Search engine optimization has undergone a massive evolution over the past several years. The services you would have bought from an Austin SEO agency or consultant a decade ago would have looked markedly different than what you would buy today.
At the same time, content marketing has grown to the point that it’s nearly overwhelming. For every opinion you see online, there are ample counterpoints being made.
The result of all this is a good amount of confusion in the business world. Some of the questions I hear all the time are very anti-SEO. For example:
- Is SEO a thing of the past? (a.k.a. “Is SEO dead?”)
- Do keywords still matter?
- Are the glory days of link building behind us?
- Has social media marketing replaced SEO?
- Why waste money on an agency if it’s all about UX and quality content?
Let me just start by saying all of these are complete baloney! SEO is alive and well. You need to take it seriously if you want to improve your online visibility.
So the question remains – should you roll up your sleeves and “growth hack” yourself up the SERPs?
Or is it better to outsource SEO to a consultant or agency who can help make the path to success cleaner and faster?
The answer is easily the latter – it’s better to outsource SEO. Let’s look at the top seven reasons this is true.
Why It’s Better to Outsource SEO Than to DIY
1. SEO Evolves Too Fast to Keep Up
Anyone who plays in the search engine optimization game will tell you – the one constant is change. Google has gone on record stating that they update the algorithm over 500 times per year! That translates to approximately 10 updates every single week. Yes, you read that right, every single week.
If you want to do your own SEO, great. Who will take on the rest of your job? How do you plan to keep up with the ongoing changes? Is this the best use of your time anyway?
There’s a whole industry of SEO, internet, and inbound marketers at your disposal. Our job is to keep up with the changes, test new hypotheses, and shield you from potential penalties from the search engines. We spend time every single day keeping up with the trends.
If you are running a business or in charge of a marketing group, you have overall strategy to worry about. Leave the ever changing world of SEO and content marketing to the experts. It will save you time, effort, frustration, and in the end, money due to errors and missteps.
2. SEO Depends on a Lot of High Quality Content
Some will stake a claim to content marketing as the “be all, end all” of inbound, including SEO in that umbrella label. Sure, content marketing is very important, and it matters to SEO. But it’s not the replacement for search engine optimization. It’s a partner in crime.
It’s well documented that content for content’s sake is a waste of time. Too many people rush to start creating content, but without any concrete content strategy driving their efforts.
And what is one key crux of content strategy? You guessed it – SEO.
The two are interdependent in reality. If you want to rank organically, you need a lot of good quality content that will show up for keywords and topics you want to target.
On the other hand, if you want your content to be found, it should be shareable, linkable, and well built to rank.
This isn’t just my own speculation. It has also been well documented that a higher volume of good content helps drive traffic and leads.
So the big question – who do you intend to have writing all of that content? Who is building the plan for what to write? How are they integrating SEO into the process?
The easiest answer is to hire a vendor who already knows how to integrate SEO and manage the content creation process on your behalf. Trust me, it’s more work than you think it is.
3. Social SEO Requires Dedicated Consistency
If you missed the memo, SEO and social media now overlap, a phenomenon many refer to as social SEO. Have you been using social media to market your business? If so, kudos to you.
One more question: have you been using social media to help bolster your SEO, get your content indexed, and show up more in the SERPs? If so, you’re ahead of the game. And you’re probably uber-busy trying to keep up with it.
Why not offload at least some of that labor to an outside agency? Your time is best spent on the brain-intensive part of the strategy. Work with the right partner to improve the strategy even more, and let them source consistent, ongoing execution.
It will help you more than you may think, not just in labor but also in brain capacity. It will free up brain power for the “big brain” stuff you’ve been putting off until you have time to take it on.
4. DIY Link Building is Risky and Dangerous
With all of the hype around it the past few years due to the string of Penguin penalties, link building has gotten a very bad name. The catch phrase that the industry has adopted through all this is link earning.
While link earning is a great concept and something we should all strive for, the reality is that links don’t magically appear. Even link earning is a form of link building, except it’s less spammy and predatory.
Heck, you could “earn” a link by dumb luck that might just happen to lead to a penalty, so it’s not a magic wand.
