SEO: Should I run my campaign in-house or outsource to professionals?
It’s a happy puzzle.
Straight off the bat, if you are posing this question, it means that you have taken your business in the right direction. Some business have not even considered search engine optimisation, due to circumstance.
Firstly, you have developed your business to the point where you are seeking growth. Secondly, you have the internal resources to contemplate undertaking an SEO campaign in-house, or you have a marketing budget and have identified SEO as a worthwhile spend.
We will look at the three options you have;
– Learn and complete an SEO campaign yourself;
– Hire an in-house SEO consultant;
– Use the services of a specialist SEO company.
Any SEO is good SEO
If you are using SEO, it will bring positive results, whether your goal is to increase website traffic create more leads, achieve more sales or grow your brand awareness.
SEO is the process of using varied techniques in the content, design and backend of your website to increase your business’s ranking on search engine results. The search engine results are based on the certain words typed into, say, Google search, by a potential customer.
For example, if you were to search for “cheap mobile phones for sale in Hong Kong”, common key words will be “cheap” “mobile” “phone(s)” “sale” and “Hong Kong”.
But there are rules around the use and frequency of these, which also change regularly due to search engine updates.
Learning to fly, with SEO
It is certainly possible to learn to complete your own SEO updates. First off you will need to be able to make changes to your website, you will need to navigate within the current algorithms used by search engines and you will need to remain up-to-date.
A great starting point is to read the Google SEO starter guide. Further this knowledge by searching for advice online, and commonly made errors. Then create an alert that will let you know of planned algorithm changes, ahead of time.
The major drawback for this method is time. Depending on the position in your business, the opportunity costs may be negative if your time is taken up learning and implementing an SEO campaign. Remember this will require regular updating.
Without the ability to complete research and analytics (for algorithm updates), it is hard to know what works. Remember that blogs and online tips, can help but they will no know or never reveal industry secrets, that give them a competitive edge.
The major advantage is, apart from time, there is very little associated cost. And, you will have a new skill, and potential career path.
An SEO gun for hire
Possibly the top option, for businesses that can afford it. An SEO consultant’s salary should be around a minimum of AUS$60,000 per year, to attract someone with knowledge and ability.
They should have a great resume, and have worked at least a minimum of three years as an SEO consultant to gain a variety of industry knowledge and to have worked through multiple algorithm changes.
The advantage is having someone that knows the industry, and can work closely with your business to achieve goals. They will get to know your business, over time and the results will come eventually.
Where it can be a disadvantage, is cost and time. A Forbes article suggests a good SEO consultant’s salary should be US$80,000 and they suggest a team of 2-3 employees to run a successful and timely online marketing campaign.
Outsourcing to SEO professionals
There are a plethora of online marketing agencies around the globe. A good start would be to hire a firm that is based locally, but has international experience. This way they can understand the way business is completed in you region, and the customers you are trying to reach. Look for a company rated highly in your region.
The major concern with outsourcing, is that you will not be dealing face-to-face with the company you hire. Make sure you hire a company that understands what online customer service means and a company that pledges to work collaboratively.
The major advantage of outsourcing is reduced cost. Most good SEO companies can work to your specific budget.
Another is the experience and expertise you can gain. You can find an agency that has worked across most industries, and so have the research and testing to know what works. It is their job to keep up with the latest trends and anticipate responses to changes in algorithms.
Finally, a successful SEO company will only become so because they deliver on their promises. Their results should stand up, ask how long they have been doing SEO (as a global company) and how long they have been in you region.