If you’re a business owner who’s already sold on the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), then you’re probably under the impression that you can handle it all on your own.
Think again. SEO experts, often referred to as search engine optimizers, make a good living for a reason.
The reality is that SEO is a cross-disciplinary digital marketing strategy that requires up-to-the-minute knowledge in copywriting, keyword research, content marketing, and high-tech coding. Good SEOs also glean what little information they can about search engine algorithms.
All of that knowledge requires a full-time investment. It’s not likely that you as an entrepreneur can become an SEO ninja while managing your other priorities.
In addition to that, there are numerous other reasons why you should hire an SEO yesterday. Here are several of them.
SEO Is an Investment
As a business owner, you already know that it takes money to make money. That’s why you should invest some of your budget in SEO.
If you’re strapped for cash, consider trimming other portions of your marketing budget in favor of hiring a search engine optimizer that will rank your site in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The result is that you’ll likely get more exposure and earn a healthy return on your investment.
Here we see an example client that has invested in SEO over the years. They have grown by around 80% each year.
SEO Helps You Make Money While You Sleep
The fact is that good SEO can help you make money while you’re snoozing. You can literally sleep on the job and earn a positive return.
How? Because SEO will boost your site in the SERPs. And guess what? The Internet is open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
Here we see year over year numbers for a client who is doing multiple forms of marketing with us. You can see, there conversions have more than tripped.
Hiring Search Engine Optimizers Is Part of Marketing
You have a marketing budget, right? That’s why you should have an SEO budget.
Think about a typical marketing budget. It usually has costs for advertising, PR, promotional materials, and anything else that helps you boost your brand and increase sales.
SEO should be an important part of your marketing spend as well. It’s just one way of many that you get the word out about the products or services that you’re offering.
Here we see pricing around the world for search engine optimizer services. Reference.
SEO Is More Than Just “SEO-Friendly”
As a business owner, you’ve probably already got a website up and running. When you purchased the theme for your site, the developer probably told you it was “SEO-Friendly.”
Good. But you’re still not done with SEO.
An SEO-Friendly website just means that there’s some on-site SEO mechanics in place. It doesn’t mean that your site automatically ranks high for keywords related to your niche.
Professional search engine optimizers can take a basic framework and turn it into a traffic generation machine.
You’re Never “Done” With SEO
To continue with the previous point, you might think that just because you’ve had some SEO work done in the past, then you don’t need to invest any more in it.
The cold, harsh reality is that you’re never “done” with SEO. It’s an ongoing process.
Again, think of it as a part of marketing. Are you ever “done” with marketing? Of course not.
That’s why you need to hire an SEO expert to make sure that your site gains as much exposure as possible among the various search engines.
SEO Is Free Advertising
We’ve discussed much in this space about how SEO is an investment. That’s certainly true.
But SEO also gives you free advertising.
How does it do that? By presenting your site at the top of the SERPs.
Whenever people Google a keyword or phrase related to your niche, and your site pops up on page 1 of the SERPs, you’re effectively getting free advertising.
Okay, you paid for it by hiring an SEO agency, but it’s still not a placement on Google’s property that you specifically purchased with AdWords.
Keep in mind, though, that a good rank in Google is more than just advertising, it’s also a way to present your business as an authority in your industry.
When people search for a word or phrase and see a website pop up in one of the top spots in the results list, they often think that the website must be an authority on the subject, or the search engine wouldn’t have ranked it so high.
So good SEO not only gives you an advertisement, but also an endorsement. That’s great marketing.
Top Spots Are Precious
Here’s a stat for you: the top spot on Google gets 33% of the search traffic.
What does that mean? Simply put: if your site doesn’t land the top spot for a keyword or phrase, then you’re losing as much as one-third of your potential customers.
That’s why you should hire an SEO who can help bump your site to that coveted #1 spot in the SERPs. Anything less than #1, and you’re throwing away market share.
SEO Builds Brand-Name Awareness
One of the best ways to build brand-name awareness is to pepper your company name all over the SERPs.
If people are looking for information around the products and services you offer, you should be the one see offering this information.
And how do you get those links to your site all over the search results? With the aid of a trained professional search engine optimizer who knows how to rank pages for specific search phrases and keywords.
