What is SEO
SEO has for many years now become something of a proposed cure-all for any websites experiencing problems generating traffic or conversions and for good reason. Search engines make up a large majority of traffic that comes through to websites and businesses have been made and broken under the wheel of Google’s immense amounts of traffic. Naturally, everybody with a website is performing SEO these days, so it's important that your strategy can compete in this harsh and competitive environment.
Can I do SEO on my Own?
Theoretically speaking, yes you can, however, there are a lot more factors that should be taken into account when deciding whether you should try performing SEO on your own like the following:
Time SEO Takes
Above all the other considerations on this list, SEO is an extremely time consuming, and some may say tedious, process which involves sitting down and analyzing large amounts of data. You then have to find trends and patterns, both good and bad, within that data and work out exactly what to do based on the information. Naturally, this can take a while even if you are an industry professional, let alone the average business owner! Most simply don't have the time to commit to successfully running their SEO campaign independently.
Technical Know-how SEO Requires
While you may be able to navigate and edit certain aspects of your site yourself, SEO is a particularly technical process that requires a solid understanding of both online marketing principles, website design, and a highly analytical mind to achieve properly. Yes, research and learning as you go are all well and good but really it boils down to whether you think it may be more profitable in the long run to get some help and achieve those results even faster. It takes years of experience to be able to say with confidence that you understand SEO fully and during that time you are likely to make mistakes that could cost you time.
Money spent on SEO
Now this is a slightly subjective entry on the list, obviously to hire an agency or individual marketer to assist your SEO efforts will cost you a certain amount of money, it can be argued that it’s far more profitable to spend it and receive faster, stronger results than to struggle on your own to save a few pennies. Clicks and conversions increase incrementally as your website climbs the Google leader boards, which the longer your site waits in sub-optimal positions, the more potential business you are missing.
Who should do SEO?
Most digital marketers, when asked this question, would most likely immediately exclaim “everybody should do SEO!” however, for some businesses organic Google SEO is not the best strategy for them and it's important to see whether the potential boons that it can bring align with both the way their business operates and their individual goals for their site:
Long Term Strategy
SEO work is notorious for taking its sweet time to have an effect on your site’s rankings. In some ways this is good as rapid and sudden position change can also be an indicator for Google that your site is performing “black-hat” or less than reputable SEO work. Therefore it’s normal for organic SEO rankings to take up to 12 months to start improving significantly, usually more. This won't be much use to you if your business is seasonal or for a limited time span as, by the time you rank for your chosen keywords, it could very well be too late.
SEO (particularly on highly competitive keywords) can involve a lot of work both to your website and in outreach and things not related to your website. All of this can really rack up hours of manpower while you optimise content, build links, and research the next step that you need to take. This is fine if you run a large team or your work is very hands-off. However for lone traders or your schedule is full already, performing your own SEO work in between juggling all of these other responsibilities can be too much for any one person to handle.
Demographic and User Specific
Some people want large volumes of traffic and click through to their site in order to drive the most conversions possible. Whereas some want to target specific demographics of age, profession, and other factors that can lead to the conversion you want. SEO cannot do this as the most demographic information you will get from a click itself is the location of the user. This can be a problem for those who rely on knowing their customer’s demographical information, like age, interests, and hobbies. However, different types of social media remarketing can help you recapture those customers and provide you with their relevant demographic information.
SEO is one of the best ways for getting traffic to your site, with over 80% of all traffic coming directly from search engines it’s easy to see what advantages this mode of digital marketing has over others in this field. A well crafted and properly targeted SEO campaign can see you exposing your content to vast numbers of people, with a relatively low cost considering the potential for increasing you traffic and therefore, your exposure. However, driving the right kind of traffic to your site is essential and you ideally want your site to be visited by those who have a strong motivation to actually make a purchase with you.