Should I Do SEO Myself?

As a marketer or business owner, it’s your responsibility to reach the most potential customers for the lowest possible cost. This is often more challenging than it sounds and leads many small businesses to take a DIY approach to their marketing strategies.

Although this may work if you already have experience with marketing, working with an agency can ultimately save you money in the long run if they’re able to achieve better results.

That being said, the answer to whether or not you should do SEO yourself isn’t always a “no.”

If you’re on the fence about hiring an agency or taking your site’s SEO online marketing into your own hands, the following questions will help you determine the best course of action for your business:

Are you genuinely interested in SEO?

The first question you need to answer is why you want to do SEO. If you want to learn about how search engines work inside and out, you’re on the right track. But if your only motivation for doing SEO yourself is cutting costs, it’s definitely not a good idea to do it yourself.

Before you even begin to optimize your site, you need to invest some serious time and energy into learning how to do it. Depending on your existing knowledge of HTML, search engines, user behavior, and how much time you can dedicate to SEO, this could take anywhere between a few weeks to several months.

We’ve put together a short video on how to do SEO yourself if you decide to go the DIY SEO route.

Once you learn the basics, you need to make it a priority to keep up with the industry and best practices. Search engines like Google change and update their algorithms constantly, and if you fall behind even a little, your rankings and traffic could suffer.

If reading about SEO on a regular basis sounds boring to you, you likely won’t have success doing it yourself. But if it sounds like something you want to learn about, ask yourself the next question:

How much time can you dedicate to SEO?

One common misconception about SEO is that it’s is a one-time overhaul of title tags, meta descriptions, and other page elements. And while this is a solid start, it’s important to understand that SEO is an ongoing process.

A “set it and forget it” approach may seem like a good idea at the start, but in order to be successful, you need to be willing to dedicate a few hours a week to your SEO strategy.

Here’s what you should be prepared to do on a regular basis:

Keyword research

One of the first steps to optimizing any website is keyword research. This process will help you determine how your potential customers search for businesses like yours and what they want to know before making a purchase or becoming a client.

When you first identify important keywords, you should incorporate them on your existing pages. But as time goes on, consumer behaviors change, and so should the way you address them.

Doing keyword research on a regular basis will help you keep your strategy current and continue to add relevant pages to your site. As you do this, you can stay on top of trends in both your industry and search engines.

On-page optimization

As you discover new keywords, you’ll need to use them in your on-page elements like title tags, headers, and body copy. However, you’ll need to do so naturally and avoid “keyword stuffing” at all costs.

Although using as many keywords as possible on a page used to be an effective strategy, search engines have caught on. Now, using too many keywords or simply using them on irrelevant pages can actually harm your site’s rankings.

Content creation

In addition to optimizing your existing pages, you’ll need to create new articles, blog posts, and other pages around topics that interest your potential customers. This process, called content marketing, will show both search engines and users that your site is a quality source of information.

Link building

One of the most important parts of any SEO strategy is link building. Links from reputable sites tell search engine crawlers that you produce high-quality content that’s good enough for another website to send its users to you.

Earning the kind of links you need to improve your SEO takes time, but it goes hand-in-hand with content marketing. As you continue to add great content to your site, other sites will have more reasons to link to you. And if you create something that earns a link from a news site or other well-respected publication, your site can earn lots of new traffic.

If all of these tasks sound doable to you—great! In fact, here’s a tutorial to help you get started.

But if keyword research, on-page optimization, content creation, and link building sound like more effort than you’re willing to put into your SEO strategy, it’s time to consider hiring an agency.

Ready to improve your site’s SEO?

If you’d like to use SEO to attract more traffic and convert more customers, WebFX can help. We offer comprehensive SEO services for businesses in all industries, and our experienced team of Internet marketers has the knowledge and skill to grow your business with the web.

Contact us today to speak with a strategist!