SEO: Do it myself or farm it out?
Should I take the time to learn how to do Search Engine Optimization myself or should I pay a service for this? If the latter, what is a reasonable amount to expect to spend and for how long? Also, what expectations can I reasonably have that this service will succeed in placing my business on the first page of a Google search, etc. assuming they know what they're doing?
Do you know who to farm it out ?
Are you sure about his work ?
Best way is hire someone who your friend has already hired and have got the results .
Doing yourself , or outsourcing to a cheap company would/can negatively effect on your rankings .
LEAVE IT TO THE PROS . But finding a PRO is the real task !
Lots of good answers here.
But how about this? A lot of SEO is tricky, or even about "tricks". Who wants to build a business on the shifting sands of tricks?
Either you have good content, well managed (that includes SEO) and well strategized, maybe even including fun things like "comments" and "video" etc. -- or you don't.
Content rules and the search engines are getting smarter all the time. Do you do all your own accounting and taxes? SEO is just one skill among several that your website manager (in-house or hired) needs to have.
Likely your ROI for SEO-by-yourself will be much lower than for whatever it is that you do as your main business.
Lastly, several commentators have hinted at the large amount of bad and out-of-date SEO information out there. This gets me back to the whole "tricks" business, which is not a way of building a business for the long term.
Yes sure you can learn seo yourself but it not easy to do it. it's hard work to build links and many other stufff. if you wish to discussion seo things contact us for more detail
Well, I don't think there is any need to pay for the SEO service take your time in understanding the SEO, you can take the reference from searchengingeland post. There is nothing much left in the Search Engine Optimization process whole SEO now is revolving around mostly Content, Link Building and influencing people by taking the help of Social media. Yes, you can take the help from professionals with the on-page thing but for off page I don't think there is any need.
SEO is a long and complex process. While it can be very helpful for you to know the basics and what results you can generally expect from this activity, SEO also involves many technicalities and it's a time consuming process, that is best left in the hands of specialists.
It implies both onsite and offsite SEO and lately, even social media activity seems to be included when it comes improving SEO rankings. Placing a business on the first page of Google, it is a process that can take even years, depending on how much competition there is in the domain that you are activating.
For a more accurate estimation of time and budget, you can request a SEO audit. You can request one here: http://us.nnc-services.com/seo-ppc-packages/
Hope this helps!
The NNC team
Your priority should be deciding what you want from your website, then hire a marketing agency to help you get this. With personalised search there is no such thing as 'placing a business on the first page of Google' as different people will see different results.
But WHY do you want to be top page? Being top page is not (usually) the end goal. Success is measured by traffic onto the website that converts into sales and leads.
Having successfully implemented "SEO" policies for twelve years, I find having to show top rankings on keywords is a distraction from generating huge increases in leads / sales from non paid search traffic. Of course you need reasonable rankings - but the aim is surely leads/sales.
You should do both, do a part yourself, do pass some work to people who understands it but noone can solve your problem, you need to be involved and push the team. http://www.techshu.com/blog/work-with-digital-marketing-companies
Execution is a global problem, you need to pay right and demand right. I will be at HP, training their team next week, I will also be sharing a part about how to work with a digital agency, will share more here.
There is no such as free trraffic. You either pay someone or you spend your time. Then Google changes their algorithum and you have to start all over again. Most of the successful online marketers pay for traffic so they can always control their outcome. Facebook ads is a great way right now to capitalize on paid traffic. You can spend alot of time or thousands of dollars for an outcome that is not guaranteed.
Hi, David. Whether you take the time to learn or outsource your SEO depends on the time you have and your marketing budget. There are a number of e-courses you can take - I have one that's 6 weeks, but covers pretty much everything to increase your visibility, readership, authority, and ranking.
When looking for a marketing service, check their Alexa.com rating. Search their name on Google. They should have a professional looking website. And, they should have fresh content on their site on a regular basis.
You should also read their About Page and Testimonials page to find out what actually qualifies that individual to teach SEO.
Another way is to ask people/businesses you trust for recommendations.
Hope this helped.
I run a marketing consulting company and we farm our SEO out - we used to do it ourselves - when we hired a professional our results increased by 10 fold. Lots of good advice on this thread.
When I evaluate whether we should do something in house or hire and expert - I compare the value of my time and how much revenue I can generate with the cost of the expert. Rarely does it make sense for me to do it myself.
I would also say that finding a real expert is a challenge - we actually use 2 different companies to help us - one focuses on overall ranking - the other is a specialist - like a surgeon so we use them for niches.
Lots of charlatans out there - like in any field before hiring anyone I would ask to speak to at least 5 clients and find out specifically what results were achieved
David, the best form of SEO is genuinely valuable content. Too many SEO "experts" simply use metatag techniques geared to cheat and manipulate the system. Google is so on to this, and they are continually upgrading their algorithm to ensure that their search results are honest. If you are not adept at writing good, searchable content which contains the longtail words your desired customers are searching for, then find a good content production provider, not just an SEO expert that will focus solely on meta tags. Here is an excellent article from a trusted colleague that really clarifies what a good search engine optimized web site should do.
