SEO, or “search engine optimization” is the practice of ranking websites for specific search terms (keywords) within the search engine results pages (SERPs).
So it’s very targeted traffic that can capture online searchers looking for a product or solution to their problem and, if they have their wallet in their hands at the same time, then so much the better!
No other form of advertising has the targeted power that SEO has. Most other forms of advertising have businesses looking for customers. With SEO, however, the roles are reversed and customers are actually looking for businesses, or rather, the products and services that can provide solutions to their problems.
But SEO is not a “set and forget” onetime action. It’s not something you do once, get ranked, and then stay ranked in perpetuity. It actually requires maintenance and ongoing work to keep those rankings. Otherwise, your competitors will do what they need to do in order to outrank you. It’s an ongoing process that requires work and diligence, but it’s well worth it in the long run.
Doing SEO on Your Own
Now, you can certainly do the work on your own, it isn’t technically difficult, but you need to understand it takes a good deal of research and work to get started. And, as stated earlier, it’ll take ongoing work to maintain your rankings.
So, if you’re short on money then doing it on your own may be the best bet for you. Just be aware that it will take much longer to achieve the good outcomes you seek.
Outsource to an SEO Agency
Alternatively, you can hire an SEO consultant / agency. The upside of this is that, since they’re more expert than you, with more resources, they can get your site ranked higher much faster than you could and then maintain those rankings much longer.
This allows you, then, to focus on those parts of your business you really can do on your own, without any outside help.
The downside is that it costs money to hire them, sometimes a lot of money. And, since it’s ongoing, there’ll be an ongoing fee you’ll have to pay to maintain your rankings, as well as an upfront fee.
However, many SEO consultants offer monthly maintenance plans. They’ll usually set this based on how many keywords (search phrases) you’re trying to rank for.
But beware, stay away from agencies that say they will “guarantee” number one, or even page one, rankings. Since no one knows exactly how the search engines’ algorithms work (especially Google’s) it’s impossible to guarantee that.
Plus, they may be employing “black hat” techniques which Google and the other search engines will eventually penalize you for. That will be a lot of your hard earned money down the drain when Google drops you down their rankings or, even worse, de-indexes your site altogether.
Being highly ranked on the search engines (especially Google) through a solid SEO plan, is by far the most targeted form of advertising available and something you need to give serious thought to.
Being able to build something that attracts customers to you puts you in control. You can then concentrate on other areas of your business while the prospects come searching for your offer. It means you no longer have to go out and actively seek customers.