We’re giving away the milk for free. But you still need the cow.
I spend a lot of time offering tips to businesses on how to improve their content marketing, social network marketing, inbound linking and other methods which ultimately reflect SEO best practices. I rarely hold anything back. Some might suggest that in doing so I’m “giving away the milk for free”, thus negating the need to buy the cow, the cow in this instance referring to an SEO client package. Am I?
I suppose some content marketers, public relations firms, and SEO providers operate under the assumption that they should avoid keeping the client too informed. After all, if clients begin to excel at their own keyword research, content creation, social network campaigning, and remaining SEO practices they may feel as if they don’t need “us” anymore. I’m not too worried about it.
You see, SEO and the content work that drives it requires the same relative level of expertise as an engineer, an architect, and a scientist. A doctor even? Sure, why not. It may not be as significant in the grand scheme of things (up for debate) but the combined skillset involved is not something that can be comprehended completely by any business owner hoping to run a widely successful website marketing campaign on their own.
Does it look like I’m trying to cover my rear by stating this? Then take a look at these 5 Reasons Why You Still Need Professional SEO:
1. SEO is Time Consuming
SEO is a full-time job. Correction, it is a full-time job requiring the combined efforts of a team specializing in a variety of different areas – sometimes spending hours on monotonous yet necessary tasks. If you intend on focusing on your business and your customers (where you should be focused), a successful in-house SEO campaign would not be possible.
2. SEO is Technical
Take it from me, an online content writer, that no matter how much I think I know situations arise where it seems as if the world has come crashing down on one of my websites (WordPress errors, etc…) or Google has penalized a client’s website for no apparent reason and I’m left looking “under the hood” having no idea what I’m staring at. That’s when I have to confer with my more technically sound SEO colleagues to help me fix the problem to move forward. If you don’t have someone like that in your corner your website, and your customer acquisitions, may be in big trouble.
3. Off-Page SEO
A big part of the whole SEO enchilada involves off-page SEO. This means you must gain inbound links from high-authority websites related to your business while carefully watching how much you give out (reciprocity links, paid directories, etc…) in return. A lot of PR work and networking goes into this process. Do you have the time and skillset to get out there and convince reputable websites to give your small to medium business valuable links?
4. Google Isn’t Alone
Contrary to popular opinion, Google is not the only search engine around. While much of what you have come to understand about content marketing and SEO in general is in relation to Google it’s good to keep in mind that other search options continue to grow. Search Engine Watch reported recently that universally 31 % of searchers used Bing. That means if you’re in an elevator with 10 people, three of them use Bing. I think I’ll take the stairs next time. Then there is Facebook who has thrown their hat into the search ring with their new Graph Search. On that note, guess who recently integrated Facebook into their search algorithm by delivering results skewed by a user’s Facebook friend activity? Bing. It’s clear that both Bing and Facebook have intentions to take over the search market. In addition, how are you to know if your customers are among the millions not solely using Google? Are you as a business owner prepared to take on an entire new SEO strategy that will account for all of this?
“If you’re in an elevator with 10 people, three of them use Bing!”
5. SEO is a Long Term Strategy
The long story short here is that SEO couldn’t be further from being a quick fix. Something that works today can be obsolete tomorrow. Even worse, something that works today could end up dropping your organic rank tomorrow. Only those “in the know” will know how to respond accordingly.
I will continue to “give away the milk for free” if I feel readers and clients can utilize it to better manage their own content, social, and overall SEO campaigns. In fact, the more clients know and are able to do on their own the better it is for everyone. SEO at its best is an integrated effort between specialists and a business in the exact same manner that a fitness trainer needs their clients to eat well and remain active throughout every day of the week.
Do you successfully manage your own business’ website to great success and feel an SEO provider isn’t necessary? I’d love to hear from you and see if there are any untapped opportunities that you may be missing – as long as you’re not averse to getting more customers.