We had a client in 2014 that never bought a link or did anything below the table, however, a couple of low authority, spammy blogs chose to reference them on blog posts.
The result? A penguin penalty, months of link cleanup, and endless frustration for the client.
Now even more than ever, you need an SEO expert to help manage the link building process responsibly. It’s not just about spamming links out on the web.
It also includes monitoring your link profile, identifying risky links you’ve acquired or earned, and cleaning up any suspect links before they result in a loss of organic traffic.
Do you have these skill sets in house? Most small and medium sized businesses do not, so bringing in an SEO outsourcer is a fine option for them.
5. Technical SEO Expertise Can Be Rented
One of the most underappreciated areas of SEO is technical. This area helps optimize things like page load time, how available your content is to search engine crawlers, whether your architecture is built appropriately, and the quality of the code and semantic markup on your website.
There are a bunch of free “SEO Audit” tools available across the Internet. Some of these tools only focus on the on page, some focus only on technical SEO, while still others cover both.
While these are informative, and even actionable in the right hands, they more often lead to confusion for typical marketers than anything else.
To make matters worse, web designers often claim that they understand SEO much more than they actually do. Design and development are completely different animals, yet most marketers have no idea what questions they should ask to separate true knowledge from puffery.
The best answer is to hire someone who specializes in SEO, so you can be sure you are getting the right feedback throughout.
A designer may shy away from recommending some website updates because they either don’t know how to fix the problem, or don’t want to mess with it. Or maybe they don’t want to be figured out for overselling their SEO knowledge.
Regardless, a good technical SEO analyst will understand what is high impact vs. “nice to have.”
And most importantly, they will help translate design and development language into plain English for you, so you know that you are making the best possible decision based on facts and not opinion.
Take advantage of cross-client experience by renting the knowledge for a fraction of the cost of hiring the same person.
6. Analytics Can Do More Than You Realize…In the Right Hands
Even if you have a low budget, website analytics are easy (and free) to deploy if you use Google Analytics on your web properties. Most websites today have some sort of analytics tracking code live to provide data on traffic and content trends.
After working with hundreds of websites of all sizes in my career, I’ve found that marketing folks often have no idea what they are dealing with in Google Analytics. Some issues we’ve uncovered when auditing GA implementations include:
- Tracking codes implemented incorrectly on the website
- Google Analytics misconfigured or customized irresponsibly
- Lack of access to true business-relevant metrics such as goals/conversions
- Blind spots in the data due to oversights in coding or deployment of the GA code
And then there’s the problem that most marketers have no idea where to find the data they really need to make decisions.
Internet marketers have no choice but to understand these things, and the easiest way to tap that knowledge is to outsource SEO to an analyst who is more experienced with collecting and interpreting website data.
You’ll find that it pays for itself many times over by way of better decision making and improved ROI for the website as a whole.
7. The Fastest Horse Wins the SEO Race
As you can easily surmise from most of this post, the game is about paying for access to tactical support and expertise you don’t (or can’t) bring in house full time.
Even if you choose to bring any of these roles into the fold, how long will it take you to decide on what req to open, get a job description written and approved, undertake a search process, interview, select, wait for them to start, and train them?
Not to mention – who on your team has the time and expertise to train them anyway? You could lose months trying to figure this all out.
Can you afford to do that? It depends on whether you are okay with getting into the game late or not. SEO is quite literally a race to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
For every day that you wait to get moving, the competitors in your space are gaining more ground ahead of you.
When you factor in domain age variables and the volume of content and links a competitor can generate over time, the smart answer is that you need to get moving yesterday.
And you guessed it – the fastest way to get moving is to outsource SEO to an agency or consultant who has already built out the expertise, support team, and processes required to execute in quick fashion.
In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
Quote taken from the book Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Search Engine Optimization is a must for any business that wants to enhance their online visibility. Rather than blindly trying to tackle it in house, it makes perfect sense to outsource SEO to a well-qualified outside vendor.
Hopefully these seven reasons to outsource SEO (and consider outsourcing digital marketing altogether) have provided you with enough fodder to make the right decision, and bring in the experts. Thanks for reading.
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