5 Signs It’s Time to Hire an SEO Expert
As a business owner, you need to connect with more customers to sell your product or service. Regardless of your industry, you need customers to find you online. Paid ads will fetch quick results, but if you want stable, long-term growth, you need to rank solidly in search engines.
Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you steadily rise through the search engine rankings to (hopefully) end up on the first page of the search engine results page (SERP).
But good SEO isn’t easy. If you’re trying to do SEO internally, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a lot of work. The DIY approach can work for a while, but eventually, you’ll need to hire an SEO expert.
In this guide, we share five surefire signs it’s time to hire an SEO specialist — and how the vetting process should work for hiring an SEO company.
Should You Hire an SEO Expert? 5 Signs It’s Time
Hiring an SEO expert is no small decision. If any of these situations apply to your business, it’s probably time to hire an SEO expert.
1. You’ve Never Done It Before
SEO can be very technical. If it sounds like complete gibberish to you — but you still want to boost your rank on Google search — it’s time to hire an expert.
There’s a lot of bad advice on the internet about SEO, so DIY can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. You need to follow the latest white hat SEO practices that organically boost your rankings without resorting to shady methods (which are against search engines’ terms of service).
SEO is always changing because search engines are always changing. A single algorithm update can turn your SERP ranking upside down. If you don’t have the time to stay on top of SEO updates or you lack experience, it’s time to hire an SEO expert.
Not only do they keep you updated on the latest SEO best practices, but SEO specialists create good SEO plans that match your business goals, too.
2. You Have Resources
Whether you choose to do it in-house or you want to hire an SEO agency, you need a bit of a budget to do SEO right. SEO-focused blog content is one of the wisest things to spend your marketing budget on because it can lead to higher domain authority, brand recognition, organic traffic, new leads, backlinks, and a lot more.
If you have the resources and want an expert-level skill set, outsourcing to an SEO specialist can take a lot of work off of your plate and help skyrocket your brand.
3. Your Website Isn’t Getting a Lot of Traffic
If your website gets a disappointing 10 visitors per day, it might be time to hire an SEO expert. Low traffic makes it nearly impossible for you to rank well in the SERPs. It tells Google that your content isn’t important or your user experience isn’t interesting, which hurts your ranking opportunities.
Plus, SEO can help you source higher-quality leads from your website. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a measly 1.7% close rate.
4. Your Marketing Team Doesn’t Have Time
It’s going to be nearly impossible to out-rank other people in your niche who hired their own SEO experts. You can ask your internal marketing folks to tackle SEO, but if they’re already stretched thin, they won’t have time to add SEO to your marketing strategy.
With a schedule full of work for socials, landing pages, email campaigns, lead gen, paid search, copywriting, and more, most marketing teams are going a million miles an hour. For startups and small businesses, all that work often falls on one person.
We often see that poor SEO performance is the thing holding back all that incredible marketing work from being seen by new customers. Most people come to SEO agencies like us needing support so they have time for all the other initiatives they’re juggling. Fixing your SEO can supercharge results for all your other efforts.
Instead of driving your marketing person to burnout, bring in an expert who can jump in without the ramp-up time or delays. It’s the best way to fit SEO into your busy schedule without overwhelming your team.
5. You’re Doing a Website Redesign
This one’s simple — are you planning a website refresh soon? If you’re overhauling your site, it’s the perfect time to hire an SEO expert. They can help you set up your new website with SEO in mind at every stage, increasing your odds of ranking well after the redesign.
What SEO Experts Do
It can take six months or more to see a change in your SEO rankings. If you’ve put in the work yourself and haven’t seen results, it’s time for a change.
SEO professionals can do a lot of the heavy lifting to boost your search engine rankings. While every expert is different, most offer these SEO services:
- Content creation: SEO providers help you produce high-quality content at scale. This can include all aspects of content marketing, from blogs to social media. They tailor the content to what search engines and your users need to see to boost your metrics.
- Linkbuilding: Linkbuilding strategies make your website more authoritative. The right SEO campaign will steadily source backlinks from high-authority domains to boost your SEO. Since 66.31% of web pages have no backlinks at all, this can help you gain an easy ranking advantage.
- Keyword research: An SEO expert will help you choose keywords for on-page SEO, content creation, and even PPC ads. They can help you find long-tail niche keywords that your competitors don’t even have on their radar, which could give you an edge.
- Site audit: In an SEO audit, an SEO will look at your technical SEO, which includes the back-end elements that search engine bots see. They look for on-page elements like usability, content, internal links, and image optimization. Off-page, they’ll look at backlinks and sometimes social media activity.
How to Hire an SEO Expert for Your Small Business
You know you need to hire an SEO expert, but how do you find someone who’s worth their salt? Follow these tips to find the best SEO agency for your business (and avoid the bad ones).
Know Your Business Goals First
Your business goals will affect your SEO needs. Before you hire an SEO expert, sit down and assess why you need SEO.
Maybe your goal is:
- Increased website traffic
- More organic search leads
- Increased keyword rankings
- More backlinks
- Higher conversion rate
Every business has different goals, so take time to determine what’s most important to you. This will make it easier to hire an SEO pro who can deliver meaningful results.
It’ll also make it more efficient for them — one of the first things a good content marketing agency will ask you is what your goals are. The really good ones will be honest if they’re not the right fit for your purposes.
Decide Between In-House or Outsourced SEO
You have choices when you hire an SEO expert. Based on your goals, budget, and needs, you’ll need to choose between these three options:
- In-house experts: In-house SEOs intimately know your business. However, as a full-time employee, it can take time to get them up to speed. You also have to pay salary and benefits, which makes this a pricey option.
- SEO freelancers: Freelancers work as third-party contractors. They’re cheaper than employees, but they often work solo. They don’t always have the resources to quickly scale up or be available to you every day.
- SEO agency: An SEO agency is a company that specializes in SEO and content marketing all day, every day. They have the capacity to handle high work volumes and typically bill clients on a predictable monthly retainer.
Ask for a Site Audit
Don’t go with the first SEO specialist you find. It’s good to consider at least three providers so you can find the best option for your business. Speak to them face-to-face and ask for references, case studies, reviews, and pricing.
It’s also a good idea to ask for a site audit before you hire an SEO expert. Most agencies will offer complimentary site audits (Growth Machine does!), so take them up on their offer. The agency will crawl your web pages, social media, and online marketing presence to form a custom strategy tailored to your business.
Look over each provider’s site audit. The right SEO agency will generate a high-quality, in-depth plan for success. The point isn’t to get a free roadmap; it’s to evaluate the plans that the SEO experts have in mind for your business. Choose the provider whose plan best matches your needs.
Hire SEO Experts to Rule the SERPS
Digital marketing might seem easy, but SEO is a technical aspect of online marketing with a lot of complexity. Instead of trying to DIY your own SEO strategy, it might be best to hire an SEO expert.
You likely need to outsource SEO if:
- You’ve never done it before
- You have resources
- Your website has low traffic
- Your marketing team is close to max capacity
- You’re redoing your website
Of course, not every SEO strategist will be a fit for your business. You can hire the best SEO consultant by:
- Setting goals first
- Choosing between in-house, freelancers, or agencies
- Assessing each provider’s site audit
When you need to boost traffic, increase conversions, and build your brand authority, content creation is a must for SEO.
Content marketing agencies like Growth Machine make it a cinch to scale up your organic traffic with the right SEO approach. Chat with our SEO experts now to create the best SEO strategy for your business.
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