Internet technology has forever changed the way consumers shop and navigate the local & global marketplace. There’s never before been an easier time to shop around the world then today.
You can wake up and make breakfast while checking out your favorite clothing store in Paris on your laptop. After you buy your husband that french tie, you lay back on the couch with your smart phone & browse the latest cigars from his favorite tobacco shop in Cuba. Now that you have his stocking stuffer, on your lunch break you take a stroll through a technology store in Hong Kong from your Tablet for a tablet of his own.
Congrats on your finds, you’re such a good wife. Hey, us guys can always dream right? 😉
Seriously though, if you’re like the rest of us, I’m willing to bet you research the products and read the reviews online before you decide to make the purchase. Google says “94% of consumers research products online before buying“.
97% of consumers research local products & services online before they buy in person.
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If you’re a local business, just let that sink in for a moment.
Due to the dependence on Google, and the internet as a whole, shoppers have in a way forced businesses to expand their marketing onto the internet & learn to embrace online marketing as the core of their entire marketing strategy. Larger businesses have already understood the importance of online marketing & have entire SEO (Search Engine Optimization) teams in place. Small business owners are now seeing if they want to stay afloat and attract new customers, they need to step up & look for a local SEO agency who can get them found.
There are many professional SEO agencies out there who offer international & national SEO services for large companies. Then there are local SEO agencies who focus on helping small businesses succeed online.
As a small business, I know you’ve worked hard to get yourself up and going. I also know many local businesses who have tried the DIY SEO (Do It Yourself SEO) route in the hopes of saving some money. I hope these points can help you decide whether to try the DIY SEO method or to go ahead and hire a local SEO agency.
DIY SEO Pros
Doing SEO on your own saves you money. (although, how much is your time worth to you?)
It’s a good learning experience.
DIY SEO Cons
Extremely time consuming. (Analyzing data from multiple platforms after learning how to use them. One step of literally hundreds, if not thousands which go into successful SEO)
Are you sure you know what you’re doing? (Misinformation & “shortcuts” run rampant online. If you follow the wrong information, you may have wasted all your time and gotten your website penalized)
Outdated information exists online. (You will most likely run into outdated SEO tips which if followed, Google will blacklist your website)
Consistency & Repetition. (Okay, I admit it, parts of SEO can be tedious & repetitive. You also have to remain consistent in daily SEO tasks. SEO is long term, not once & you’re done. It does not get easier over time, only more profitable)
Algorithm changes. (Have you heard of Panda, Penguin or Hummingbird? You need to study & be up to date at all times with SEO or you may harm your website)
When you see the SEO prices some agencies dare to charge, I’m right with you when you ask “Can I do my own SEO?“. Yes, you “can” do SEO yourself but that does not mean that you should. You can put a new transmission into your car as well but…would you want to? If your bread and butter for your business was your car, would you risk it failing (possibly permanently) by trying to teach yourself advanced mechanics just so you can save some money by installing a transmission on your own?
Same goes for your website. You could learn and accidentally implement one of a thousand wrong things in SEO which will do much more harm to your website and business then good. It could also penalize your website so Google will never rank it high on the search engines. I’ve heard from some small business owners just how horrible a feeling it is to know you’ve tanked your website and wasted countless hours.
This is the top reason why most people hire an SEO agency. Business owners should think of their top talents and ask themselves, “Is my time better spent doing SEO or doing what I’ve been trained to do and enjoy doing?“. How much is your time worth? Do you even like doing SEO? Leave the stress and heavy lifting to us. We can take it! Free your time to focus on your other business tasks or go home & breathe easy knowing you’re in a good hands.
Knowledge and expertise
Rest assured that the professionals are always up to date on the latest algorithm updates and changes in the SEO industry. Your backlinks and rankings won’t be effected by any future changes or Google updates in a negative way. They know what they’re doing.
They know how to get results.
They live & breathe SEO which enables them to stay up to date with all changes in the industry. Google updates its search algorithm several times a day! Yup, we think that’s a little insane too. Do you really have time to keep up with tracking and implementing changes that often & that quickly? You might have an awesome website but several holes preventing you from securing new customers. Often, a few tweaks from an expert is all that’s required to get you on track to more sales.
They do it right and avoid expensive mistakes.
You probably know or have heard of people who stubbornly insist on doing things themselves. They stumble in electrical boxes, slap on their own roof, fix their own plumbing and yes, do their own SEO. Gasp! Later they (or their families) accept there’s a valid reason why professional tradesmen exist. Sure, you may have an understanding of something (SEO), but you should still accept there’s people who have more training, experience and knowledge in it than you. This allows them to be more efficient, more professional and avoid costly mistakes. There’s no need to electrocute Grandma or get your website penalized and booted down to a page where no one will find it. Let the professionals do what they do best.
Provides cost effective solutions.
Thousands of SEO tools exist but only a select few are effective & ethical which do save time and money. At the lowest end, they cost $200/mo ($2400/yr)! Having a local SEO agency will save you at least that money. You could spend a ton of money implementing SEO for your website, but you could be wasting your money unless you have expertise and experience in the industry to know what to spend your money on.
Helps you stay on Google’s good list.
Just think of Google as the Santa of the internet. Mr G is the one who calls all the shots, hands out presents to those on the good list (higher rankings) or lumps of coal (penalized & blacklisted websites) to those on his bad list. Be aware of “SEO experts” who use unethical, black hat tactics. An ethical SEO agency will use only white hat techniques which will save you from Google algorithm updates such as Panda, Penguin & Hummingbird. (They’re not as nice as they sound).
Professional SEO marketers know they need to continually be analyzing results on a regular basis and tweaking things here and there accordingly. They need to diagnose and address issues immediately.
Boosts your online reputation, improves your ROI & greatly reduces the time spent and amount of frustration if you tried all of this on your own.
Keep in mind, as with any industry there are some sketchy “professionals” out there. I’ve known and heard of many local businesses who went with the cheapest SEO agency they could find. Going after low-cost solutions without proper research can easily hurt your SEO efforts, ruin your search rankings, tarnish your online reputation & get you on Mr Google’s naughty list. Be careful out there and let us know if you have any questions.
In short, DIY is not good for SEO. Hire a local SEO agency and DIR (Do-It-Right!).
Okay, no more acronyms, I promise. If you are looking for an honest & ethical local SEO agency or would like to chat, give us a shout.
Daniel has an interesting background to say the least. He has lived abroad in several countries, traveled through over 50 countries on 6 continents & still has that pesky travel bug. He has worked in haunted castles in Scotland, taught English while he practiced martial arts in Taiwan, acted through Mexico etc. He has found a home with SEO though and is very passionate in helping businesses thrive online. It doesn’t hurt that he can use his online marketing skills anywhere there’s an internet connection ;-)