Woman with question marks on a blackboard

Search engine optimization is the hot topic of the day for many businesses around the world. A process that marries statistics, copy writing, web design, and many other fields, SEO is essentially the work of making a website rank higher in search engine results. If you are running a plumbing business, for example, you may want your website to come up as early as possible in various plumbing-related web searches. Many new firms and individual professionals are turning SEO into a profitable business, while other business owners are undertaking the task themselves. The inevitable question becomes: Should you do your own SEO, or hire an agency?

There are benefits on either path, of course. One of the greatest draws of online marketing strategies, SEO included, is that individuals can accomplish their goals without professional help. Everything from the initial stages of web design to the execution of internet advertising campaigns can conceivably done by individuals with little prior experience, and this can be a big money saver for businesses. Marketing has always been one of the most significant expenses for businesses of all kinds, due to the widely accepted principal that nothing is free–not even customers. If you can draw customers in for free by doing your own SEO, then why not?

Unfortunately, SEO is neither simple nor easy. It is a rather complicated field and there is not as much quality information available on the subject as compared to more established online marketing fields. You can learn to do your own SEO, but it is going to take time and effort. That time and effort should be devoted to the more pressing concerns of running your business. The danger of wearing too many hats is that you decrease productivity by dividing your attention. The money you lose on productivity may not be worth the break you’d get from free SEO.

The concern of work quality must also be considered. As an amateur in the field, your SEO work will not be able to compare to the professionals. SEO agencies are staffed by people who are the best at their job, and they can get the work done quicker and more thoroughly than you would be able to own your own. Do you want to spend countless hours working toward understanding and implementing SEO yourself, or would you rather get superior results without the time or effort by paying a reseller SEO professional?

The decision will vary according to individual experience and needs. If you already have a background in the technological landscape that has shaped SEO and online marketing, then you may have an easier time getting into the process and generating results. An absolute beginner, on the other hand, will have a much more difficult time getting acclimated and becoming proficient. SEO is still an emerging field that many people do not understand. If you’re not in a place to invest the time and effort to learn a new skill, spare yourself the headaches and hire a professional.

Photo credit: homecarewebsitedesign.com

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