Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for any commerce website. For any website really, but we’ll focus on the commercial ones in this article because it’s slightly different for sites that sell stuff, as opposed to those providing information.
The idea is to give your Google rank a boost and convert visitors into paying customers by creating an engaging website that people want to spend time on and content they will share. However, this can be a difficult task for beginners.
In this article, we will provide all the information you need to decide whether to do it yourself or if it would be better to hire an SEO consultant.
What Is SEO?
SEO is the practice of organically (i.e. without paying Google for it) increasing search engine results to get not just more traffic to your site, but better traffic. For example, a site selling camping equipment could get a million clicks to its blog about how to spot the constellations, but that might not necessarily translate into purchases.
As mentioned above, it’s not just about getting views, but building a relationship between your company and potential customers, so that they not only want to order from you but also recommend you to other people, meaning reaching more potential clients.
Should You Do Your Own SEO?
There are many reasons to do your own SEO, especially because it can save you money and give you full creative control. It can be the right choice for many small to medium business owners, but let’s take a look at what you would need to do it yourself.
There is plenty to know about SEO; so much that there are hundreds of websites dedicated solely to improving it and, truthfully, it can be overwhelming when you first dive in. You’ll also never be done learning because search engines change their practices regularly through algorithm updates, so what worked in 2020 is unlikely to do as well in 2021. (This is true even in the case of normal years, which 2020 was decidedly not).
If you have an established website that you’d like to rank high with Google, then an SEO audit will be necessary to identify and, just as importantly, prioritize the areas to improve. Some of these can be the case of changing a Metatag Title, which takes a minute. Others might be improving your website’s speed, which can be a complex process taking hours. See what a website SEO audit involves.
In addition to knowing what works, it’s also important that you have the skills to carry them out. For example, knowing that company blog posts should exceed 1500 words in order to get the best results from your target audience is a completely different thing than actually writing a comprehensive, engaging and interesting post of that length. The same goes for web design, image creation, translation (just read this guest post about translation fails), and just about everything else. Skills matter.
There are many tools (both free and paid) to help you manage your site’s SEO, helping you do keyword research, rank tracking, site audits, and competitor analysis. As with most tools, they only work correctly if you know how to use them, which takes more learning.
If you’re interested, here are a few of the go-to tools:
- Ahrefs – One of the most popular keyword tools, showing an estimate of traffic per country, plus an estimate of the percentage of clicks each keyword receives.
- SEMRush – Similar to Ahrefs, and has a more user-friendly interface. Both Ahrefs and SEMRush also provide detailed website analysis tools.
- Google Analytics – In-depth details of actual website visitors, which pages receive traffic, etc.
- Screaming Frog – Details of Metatags, h1 and h2 headings, URLs and other useful information on a range of pages on your site. The free version will be all you need for small sites. Great for getting an overview of your site as a whole and spotting likely errors.
All of this learning takes time, and then it takes more time to actually analyze why a post isn’t performing well, or why people are clicking on your site without buying anything. If you have the time to create, implement, and constantly adjust a marketing strategy, then that’s great, but most CEOs have their hands full with running their companies, which can mean that balls get dropped.
In conclusion, setting up and executing an effective SEO strategy takes time. There’s absolutely nothing wrong if you’ve decided that your talents and interests lie outside SEO and marketing. Your company will likely do better if you put 100% into your existing roles and hire an SEO consultant who will put 100% into improving your website traffic.
Far too many business owners will stretch themselves too thin by trying to do everything at once, and by themself. This is especially true if you’re expanding across different countries or different languages.
So if you don’t know a lot about SEO, you don’t have a lot of time to spend on it, you are targeting people who speak a language you aren’t fluent in, or you’ve done an SEO campaign previously that hasn’t worked out well, then perhaps it’s time to consider outsourcing it to save yourself time and stress.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.