Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of optimising the content and structure of your website so it ranks higher than your competitors in search engine results. SEO is critical for any successful modern business, as it helps increase the visibility and accessibility of your website on Google and other search engines. This makes it easier for potential customers to find and engage with your products and services.
Through SEO, you can lift the quality and volume of the unpaid organic traffic that comes to your website, which can increase your leads, sales, and revenue.
Here’s our quick guide to building a successful website by comparing the pros and cons of in-house SEOs and hiring an agency.
5 Reasons Why SEO Is Important for Your Business
1. Better website visibility and accessibility. SEO helps improve the ranking of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs). When you optimise your site for specific keywords and phrases, it makes it much easier for users to find you when they’re searching for relevant products or services.
2. Better customer experience. SEO can dramatically improve the experience for your website visitors. When you optimise your site’s content and structure, it makes it much easier for users to navigate your website and find the information they need. This leads to higher engagement and lower bounce rates.
3. Cost-effective marketing. Search engine optimisation is an extremely cost-effective marketing strategy. Unlike paid search engine marketing (SEM), which needs constant funding, SEO managers can provide long-term results without ongoing costs.
4. More leads and sales. SEO can help boost the leads and sales for your business by improving your website’s visibility and accessibility. This makes it easier for potential customers to find and engage with your business, which leads to higher conversions and increased revenue.
5. Competitive advantage. By optimising your website for keywords and phrases that directly relate to the products or services you’re offering, you can outrank your competitors on search engine results pages. This means potential customers see and engage with your website first.
In-House SEO vs Contracting a Professional
You have two main choices when implementing a search engine optimisation strategy. You can choose to have in-house SEOs or contract the work to a professional SEO company. Each option has its pros and cons.
Taking care of your SEO in-house means that you and your internal team are responsible for optimising your website. To ensure the success of our internal SEO team, it’s crucial to obtain buy-in from the leadership team and other departments within the company to prioritize and support our efforts.
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of building an in-house SEO team:
- Cost savings. Doing your SEO in-house can be cost-effective, as there are no additional costs associated with outsourcing these tasks. However, this can be a false economy, as there is an opportunity cost associated with using your staff’s time to do SEO when they could be doing something else important.
- Control. By doing your SEO tasks in-house, you have complete control over the SEO work process and the results, which means you also hold accountability for successes or failures.
- Business and industry knowledge. Your employees have a deeper understanding of your company’s brand, your customers, and the industry you operate in. This ‘insider’ knowledge can help you develop SEO strategies that are better tailored to your company’s needs.
- Inadequate people resources. An in-house SEO team may have limited human resources and time to dedicate to implementing your SEO strategy, which can mean suboptimal results.
- Lack of expertise. Good SEO can be difficult to achieve, and it requires expertise and experience to develop and implement effective strategies. If your in-house employees don’t have the necessary knowledge and skills, the results may be suboptimal, and you may need to invest time and money in training them to learn SEO.
- Time-consuming. To be successful, your SEO program needs a significant and ongoing investment in time and effort, which can be a distraction from other important business activities.
Using a Professional SEO Company
Another option to consider is to contract out your search engine optimisation to a professional SEO company. They have professionals who maintain SEO best practices. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this approach:
- Expertise. A professional SEO company has the expertise and SEO training to develop and implement an effective SEO strategy for you with minimal delay. Knowing your SEO is in the hands of professionals also means less responsibility and stress for you.
- Time-saving. By outsourcing search engine optimisation, your employees can focus on other important value-adding tasks while your contracted SEO strategist manages your SEO issues and create quality content.
- Latest tools and technologies. Reputable SEO companies like Digital Estate have access to the latest SEO tools, analytics, and technologies. This can help them develop and implement more effective content marketing strategies that deliver qualified leads for more sales and higher revenue (ROI).
- Cost. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Contracting out your SEO to professionals may mean you get better results, but you shouldn’t forget to factor the costs into your budget.
