Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is very much a buzz phrase. Often companies looking to learn more about what SEO are baffled at how this new field of marketing can gain them an edge. Well it has been proven time and time again that it definitely can gain an edge over your competition. The problem a business has to assess is whether they should employ a specialist SEO Company or use existing resources within their respective IT Departments or Do It Yourself. This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of each.
In-house & Do It Yourself
Advantages: You have complete control. You can change things instantly. You will learn about the inner working of your website and also learn more about the Internet and how search engines work.
Disadvantages: It is a specialized field and attempting to do it delays the inevitable and allows your competition to gain an edge on you; also you may end up with more problems in the future by getting it wrong. You will need to have an intimate knowledge of your website, how it works, HTML and possibly any scripting languages that the website uses, like PHP. Also, you will need to buy some commercial tools to use, like WordTracker, WebPosition and SEO Elite. WordTracker allows you to effectively research Keywords, WebPosition allows you to track your websites ranking in the search results for given keyword phrases and SEO Elite allows you to track all links to your website. Purchasing these three necessary pieces of software will cost you around USD$900. Also, you will need to have a lot of time to read about SEO, take online courses, like StomperNet, listen to podcasts, like MrSEO podcast and read as much SEO material as you possibly can. For the StomperNet course you are looking at about USD$3000 and miscellaneous of books is likely to run up to another USD$1000. Total for In-house DIY, roughly USD$1500 to USD$4900. Not being experienced enough to know when and what to change. Not knowing how to link build effectively. Not having any time to study and learn enough to make the correct changes and modifications to your website – estimated at about 200 hours of study, learning and analyzing. As SEO takes time to see any results in the search engines it is important to not only learn the required knowledge to implement SEO but also give yourself the time to make tweaks and ongoing analysis. So to setup and configure an average website with 10 static pages it will take you probably 2 days and ongoing link building will be many, many countless days. Also, you need to take your time so that you do not overdo your SEO, spamming and stuffing keywords into pages as this can be as detrimental as not doing anything to the website in the first place.
Hiring an SEO Company
Advantages : You don’t have to use internal staff resources or alter the focus of your business. Hiring a specialized online marketing and SEO Company will mean you have instant access to experts in the field who have a wealth of knowledge and resources. An SEO Company will know the lay of the land without you having to learn what they already know to expert levels. The Online Marketing Company will be your best partner in working towards achieving your online Internet marketing objectives.
Disadvantages: Using an Expert SEO Company will cost you money. It is important to realize that even though you have hired a firm to implement your Search Engine Optimisation you will still need to work in consultation with them in order to market your website online correctly – explaining your internet marketing goals, objectives, deadlines and budgets. Do your research, look at the SEO Firm and its portfolio, case studies and history of successes, ensure it is a reputable firm and don’t be scared to ask questions.
What to Look for in an SEO Company
A decent and reliable SEO company will have a good reputation and a strong presence within the Online Marketing and SEO industry. When you start, I suggest searching in Google for “Online Marketing” or “SEO” within your country or region. Look at the potential SEO firm’s websites, their portfolios and take some notes. Give them a call and see if you can arrange a meeting at their office and in person to discuss details and gather more information. Discuss your situation and how you can best achieve your goals. Take note of their professional nature, their history, case studies and vision for your online presence and also ensure that you are happy with the professional and personal relationship you have with the company representatives as this will be an ongoing one.
While the advantages and disadvantages of optimizing your own website and employing an SEO Company are diverse I think it important to point out that no matter how good you think you are an SEO firm will always be better at SEO. So if you really want to see results, you have very little time then hiring an SEO company is the only way to go. If you have time and some website expertise then you may be willing to put in the time and try doing it yourself. My only thought on this is that you wouldn’t hire a plumber to fix a problem with your car.
When all is said and done, good Search Engine Optimisation will get your website results. It is important to make sure you are making the right decisions in your online marketing as this may well be the lifeblood of your business and is certainly an effective way to promote your business and generate sales leads.