I believe that I am only smart, a fast learner and talented as well. HOWEVER, I am not a computer professional and do not have the time to learn all the tricks of the SEO aspect of that business. I've left the meta tags, etc. part of my website to a 30-year experienced professional and when someone uses Google to find "Financial Planning New York", my website is displayed on the first page of the report. I'd be happy to share the name and contact info on my SEO person. Just contact me directly.
If you do decide to "farm it out," I highly encourage you to use the mosaicHUB expert search tab at the top of the page. You can use it to search for service providers by expertise, location, and ratings. We have many great SEO experts on this platform. Hope this helps, and best of luck!
mosaicHUB Community Moderator
Thank you all for your answers. But, some have advised against doing SEO since a lot of it is built into the WordPress platform. So, the question then becomes whether it is worth doing SEO at all? If not, should the focus be on social media marketing, instead?
It is better to learn SEO, which would definitely helpful for you in both ways. If you have enough time you can do SEO by yourself , or if you are plan to recruit someone atleast you should able to know what he has done for you. Basic knowledge about SEO is very important. And there is no guarantee to keep your business ( keyword ) in first page . So think about it and act according to that.
Great question!! I suggest taking the time to learn the basics of optimizing a webpage for search engine indexing and positioning. There is wisdom in contacting SEO consultants for a chat-up. While there are many websites that discuss SEO, Linkedin would be a good start to finding consultants that are open to a dialogue as to their techniques and pricing structure. While some of these individuals are trainers and dedicated to SEO Best Practices it's likely they would enjoy going over a quick crash course on simple optimization steps to get you started. Their profiles can also be chock full of information regarding their integrity and credibility.
Deciding on hiring an SEO service also requires researching credible individuals and teams. During this research you will get somewhat an idea of reasonable expectations. Call and when possible talk to the Senior SEO to get a feel for the level of helpfullness, honesty, and chemistry. Finding a service with a trustworthy record and case studies is top of my list. Assess your budget as to what your business will allow you to spend. Expect to maintain your relationship with a service on a continuous basis due to the ever changing variables of the search engines' algorithms.
Let me know how I can continue to be of service.
Have lots of time,want to learn stuff not related to your business,have an active metric monitoring on your site to detail key issues like Total Traffic, Direct Traffic, Organic Traffic, Referral Traffic, Google and Bing ranking,bounce, rate crawl issues etc. Then you need to have and understand Google Analytic, monitor Google Webmaster and Bing Webmaster. Then you can do your own SEO. All that being true I would suggest you do it for yourself.
On the other hand if want to spend time working on the business get more new clients and customers then find some reliable competent provider do the work for you. They should provide you the metrics that you need to evaluate your web and it performance. It also helps evaluate the SEO service provider and show improvements in traffic which is what this all about..You do not to have to spending a fortune to do it. But it does require enough time and can not be rushed. The value to your business is well worth it.
Besides most of your competition does not have a clue about what we are discussing.
Mark's advice is pretty good - if it's not your core area of expertise, hire it out. However, with SEO, you have to be extremely careful who you hire it out to. It's entirely possible to do it completely wrong, get temporary good results for a few months, even a year, and then get slammed by a penalty. Don't hire it out to India because they use SEO tactics from 2010 bound to get you penalized.
You want to hire a firm that focuses on building good content (if you don't have it already) and promoting it to other webmasters (which gets natural links).
Only go with very reputable, established, and proven companies. That might mean not hiring someone local. DigitalAptitude.com is a good one. PageOnePower.com is a good one too. TopRankMarketing.com is another leader. Portent.com is yet another. There's more, but those are some of the top companies.
Be very weary of anyone else doing SEO. They may even be very well-intentioned and honest people, but they may be so caught up in dated SEO tactics you shouldn't use that they end up getting you penalized.
The leaders may charge more to do good work, but if you get penalized, you can lose 80-100% of your business literally overnight. Well worth it to be cautious. Consider having an SEO company run both an organic rankings campaign and PPC campaign to diversify where your business comes from.
Have to Agree with Dave. Do it yourself by servicing your user base and your community. Farm out the technical aspects and validation that your site is technically valid. i.e. no errors or poorly formated code in the html. Easy to do, but can be time consuming.
This is long but very comprehensive : Golden "SEO" ;) that I recommend you implement:
1. What is your offer/brand story (your site must be action oriented with a compelling offer & brand story unique to you, your brand, your product etc...)
2. Focus on most pertinent key-words describing your offer/service/benefits/outcome or hiring you or buying your products, that offer better match the keywords and needs of the visitors.
3. Write compelling content (create editorial calendar so you can create consistency, update the site weekly, daily, biweekly...whatever as long as fresh content flows and consistency is there. Consistency trains viewers to expect the next release and search engines get fed fresh information.
4. Make sure Titles for articles, pages, call to actions (buttons, links) being the most important element users react to, match content and your intent. Tell users what they can expect to read through on-point titles and headlines.
