Want to know the secret to making your business grow, getting that big raise, and having a happier and more successful work life?
Us too. If you do already know, please share the secret.
Sure, we have some pretty good ideas, especially about the growing your business part. But there’s no such thing as a top secret formula that unlocks a Pandora’s box of success and wealth. No company can deliver this, regardless of what promises they may make.
If you’re looking for sermon about how hiring an SEO company will solve all your internet marketing woes and instantly deliver those elusive Page 1 rankings that have been just out of reach for so long, then this might not be the blog post you’re looking for.
And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but anyone who promises a cheap, easy, fix-all solution isn’t being honest.
As Director of Content for a successful SEO company, I’m pretty emphatic about being realistic when it comes to client expectations — starting with the cost of investment. For instance, rather than ask “How much does SEO cost?”, my team and I encourage prospective clients to ask a better question:
For some organizations, building an in-house SEO team may be the preferable option for achieving the results you desire.
But we believe there are several advantages to outsourcing internet marketing by hiring a skilled SEO company. We think you’ll agree that partnering with an agency can deliver measurable benefits to your organization in a number of key areas.
Here are ten compelling reasons why hiring a professional SEO agency might be the best choice for your business:
Time is money, and your time is precious. If you’re like most business owners or managers, there’s hardly enough time in the day to accomplish basic tasks let alone worry about keeping up with demanding and constantly-changing SEO best practices.
By outsourcing SEO and internet marketing efforts, you open up resources by allowing yourself and others on your team to focus on other important tasks such as implementing effective business strategies, eliminating inefficiencies, improving customer service — this list goes on.
Have you ever created a content strategy before? What about delved deep into the tangled web of link building techniques? Keyword research? User experience and responsive website design?
An SEO company with years of experience should be well-versed in the many-step process of how to build a website’s rankings from the ground up. They can leverage this bank of knowledge to create a marketing plan that gives you the biggest bank for your buck. They’ll know which strategies work, which ones don’t, and how to avoid common costly pitfalls that many businesses fall into when they try to go it alone.
A digital marketing company also keeps up with the latest SEO developments so that you don’t have to. Search engines are always making updates and tweaks to their algorithm. A professional who lives, eats, and breathes search engine marketing can make sure your website stays compliant and optimized, despite what changes Google throws your way.
No legitimate SEO company can guarantee or promise foolproof top page rankings. (If they do, run far away.) However, by partnering with an experienced agency, your traffic and rankings are certain improve. As algorithms change, your SEO experts will be able to pivot your marketing plan to ensure your website stays updated and optimized.
When you hear “SEO,” you might initially think of technical strategies like keyword research and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. But search engine optimization entails so much more. Most full-time digital marketing companies offer a comprehensive basket of SEO services that includes content marketing (blogging, product descriptions, etc.), website and graphic design, email marketing, paid advertising campaigns, site analytics and, of course, white hat keyword research and optimization strategies.
When you’re so immersed in a business’s day-to-day management, it can be difficult to see past the weeds and see the bigger picture. By hiring a third-party marketing firm, you can gain a fresh perspective by listening to experts who live outside of your bubble and who can inject exciting new ideas into your organization.
Getting more eyes on your project and hearing a different perspective is a great way to break out of the tunnel vision that commonly inhibits innovative progress in many modern businesses.
A downside of starting an in-house SEO team is you have to build marketing infrastructure from the ground-up. This is a long, tedious, and challenging process.
Want to start blogging? First, you’ll have to hire a team of strong copywriters, setup and optimize your blog platform, create a content strategy, brainstorm topics, implement a plan for measuring results, build an editorial calendar, generate and update buyer personas, integrate tags, etc.
For each step, no matter how simple it may seem at the outset, there’s likely a quite extensive infrastructure list that must be implemented before the real work can begin.
The benefit of hiring an SEO company is you can leverage the infrastructure they already have in place, allowing your business to leapfrog this time-consuming phase and start benefiting from your marketing efforts sooner.
For instance, when clients work with us, we immediately dive right into creating a custom content strategy, topic generation, and getting an optimized blog up on the site. Then, our skilled team of copywriters can immediately start populating your website with high-quality, SEO-rich content. This entire process can be accomplished in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months.
An SEO company that’s been around the block will have built valuable connections with industry thought leaders, vendors, media contacts, influencers, analysts, and other resources – all of which can benefit your business. From maximizing distribution of your press release to earning high value links from authority websites, the agency you hire can lend you a helping hand.
Only 37% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy. Why? Partly because creating a documented strategy is time-consuming and businesses would rather spend their limited resources on more action-oriented tasks.
By partnering with an SEO company, you can ensure your marketing strategy is well documented and easy to reference, which is extremely helpful for evaluating the effectiveness of your current strategy. Documentation is also important for future growth, serving as a roadmap should you choose to go with a different company or create an in-house team down the road.
MailChimp. Buffer. Hootsuite. Screaming Frog. There are literally thousands of business tools out there when it comes to marketing. Take one look at this graphic by Scott Brinker to understand what choice overload really feels like:
Did your brain just shut down for a second too?
Fortunately, an experienced SEO agency will know which tools are beneficial for their clients and how to use them to run a successful campaign.
Rather than spending thousands of dollars trying out useless tools and software memberships, a trusted SEO consultant can show you which tools will best help you accomplish your goals the first time around.
Ultimately, profitability is the real name of the game. No matter how impressive an SEO company’s services are or how friendly their customer care team is, if they can’t generate a measurable return on investment then they’ll be booted out the door.
Sure, it may cost more upfront to pay a professional for SEO services rather than giving the task to an existing employee or team. But the likelihood that you’ll achieve the same level of return with an inexperienced in-house team is small.
Simply put, once you add the cost of time, research, tools, infrastructure, and other expenses related to starting an in-house SEO team, choosing to go with an efficient professional is often the much smarter financial decision.
While we’re on the subject of cost, we advise against hiring the cheapest SEO company you can find. You usually get what you pay for. Unfortunately, there are many unreputable agencies out there that deliver some results using black hat SEO practices. These tactics might work for a little while, but eventually the temporary effects wear off and your website is at risk of being penalized by Google and other search engines. If this happens, then you’ll have to spend a small fortune to dig yourself out of the SEO hole.
In our opinion, it’s just not worth the risk.
How to Find a Reputable SEO Company
Ultimately, we can’t tell you whether outsourcing SEO or building an in-house digital marketing team is best for your specific business goals without more information. Consider the various pros and cons of each option to analyze which option will deliver the best solution for the problems you’re trying to solve. One option may be clearly favorable depending on the type, size, and scope of your business.
If you’ve decided to look into hiring a reputable SEO company, we suggest reading their client reviews and testimonials. You’ll also want to contact the company directly to ask them about their approach to your specific project or circumstance. If anything feels wrong or the agency doesn’t have a clear and honest response, trust your gut and keep searching.
For more advice on how to select an SEO company if you decide to go that route, check out this comprehensive guide by Clutch – they recently listed SEO Advantage as one of the Best SEO Companies & Services of 2017.