SEO Is a Long-Term Strategy
Unless you’re a very unusual entrepreneur, you envision your business being around for a very long time.
That’s why it’s such a good idea to have a sound SEO strategy in place. It will give you links in top spots on Google that could last for years.
In other words, you could spend $20,000 on SEO over the course of a few months and it may still generate a positive return years from now.
There aren’t too many business investments that bear fruit over a very long period of time. But SEO does.
SEO Filters out the Tire-Kickers
Ideally, you want people to land on your website who are qualified leads, right? You certainly don’t want to waste time with people who aren’t really interested in your brand.
That’s just one more reason why SEO is so valuable. It gives you the opportunity to attract people to your site who are genuinely interested in what you’re offering.
How does it do that? With the use of proper keywords.
Think about it. If somebody uses Google to search for “buy blue jeans,” then it’s safe to say that the person is genuinely interested in buying blue jeans online.
That’s why a good digital strategist working for a business that sells blue jeans would optimize the site for the phrase “buy blue jeans.”
Of course, the blue jean market is overcrowded on the SERPs right now, but there are new marketing opportunities opening all the time. One of those opportunities might be in your niche.
Hire search engine optimizers to find out which keywords people in your target market are using to search for the products or services that you’re selling. Then, sit down with that SEO and come up with a plan to optimize your site for those keywords.
Make sure to take the time to create personas as well.
SEO Requires In-Depth Keyword Research
We just touched on this in the last point (as well as in the introduction): SEO requires in-depth keyword research.
Ask yourself the following question right now: “How much do I know about keyword research?”
If you’re like any normal business owner, the answer is probably “not much.”
That’s okay, though. You aren’t expected to know a whole lot about keyword research any more than a qualified SEO is expected to know about the ins and outs of your business.
But again, that’s why you should hire a company to handle SEO for you. That company will have people on staff who have the latest and greatest tools to assist them with keyword research. They’ll also know the latest tricks of the trade because they’re neck-deep in keyword research every day.
SEO professionals will help you identify the keywords and phrases that people in your target market are using when they search for something related to your niche. Armed with that information, they can optimize your site for those keywords and help you build market share.
SEO Is a Specialized Field
As a business owner, you probably know a thing or two about accounting. So why did you hire an accountant?
The answer is usually twofold: you probably don’t know as much about accounting as your accountant and accounting is time-consuming.
The same holds true for SEO.
You might know a bit about the process of optimizing a site. You know about H1 tags and how to avoid overusing keywords.
But you don’t know everything there is to know about SEO.
It is generally broken down like this
- On page SEO
- Link building
- Local SEO
- National SEO
- International SEO
A Trained SEO Will Tell You What Works
In a previous point, we mentioned that some people search for “buy blue jeans” and a good SEO could optimize an e-commerce site to rank for that search term.
The reality is that it would be extremely difficult to rank a new site for the phrase “buy blue jeans.”
Why? Because the competition is just too intense.
A good SEO can tell you that. A good SEO can also offer alternatives to that phrase that might work just as well.
So here’s what’s likely to happen when you sit down with a qualified SEO for the first time:
- You explain your target market
- You offer suggestions about keywords or phrases that people in your market might search for
- Your SEO will research those keywords or phrases to determine if the competition is too tough
- Your SEO will also offer alternatives to keywords that are “low-hanging fruit” (keywords that are easy to rank for and people in your target market are using in their searches)
Afterwards, your SEO will start optimizing your site for the keywords that you agreed to.
SEO Beats Paid Traffic
Even if you’re sold on SEO, you might think that it’s a bit too pricey. As an alternative, you decide to invest in paid search.
The logic seems sound at face value. After all, search ads appear at the top of the results list.
Unfortunately, the stats don’t support that move as a sound investment. One study shows that search engine users click on organic results 94% of the time. They only click on paid ads 6% of the time.
That means if you want a successful digital marketing strategy, then you’re going to have to fork over the cash for quality SEO.
SEO Gives You a Competitive Advantage
Are you still struggling with the decision about spending money on SEO? Your competitors are probably doing the same.
They’re probably trying to rationalize why they shouldn’t spend money on SEO. They might even be looking for cheaper alternatives.