5. Share it with the World through Social Media. Great content will share itself the moment you post it. The better and unique it is, the higher its longevity and sharability factor. Have fun with it, change lengths of articles, post interesting tips, how-2s, provocative points etc...surprise, engage...inspire.
6. Don't think of paying for SEO or Social Media Marketing, OR any marketing for that matter unless you have plenty of content on your site first (how much is good enough to launch with? 15-30 articles minimum about 500+words unless you want to change up style, length etc...actually more interesting that way, solid site copy that is humanized and focuses on your compelling brand story..ask yourself when you're done: "Would I care to read? would I come back" . Your offer and message is clear and your call to actions are solid. Users must know these things within seconds:
1. What it is (that you're offering), Why should I care (brand story)
2. How will it benefit me or What's in it for me (Benefits)
3. How much is it and what do I have to do to get it (Next steps)
Let me debunk few things, I think with 18 years in user experience and digital engagement strategy + content development I can simplify this:
1. SEO is not a set of code focused actions one can execute within a specific timeframe to achieve specific goals that will last forever. Search engines make sure that's not the case and all of their algorithms changes work to ensure nobody can con the system with tweaking code or dropping keywords.
They care if you share value. Ask yourself: Is what I'm about to share valuable to others.
Search Engine Optimization used to mean tweaking code, adding tags, keywords etc for engines to find your site and rank high. Today Optimization focuses on content more than anything else. Without content you will waste $$$$ and time so it only makes the most sense to focus fully on content creation and not any content creation. Evaluate what you like to read online, what you consider value and why, mimic similar.
2. Think of Search Engines as the broker. They are the messengers between advertisers (be it paid through ads or organic through let's say blog posts or social media), content creator / writers which sometimes is one and the same and users who are searching for that content.
Why are the top websites popular? they have loads and loads of content that gets updated frequently and if search engines feed on text and social activity, doesn't it make sense to feed it exactly that kind of diet?
Your job as the website owner is to ensure that you end up being found when a user searches for what you offer and know a lot about. Don't think "First Page" as that's a chasing game many lie they can achieve and if so, they achieve it for a very short period of time as you don't know what you're competition is doing, results vary based on many aspects too draining to deal with....focus on 1 aspect that will always trump it: HIGH QUALITY, VALUE-RICH CONTENT
Spend all of your time and money you want to invest on creating the BEST, most valuable, most worthy of read and share content you can possibly create. <---- nobody can be you, nobody has your brand story, focus on sharing that to create a relationship with your audience as people don't buy products or services, they buy relationships.
With the latest in search engine algorithm changes, social media has become a very important indicator of credibility, authority, authenticity. Depending on your niche I suggest focusing on Linkedin, Google + (remember this one will always matter as it's own by a search engine and your content here will come up on top for all of your contacts if relevant as Google will show them content developed by the peers they are connected to), Twitter, maybe Facebook (less and less), Pinterest and couple industry related.
Not only because it engages users to interact with your site, read the content but search engines know that it is harder to "Fake" a real human engagement, that social media is tedious and takes time to cultivate relationships YET...it requires that actual users are attached to their profiles which means if there is a lot of activity from social media linking to your site and vice versa that indicates to search engines you are real, legit and your content based on social media activity is of high or low quality which they use to decide in split second if you are "search result worthy" as I call it.
My overall point is:
Focus on creating awesome content - that's it. High quality, naturally sharable content will win over search engines. Use video - hottest media today (post on video sites and embed into your website.
I got one small client 1k users in under 1 month pretty passively by simply posting a 3 minute video of her talking about costs for material), This will live on for a long time driving traffic consistently.
Other ways: create downloadable, simple documents such as white papers, forms and other "tools" that help your users get their answers. Compare products or services, post testimonials, focus on case studies and then invest in making sure whoever is your audience, gets to see it be it through paid or organic advertising.
Don't invest $$$ into a 3rd party company tweaking your site's pages (I'm assuming the site is built well, code is clean and basics such as titles etc...are present). The money you pour into traditional SEO will be better spent creating lasting content that regardless of algorithm changes will drive continual traffic to your site. This will get you to the top of search engines and keep you there as long as you release lots of content and are consistent.
This is where your gold is. Video, audio (podcasts), solid, interesting, entertaining, empowering, informative or helpful articles, site copy that keeps users on your site, imagery that engages all of their senses, tells the compelling brand story etc...and you will naturally attract audience.
Think of the most popular sites on the web. What do they have? content, content, content.
Don't hire offshore for it either (my humble advice from years of trying to make that idea work and seeing loads of CRAP on the web with a very specific writing style from those who claim to be writers or blog writers....horrible, nobody reads that stuff, don't bother)...
Write it yourself if you're an expert in the industry AND either hire a great writer who knows your industry well if you have no time or invite other industry experts who want to contribute value, see if you can barter something in exchange, give them contributor credit and everyone wins as you will have fresh weekly content worth sharing, they will elevator their industry expert status and users will get the latest and greatest news/info for whatever they're looking for on your site.
That's it. Easy? ;) Good luck!