Should you be hiring SEO company or DIY? What a webmaster needs to know when it comes to building web traffic and how to best use SEO tools, analytics platforms along with figuring out how to find the right firm for you.
Getting tons of website traffic is conditional on a variety of factors, the nature of one’s blog/website, the degree of competition for topics and key words, the following web-masters are able to bring to the site over time along with building an engaging social media profile – where hopefully many of your posts are widely shared.
And then of course there is search engine optimization – which is the process of how search engines (particularly google – which accounts for 74% of all internet browse searches) decides on how to rank you (particularly in relation to other vendors).
Which raises the million dollar question- how exactly does Google go about figuring out where to rank your posts? One thing to always keep in mind- to what degree are your posts (and your website where such posts appear) managing to ‘best’ meet internet browser search queries? And of course what do we mean by ‘best’?
Figuring SEO strategy and overall digital marketing strategy (which also includes social media strategy) can be a daunting and expensive task and very time consuming – which leads to most webmasters asking themselves: Do it yourself SEO or should I hire an SEO company?
Even if one has the funds to hire an SEO company, and is able to figure out how to find the right marketing shop for them (more on this below) one still ought to be proficient in DIY SEO tools that will generally cost you nothing, while some will cost a monthly or annual subscription depending on the degree of analysis.
The above challenges are similar to those faced by vendors in other respective industries using their own measurement solutions as offered for instance by https://atlanticscale.com in the industrial scale and instrument metrology arena. Or say how how a doctor may use snapshot vital signs and other health monitor services and equipment in gauging patient health.
Being proficient in general all round SEO will help you the webmaster (and I am talking from painful experience) figure out where ‘under the hood of the car’ to begin to look for issues that might affect your site’s performance- and where to improve.
While Google may come up with up as many 3234 algorithm changes in 2018 alone, which most of us can not hope to keep up with, there are some consistent rules and basics that webmasters will want to comply with and utilize.
DIY SEO tools
Which brings us to the the question, which tried and true DIY SEO tools should webmasters and developers be using as a starter? Here are a few mandatory tools below that I have come to rely on over the years and you should too.
Website Search Console
Posts Google in its Search Console Guideline: The Search Console reports in Analytics provide information about the performance of your organic-search traffic. You can see data like user queries and the number of times your site URLs appear in search results (impressions), along with post-click data about site engagement like bounce rate and ecommerce conversion rate. This combination of data helps you optimize your site for the most profitable traffic.
There are many variables a webmaster will want to go over, including structured data, speed insights, AMP links, urls indexed, and many other measurement tools and guides that one can assess on their search console as provided by Google upon vendors seeking indexing.
Upon configuring Google Analytics, webmasters will be able to glean a variety of information, including which posts are getting traffic, source of traffic, time spent on site and many other facets of information that webmasters will have to get acquainted with and other marketing analytics.
SEM Rush is an industry staple tool which allows vendors to run an on site audit checking for over 50 technical issues & warnings along with actionable tips on how to fix them.
The service provider also allows webmasters to detect and get rid of toxic backlinks to avoid search engine penalties. As well as on Page SEO Checker according to prominent marketing vendor, Ignite Digital who like many SEO firms utilizes the tool along with many other DIY tools and their own propriety analytics in the servicing of clientele.
Keep in mind, like most DIY providers, while you may be offered a trial offer, you will be compelled to take an annual subscription where ongoing crunching and measuring of numbers and complex analytics are provided.
Other favorite and well regarded DIY SEO tool providers include Majestic, Ahrefs, SpyFu amongst many others. Fortunately PCMagazine came out with a great report grading each provider on different criteria that you will want to read about.
Should I hire an SEO firm?
Hiring an SEO marketing firm should be an adjunct to a webmaster’s own ongoing efforts. A webmaster is ill advised (again speaking from personal experience) to solely trust the onsite optimization of their website property to outside agents without first having an overall understanding of how the ‘ship sails’.
Such knowledge goes a long way in webmasters devising strategy along SEO marketing firms who often supplement and augment a vendor’s own efforts while often spearheading taxing and time consuming tasks especially for larger websites and those sites dealing with a myriad of complexities. Which is another way of saying, while most of us know enough of how to take care of our general health, most of us lack the skillset and case studies experience to resolve ‘tricky’ issues that come along. And like an athlete who can train on their own merits, the skills, guidance of an astute trainer and coach goes a long way in furthering an athlete’s performance and achieving improved performance.
That said, you will need to keep your eyes on the SEO firm or specialist you might be looking to hire, whether they use ‘white hat’ strategies (as opposed to shady, ‘black hat’ techniques that may (likely) hurt your traffic)- and the process of vetting.
How do I go about hiring an SEO firm?
Personal referrals are often the best way to go, but that is not to say sometimes what may work for one vendor may work for you in an all together different industry.
A favorite source of locating reliable SEO firms from which to hire comes courtesy of internet marketing firm, MOZ – who have over time come to be relied as a bona fide provider of propriety SEO analytics and insights.
Making it on MOZ’s annual shortlist is often by peer referrals and client rankings. That said the outlet does suggest Ignoring Top SEO Lists for compelling reasons- and like most things in life recommends personal engagement with SEO marketing chief personnel and asking them tough questions (cause you are a seasoned DIY expert) that will help you gauge whether to bring a particular vendor on board.