Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important digital marketing strategies a company can focus on. First and foremost, it increases your company’s visibility and digital footprint. It is also valuable for a number of other important reasons.
First of all, organic traffic is the single biggest driver of overall website traffic. A recent study found that 51% (more than half!) of all website traffic came from organic searches. This organic search traffic accounted for more than 40% of revenue. Without a rock-solid SEO strategy, you’re leaving a great deal of potential traffic and revenue on the table.
You also need to consider the impact your website leaves on prospects driven by other digital marketing strategies. Strong SEO makes your website trustworthy and credible. If a PPC prospect reaches your website, for example, they’ll find a great deal of relevant content. If they perform some research on your company, later on, they’ll find quality backlinks and a strong website rank. This proves you’re not a fly-by-night company and are somebody worth doing business with.
One last, but certainly not least, benefit of focusing heavily on SEO is that it helps you in both the short-term and the long-term. Once you’ve built your reputation up and rank well on specific keywords, you’ll be able to keep that ranking so long as you maintain your efforts. If you’re successful, you’ll be able to use the strategies that you outline and put into place today to help drive valuable organic traffic and revenue months and even years from now. With so much on the line, it’s critically important to get your SEO strategy down pat.
Now that we understand why it’s so valuable to lock your SEO strategy down, it’s important to think about who should run point on the strategize and implementation of this strategy. While it might be tempting to try and tackle this massive project on your own, there are a number of reasons you must consider bringing in a marketing agency to help with your SEO. Let’s take a look at some of the most important reasons it makes sense to bring in a helping hand when it comes to SEO strategy:
1. Marketing Agencies Are Cost-Effective
Many companies are hesitant to hire a marketing agency because they don’t want to incur additional costs. The fact of the matter is that hiring a marketing agency for SEO is actually usually more cost-effective than bringing the process in-house.
Consider first that marketing agencies are subject matter experts. They know exactly how to bring a company up-to-speed when it comes to SEO strategy. They know the first steps to take, what problems they might encounter, and how to quickly overcome them. This invaluable experience means the whole process will go much smoother for them than it would if you handle it by yourself.
A marketing agency will also have a large pool of resources to draw upon. They might have one expert working on your content strategy while another handles the technical aspects of SEO strategy and management. Meanwhile, a veteran SEO analyst helped develop the strategy in the first place. With so many moving parts working together effectively, the marketing agency is a well-oiled machine that wastes no effort and gets your SEO strategy off the ground with maximum efficiency.
You also need to keep in mind the cost of handling SEO in-house. According to Glassdoor, the average SEO Manager salary is over $84,000 per year. You’ll also need to put together an attractive benefits package, which will put them well over $100,000 annually. This doesn’t even include the costs of recruiting, hiring, and training. You could try to find somebody who is a little bit more cost-effective, but you get what you pay for. Somebody who is hired at a below-average salary will probably not have the experience or skillset that you desire.
Lastly, hiring your own employees is riskier than going with a seasoned marketing agency. Great employees, especially great marketers, are not easy to find. It takes a long time to find somebody who is passionate and effective. If you end up making a hire that’s not a great fit, it can push your SEO strategy back by months or even years. On the other hand, a marketing agency handles that risk for you. They have already vetted their own team of experts, whom you can rest assured will help you hit the ground running.
2. Marketing Agencies Are Experts
As we briefly discussed in the point about cost-effectiveness above, marketing agencies employ a number of subject matter experts. Hiring a skilled SEO Manager, for example, doesn’t mean that you’re also getting somebody who is an expert at developing and writing engaging content. Or perhaps they have a strong enough background in SEO to develop a great technical strategy but don’t have the web development skills necessary to employ them fully. Basically, it takes a team with a wide range of skill sets to successfully implement and manage SEO. Unless you want to hire an entire team or overburden your existing marketers, a marketing agency is usually your best bet.
Simply getting a third-party perspective is also beneficial. Employees are typically too close to your company’s existing strategies and processes to analyze them properly. A marketing agency will be able to come in and analyze everything with a fresh set of eyes. In the process of developing your SEO strategy, they might be able to help you find new and improved ways to handle other aspects of your digital marketing, too.
You should also keep in mind that you’re not only gaining access to the marketing agency’s people but also their tools. Having the right marketing tools, especially when it comes to SEO, can make or break your success. The marketing agency will have access to a suite of tools that help drive efficiency, productivity, and the overall performance of your strategies. You’ll be able to reap the benefits of these tools from day one, without having to spend the time implementing and training on them. Best of all – you don’t even have to pay for them!
3. SEO Best Practices Constantly Evolve
You cannot simply optimize your website for the right search terms once or twice a year and forget about it. Google, who has over 86% market share on mobile searches and over 75% on desktop devices, changes their algorithms often. Tactics that help put you on the first page one day may earn you a red flag the next day. Additionally, you must constantly review your content and strategically chosen keywords to ensure that they’re still effective. If you’re handling SEO strategy in a reactionary fashion, you’ll find it hard to stay ahead of the competition. You need a team of experts handling your SEO in real-time, keeping your company firmly ahead of the curve.
4. Your Company is Left With Room to Grow
Maintaining scalability is a huge benefit of going with third-party SEO agencies. As your business evolves and grows, your SEO efforts will need to evolve, too. Entering new markets, for example, means you’ll need to go after a whole new set of local keywords. When you launch a new product, you’ll need to refresh your strategy, too. Or perhaps you’re simply growing big enough to compete with the big boys on more general and less niche search terms. Whatever the case might be, you need your SEO strategy to stay as nimble and flexible as the rest of your company.
A third-party SEO agency will be able to ramp up efforts very easily. Since they already have a large pool of resources, they can simply apply more to your company. Most importantly, they’ll have experience growing and scaling similar companies, so they’ll know exactly what to do to ensure that your SEO strategy remains efficient and impactful. If you wanted to ramp your efforts up internally, you’d need to hire, train, and onboard new employees, which takes several months and leaves you much less able to quickly react to evolving circumstances.
5. Outsourcing Ensures Internal Teams Maintain Momentum
Having your existing marketing team handle the workload of a fully fleshed-out SEO strategy is a big ask. They’ll need to take time to learn new tools and strategies. In the end, it’s more likely that your existing marketing team will begin to burnout. It’s almost certain that their productivity and efficiency on other projects will falter. Not only will your SEO strategy suffer, but the rest of your marketing efforts will, too.
Outsourcing this one piece of your digital marketing is an investment in the rest of your strategies, too. By allowing your existing marketing team to focus on their core competencies, they’ll keep momentum on other important projects. You’ll get the most out of them as they keep working on what they’re best at, and they’ll be much less likely to burnout and leave the team entirely.
Developing a strong SEO strategy is one of the most important things your company can do. It will drive web traffic, and more importantly, a great deal of revenue. Hiring a marketing agency for SEO is a highly cost-effective way to get your SEO strategy off the ground quickly and ensure that it has the impact you desire. They’ll work with you to ensure that you drive results from your SEO both immediately and down the road.