- Less direct control. By outsourcing your SEO, you will relinquish some control over the process and the end results. This means you’ll need to ensure regular and thorough communication with your SEO agencies.
- Lack of familiarity with your business and industry. A professional SEO firm may lack intimate familiarity with your company and industry, which could result in less effective strategies. However, this can be neutralised by detailed engagement with the SEO experts you choose if they have results-driven SEO careers.
In-House SEO With Professional Products
Technology has advanced to the point where it’s now possible to buy products that support your in-house SEO efforts. Examples of these include:
- Niche inserts – linking with content that’s already indexed in Google.
- Authority-building guest posts – these increase your website’s trust and authority.
- Diversity links – these ensure your site’s risk of a penalty is low.
- Business citations – listing your business on local directories.
- Pillow links – natural, foundational inks to protect your site’s reputation and rankings.
- Social signals – your site’s shares, likes and overall social media visibility as perceived by search engines.
If you think an in-house SEO option, supported by industry-leading products, sounds right for you talk to an SEO professional who can guide you through the process of setting up your in-house team and advising you on what they need to deliver SEO success.
Steps for Managing Your In-House SEO
If you’ve decided that an in-house team of SEO or a hybrid SEO model is right for your business, here are some suggested steps and tips to help you develop the goals and deliver on your SEO strategy.
1. Website Audit
Before going ahead with your search engine optimisation strategy, it’s important to conduct a website audit first to identify any aspects of SEO that may be hindering your website’s performance.
A site audit includes analysing your website’s structure, content, and performance to identify any areas that may need improvement. An audit will help you identify technical issues like slow page speed, broken links, or duplicate content that could be harming your site’s performance.
An SEO audit will also help you evaluate your website’s user experience and identify ranking factors that may be causing visitors to leave your website prematurely. It will also highlight opportunities to improve your website content and optimise it for SEO.
2. Keyword Research
Keyword research is the base of any effective SEO strategy. By researching the keywords that are relevant to your business’s products or services, you can optimise your content to rank higher in search engine results.
Start with broad, industry-specific keywords that relate to your business, using keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to identify relevant keywords and their search volumes.
Next, focus on long-tail keywords with three or more words, as they are more specific and targeted. Also, look at your competitors’ keywords, which will help you identify opportunities to rank higher in search engine results.
3. Optimise website content
Once you’ve identified relevant keywords, you can then optimise your web content to include them. However, it’s essential you avoid keyword stuffing (using the same keywords or phrases repeatedly), as search engines can recognise this and penalise you.
In this step, make sure your website content is good quality and relevant to your business products and services. Also, embed the keywords you identified earlier in your site’s meta descriptions and title tags and use internal linking to connect relevant content across the pages on your website. Additionally, use external links to high-authority websites relevant to your field.
4. Optimise Website Structure
The structure of your website also plays a key role in search engine optimisation, so it’s essential to ensure your website is easy to navigate and that the URLs are set up so that it’s easy for search engines to understand how they connect.
An SEO specialist or a marketing agency will prioritize ‘technical SEO’ to ensure your search marketing campaign is on the right track.
5. Build Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your company’s site and which indicate to search engines that other websites find your content relevant and valuable. It takes time and effort to build good quality backlinks, but you can improve your website’s search engine rankings in this way.
In link building, in-house and agency teams should focus on building relationships with other relevant websites in your industry and use social media to share your site’s content and lift its profile.
6. Monitor Your Website’s Performance
It is essential to monitor your website’s performance constantly to ensure your SEO strategy is working. By doing this, you can identify areas that need improvement and make adjustments.
Website metrics to monitor include search engine rankings for your identified keywords, your website traffic and sources, bounce rate (percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing just one page), and conversion rate (the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action).
How Digital Estate Can Help You Manage Your SEO In-house
While managing your SEO in-house is not for the faint-hearted, there are some definite advantages to doing this. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone – there are reputable SEO professionals like Digital Estate who offer digital marketing services to support you with some easy-to-use SEO products.
Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help.