A lot of traffic comes through search engines each day, to the tune of 3.5 billion Google searches every 24 hours. That’s a big number. To put it into perspective, Google completes a whopping 40,000 searches every second. In the time it takes you to read this first paragraph, there have been more than 240,000 searches completed on Google!
Think about that for a couple of seconds.
Google is a search engine, so its entire job is to send traffic somewhere else. Every day, Google sends billions of people to other websites.
SEO exists to encourage Google to send some of that traffic to your website. More exposure means more traffic, sort of like putting a huge neon sign outside of your business to increase your visibility.
What Does SEO Do?
Optimizing your website for search is one of the most cost effective ways to drive more traffic to your website.
At least, sometimes it’s cost effective.
When you’re calculating costs to your business, it’s important to consider your time in addition to money. Time costs are much higher compared to monetary investment, because you have a finite amount of time and no way to recover it once lost.
That means that your SEO strategy is only cost effective if it can generate results with a reasonable amount of time investment.
Meanwhile, there are some misconceptions about the benefits of an SEO plan which we should clear up before we talk about doing your own SEO.
Search engine optimization helps your website rank higher in search results, and that’s it.
It does not get you more Facebook followers, or build a community, or improve the conversion rate of your e-store. SEO doesn’t sell your products for you, and it doesn’t keep people on your website after they’ve found you.
That means that if your SEO plan is going to be effective, you’re going to end up doing more than just SEO. Search is just one small part of your larger marketing strategy, and when all of those pieces come together, you have a distinct competitive advantage over businesses that don’t take a holistic approach.
Developing a Lucrative SEO Strategy
One of the most common misconceptions in business is the “one big thing” fallacy. The thinking goes: if I can just nail this one big thing, everything will come together and my business will succeed!
Put that way, it sounds absurd, but that thinking comes up a lot. It looks like this:
My business is doing okay, and I need to do something to get the ball rolling. If I can just get 10,000 Facebook likes, my business will boom!
Things are going pretty well, and if this one ad campaign is successful, it will push us to the next level!
That’s just not how things work.
A big social media following, catchy ad campaign, or boom in website traffic isn’t the one big thing that’s going to change your business forever…and neither is a decent SEO plan.
To make your SEO plan work for you, there are some things you should sort out first, like:
- Your website design and functionality
- Your sales plan
- Your brand’s core message
Sending traffic to your website doesn’t do you much good if you can’t convert that traffic into sales once they get there, so make sure you’re completely prepared to get value out of that traffic before you start spending time and money attracting it.
You know whether or not your website is decent, and you know how much skill you have in sales and marketing.
Knowing that SEO is only worthwhile if you can manage the big picture, does it make sense for you to spend the time learning the skills you need, or does it make more sense to outsource that to someone that already has those skills?
Determining Whether Or Not to DIY Your SEO
Making the decision to outsource any part of your business takes a lot of courage. What if something happens? Someone else’s mistake might ruin everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
Realistically speaking, though, outsourcing a part of your business is very, very unlikely to cause damage, while holding on too tightly and refusing to let anyone else join your team is often the kiss of death.
If you’re the only one who can do what needs to get done for your business to survive, then your business can never grow past your capacity to multitask, and eventually, it’s going to collapse or you’re going to burn out.
At the same time, lots of successful companies start with one intrepid entrepreneur doing whatever it takes, and they grow from there.
When it comes to your SEO, you might want to do it yourself until you’re ready to hire a specialist, or you might be wiser to enlist help from a third party company so that you can focus on those other things that are necessary for your company’s success.
Here are some questions to help you decide:
- If you were to focus only on the top 3 functions necessary for running your business, how much revenue would those activities generate? (This is a good starting point to help you determine how much your time is worth.)
- How much time and money can you afford to invest before you see a return?
- Do you struggle with learning new skills, or do you learn and adapt quickly?
- Realistically, how important is search traffic to the success of your sales and marketing strategies?
- Can you invest enough time and money into your SEO strategy to reach the tipping point and generate a worthwhile return on your investment?
- Are there other strategies that can yield similar or better results more quickly?
- Is this SEO strategy sustainable? Does it make sense for your long-term aims?
- Where do your sales come from now?
- Where are your competitors getting their website traffic and leads?
- Is your website ready for an increase in traffic?
Every business is a little different, and so is every entrepreneur.
It’s ultimately up to you whether you want to take the time to learn how to effectively build an SEO strategy, bring in outside help, or choose alternative traffic generation strategies.
Take the time to actually consider those questions, and you’ll be much better equipped to decide whether or not to DIY your SEO.
Headline: Should You Do Your Own SEO?