does your website have the best schema markups on its pages? Have accelerated mobile pages been integrated onto your pages? If you can’t answer either question, or needed to click on the links, then you need to consider hiring a company that relishes the challenge.
In addition, there’s always the trend of competition. You know your market, and you know who your competition is, but if they are already working with an SEO specialist, chances are they’re ahead of you. While keyword strategies are always a part of an overall marketing campaign for your business, SEO experts can spot trends within your industry to compete and win.
So, let’s say you still are convinced you’d rather hire someone in-house to handle your SEO. How does that interview go? What questions will you ask to vet this individual, having no prior experience yourself? Of course you may raise the same issue in hiring a company, but the difference is going to be in performance and accountability. Beyond a resume and perhaps a couple of references, SEO companies’ reputations are based on the quality of their staff and their performance for their clients, which are often other companies. The vetting process in this case becomes a bit more transparent and reliable. And, instead of one professional, you have a team.
Even after you’ve hired an SEO company, the commitment to meet and exceed goals should keep them performing for you. Most often (and this is a great question to ask during the vetting process), they are spending significant dollars on their staff to stay up to date through training to stay competitive within their own market.
The world of digital marketing is only getting more fluid, more competitive and faster-paced. It’s not something you have to shoulder on your own. Think about it: you have likely already made the wise decision to let an accountant handle your books, and a lawyer manage your legal affairs. An SEO specialist provides the opportunity, protection and knowledge to allow you to position your website (your virtual storefront) atop the rankings, giving you an ROI that will more than cover the expenses for all of these professionals.