So here’s an idea: get a competitive advantage over those other business owners by investing in great SEO. Sure, you’ll spend more money than they will but you’ll also reap the rewards later on.
And one of those rewards is a better market share.
People Start Shopping on the Web
Where do you go when you’re thinking about buying something? If you’re like many other consumers, you start by doing some research on the web.
Maybe you’ll Google the name of the product followed by the word “review” to see what other people think about it. Alternatively, you might just do some comparison shopping to see which company offers the best deal.
People in your target market are doing the same. They’re starting their search for what you’re selling online.
Wouldn’t it be great if those people found your website in the process of doing that research?
Keep in mind, though, that it’s not just customers in the B2C space who are searching online. One study shows that 81% of B2B buyers also begin their purchase process with online research.
SEO is effectively your “front line” in marketing. It’s going to promote your brand to people who are at the early stage of the sales funnel.
That’s why you need to invest in SEO.
The Rules, They Are A’Changin’
You’ve Googled around and read a few articles on SEO. As a result, you’re pretty confident that you’ve got what it takes to optimize your own website.
Now ask yourself this question: when were those articles written?
If they were written before 2015, you probably didn’t even read one word about accelerated mobile pages (AMP).
And guess what? If you don’t know AMP, you don’t know SEO.
AMP is a relatively recent addition to the suite of SEO technologies. Google loves AMP because it loads pages very quickly, giving mobile users a great experience.
But you might not know a whole lot about AMP, or how to implement it, if you read some “36 Steps to Great SEO” articles that were written a couple of years ago.
That’s why you need to outsource your SEO efforts to an expert. People who are in SEO for a living keep up with all the latest changes and know how to optimize your site accordingly.
Mistakes Are Deadly
How would you like to really screw up your business? You can do that if you try to tackle SEO all by your lonesome.
Keep in mind, if you make mistakes in SEO, it might not simply mean that your site doesn’t rank well. It might mean that your site gets delisted from the search indexes.
If that happens, people won’t find your site when they search for terms related to your niche.
In other words, when you try to do SEO on your own, you can actually do much more harm than good.
Trained SEO professionals know the rules. They know how to keep your site out of trouble.
They’ll use that knowledge to make sure that your site ranks well without running afoul of Google’s rules. Their knowledge will give you peace of mind that your online brand management is in good hands.
You Don’t Have the Right Tools
How much do you think you’ll save if you try to handle SEO on your own? Write that number down.
Now, start researching how much you’ll spend on tools when you decide to do SEO by yourself.
Oh, yes. You’ll need tools.
And many of those tools charge a monthly fee, just like professional SEOs do.
Then, once you’ve bought them, you’ll have to go through the learning curve for each one. Some are more complicated than others.
Of course, you’ll also have to invest the time required to use each tool.
Does that sound a bit expensive and overwhelming? It should.
SEO tools were meant to be used by people who are experts in SEO. They’re not designed for people who just “dabble.”
If you want great SEO, invest your money in people who’ve already invested in the best SEO tools. Then, let those people use those tools and their expertise to rank your site in the SERPs.
SEOs Give Great Reports
A great SEO will give you a series of great reports so that you can see how well your money is being spent.
One of the beautiful things about digital marketing versus traditional marketing is that it’s often much easier to measure ROI. That’s because there’s no shortage of tools available that provide analytics.
Do you want to see how many people visited your site after your SEO started ranking it for a particular search term? There will be a report for that.
Do you want to see how much your site traffic increased after hiring the SEO? There will be a report for that as well.
Bottom line: SEOs will provide reports so you can see how their efforts are helping you make money.
SEOs Keep Track of Your Competitors
All businesses operate in a competitive environment.
That’s why it’s important that you keep tabs on your competitors. You might find that they’re practicing some strategies that you should imitate.
However, it’s not easy to keep up with what your competitors are doing online. Not without the right tools, anyway.
The good news is that trained SEOs have the right tools to spy on your competitors. They’ll let you know not only where you stand in the SERPs, but where your competitors stand as well.
They can also tell you what your competitors are doing to rank. You might be able to copy some of those strategies to rank your own site.
Even better: put those strategies together with what your own SEO is doing and you could leapfrog over your competitors in the SERPs.
All of that research and strategizing would be difficult without a qualified SEO, though.