Technically, anyone can attempt their own SEO for their website. But does that mean you should? The position of your web pages on search engines will determine the likelihood that someone will click on them or not, and therefore how likely someone is to find your business.
Before you go ahead and attempt your own SEO, it’s worth considering if you should hire an SEO expert instead. Take a look below to see what to consider.
The SEO knowledge required
It sounds pretty obvious, but do you have a comprehensive understanding of what SEO entails? Do you also know that black hat SEO techniques bring you penalties, not prizes?
At the start of any SEO strategy is endless hours of research. This may involve uncovering why your existing website isn’t ranking very well. Likewise, startups will need to find lists of keywords that people will be using to find their products or services, with no past data to back up what will genuinely work for them. Instead, competitor research is needed.
Keyword implementation needs to happen at every possible opportunity. As well as your written content, images, and video need to be optimized for SEO. In addition, you’ll need a considered use of header tags, metadata, and structured data. Even if you use an SEO plugin to point you in the right direction – it still doesn’t do the work for you!
The effort involved
For the uninitiated, SEO is a methodical process that involves a lot of research and keyword implementation. Your website needs to be scrutinized, to see if any technical errors are preventing people from accessing your website in the first place. You also need to see where your website and each of its pages rank compared to your competitors.
Therefore, great SEO doesn’t happen overnight. You need to consider whether you have the time and inclination to get your website to reach its potential, or if you have the skills to get your website to rank highly on search engines. Whilst it might seem cheaper to take the DIY approach at first, doing it wrong can cause damage to your business, so it’s important to know what you’re doing.
An understanding of search intent
SEO needs someone who can exercise caution when needed. This is especially the case when it comes to search intent, which focuses on the meaning behind a keyword instead of just popularity. Naturally, you’re going to want to use all of the SEO keywords that you find. But do all of these keywords genuinely reflect your products or services? If not, users will instantly exit the page, pushing up your bounce rate and sliding your page down the search engine rankings.
The ability to write great content
SEO may be written with robots in mind, but the content itself will be read by humans. We’ve all come across keyword-stuffed websites that caught our attention initially, but then made absolutely no sense when we landed on them.
It’s not enough to just drop keywords into your copy or even make sure your website is super fast when implementing technical SEO. You need to consider the user experience as a whole. Whatever the user thinks they are clicking on, your content needs to provide them with this. Poorly written content that is full of grammatical errors, or simply doesn’t make sense, just isn’t good enough. It is important to ensure that keywords are used, but not at the expense of providing valuable content.
The reality is that it’s impossible to be equally great at multiple things. Sure, maybe you’re a pro in business and you know how to sell your products to your customers. But let’s not forget that SEO is a very technical practice that is constantly evolving. If you aren’t actively using SEO on a daily basis, let alone keeping up with the latest industry news, you’re unlikely to be as good as someone who does.
To sum up
SEO specialists work hard to make your content more search engine friendly, while also considering your audience at the same time. Many have years of experience through their education as well as working in marketing agencies, not to mention freelance work with their own clients.
So before rushing ahead to attempt your own SEO, ask yourself whether a rookie approach is going to deliver the best results here, or if an SEO specialist is better suited for the job.