Try to do a bit of light reading on SEO online and you will be overwhelmed by innumerable articles claiming that search engine optimization (SEO) is something every webmaster and company can do on their own.
Dig a little deeper and you will discover that such recommendations usually come from “experts” whose SEO experience is, at best, limited to very poorly documented and analyzed practices and, at worst, non-existent.
In the real world however, SEO, like pretty much any other business service, is best left to the professionals, or in this case, an SEO agency.
Reason #1 – It’s Harder than it Looks
If you were to believe one of the aforementioned “SEO experts”, SEO is something you can do for 15 minutes a day and you’ll see insane results. You do a bit of on-site stuff, do a guest blog every couple of months and it’s only a matter of time before your site gets to the first page of search results for your keyword.
What could be simpler than that?
The only problem with that description of SEO is that it does not even begin to scratch the surface of what SEO entails. You could present anything to be simple that way.
Appendectomy? No problem. You just take a knife, cut above your right hip and pull the little bastard out.
Real SEO requires a lot of work done the right way. Just doing on-site SEO for an average business website will require weeks of work. If this website happens to be an online store, you can replace weeks with months.
Managing a website’s backlink portfolio (doing link audits, cleaning up toxic links and building good ones) is an ongoing task that will involve a number of people with various areas of expertise.
And this is just a start.
Reason #2 – You Need Tools
Like any job that needs to get done, SEO also requires the right tools. Depending on the type of SEO work you are doing, you will be using a different kind of tool, from more popular solutions such as Moz’s range of SEO tools, BuzzSumo and Ahrefs, to more specialized solutions that are not even household names.
As you can imagine, these tools will cost money if you want to unleash their full potential and for a DIY SEO enthusiast, it can all get a bit expensive after a while.
An SEO agency will have an entire SEO tool belt hanging off their hip, allowing them to tap into the amazing functionality of various solutions. As a result of this, you will be getting results that you simply could not achieve on your own.
Reason #3 – SEO’s Innate Volatility
One of the most idiosyncratic characteristics of SEO is that it is an incredibly volatile industry. In other types of marketing and brand promotion in general, it takes a while before major shifts occur. In SEO, things happen much faster, even overnight in some cases.
In order to stay in the loop, one needs to be tapped into the industry 24/7, taking note of every little thing that happens, the slightest changes in Google’s algorithm that someone hints at, and the latest studies that show a certain tactic being far more (or less) effective than everyone had believed up to that point.
More importantly, it is often necessary to immediately correct one’s SEO tactics and practices and for DIY-ers, this rapid response is usually not that rapid, leaving their online presence and SEO results vulnerable much longer than they are healthy.
An SEO agency will be aware of everything that happens in the SEO world and they will be able to best protect your online reputation, as well as take advantage of any new insights that come to light in the industry.
In the end, only one thing matters – results. With the combination of expertise, the right tools and agility, a reputable SEO agency will provide cold, hard numbers which will clearly indicate how they have benefited your company.
When you boil it all down, it will all be about the numbers and the fact that DIY search engine optimization never quite gets really spectacular numbers.