You’re a scrappy entrepreneur. We don’t doubt that and in fact, we commend it. But every entrepreneur needs help. You won’t see us filing our own taxes, that’s for sure. We have our CPA’s do that for us. Regardless of your can-do attitude, you can’t do SEO on your own, just like you wouldn’t handle legal issues without a lawyer. Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t or can’t do SEO on your own.
Backlinks are the bane of most small businesses. First, what is a backlink? Second, why the hell do you need them? A backlink is another site that provides a link to your site. Simple enough in theory, much more difficult to obtain in actuality. You need them because Google likes sites that a lot of other sites link to. If a lot of quality, emphasis on the quality, sites are linking to yours, you seem to be an authority of some sort.
Obtaining these backlinks can be a rigorous process though. How can you possible get relevant, quality websites to link to yours? Honestly, it is best to watch this Moz Whiteboard Friday. They share some easy ways to acquire some low-hanging-fruit in the backlinking world. That’s only the first step though. There are entire businesses dedicated to earning you backlinks. Just make sure they are reputable because spam backlinks are punished severely by Google.
Keywords Aren’t Everything
A lot of business owners I speak with are still on the keyword train. I get it. Keywords are still very important. You can’t possible have a dog walking business if your website talks about fixes for cars. However, gone are the days of keyword stuffing your website. Unfortunately I still see a lot of this. I’ll see websites with a footer a mile long because some “web” company decided to throw 100 keywords in a footer widget. That’s not only a waste for SEO purposes but it looks terribly unprofessional as well.
So yes, by all means do you keyword research. Understand what keywords and search queries are important to driving traffic to your site. However, you also need to understand that context and problem-solving are just as important. Does your page provide a quality experience for your customer? As Google’s algorithm gets smarter by the minute, so does their objectives in terms of meeting a searches needs. Right now, a user’s “intent” is of paramount importance. What is the user intending to find? This is different from a sole focus on keywords.
Google Just Won’t Sit Still
As we just mentioned Google’s algorithm changes, a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. They are that hyperactive kid that just cannot sit still in class, armed to the teeth with fidget spinners. The algorithm changes constantly and only a handful of people are truly privy to the extent of each rollout. There are companies dedicated to determining the effects of each new release and the rest of us eagerly await those results.
You Don’t Have the Time
The truth is, you certainly could do all of the things listed above. You could totally become an expert on all of this. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are masters at learning new things. Unfortunately you don’t have time. Your time is consumed with your business operations: customer service, product management, payroll, managing employees, building new business opportunities, etc. The list goes on.
Your time is precious and it shouldn’t be wasted on something that you literally will not have the time to master. It is better to leave this kind of work to people, like us, who work in this space.
The Backend of Your Site is a Mystery to You
Finally, have you ever been to the backend of your website? We’re not talking just about the page editors in your WordPress or web builder. We’re talking about the tags, the page URL structures, the .htaccess file, managing 301 redirects, image alt tags, webmaster tools, analytics, and more.
If you are worried about editing something like this in fear of breaking your site, trust your instincts. Deleting some sort of file that you aren’t sure of can spell disaster for your website. Adding in new pages and posts is a great skill for small business owners to have. That doesn’t mean you should be doing it all though.
Our goal isn’t to discourage small business owners from understanding SEO. It’s important to have a working knowledge of it, especially when it comes to hiring a firm to handle SEO needs. Our goal is to tell you that, it’s okay, you don’t have to do it on your own. Treat SEO like you would legal or accounting and hire out. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.