Small business SEO: Don’t outsource it!

Small business SEO: Don’t outsource it!

It’s only in the last year that I’ve realised the sweet joy of outsourcing.

You take your problem and make it someone else’s. What could be better?

Instead of fiddling with my site code, I now have an awesome developer. Rather than waste hours trying to do my BAS, I have a bookkeeper. I even use a copy editor and proofreader to check my copy (it’s so hard to find your own mistakes).

But when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation I don’t outsource.

And neither should you.

“Well that’s easy for you to say!” I hear you cry. “You’re an SEO copywriter.”

Yes that’s fair, but I started out as just a copywriter. I went solo four years ago in a horrendously competitive market. The only way I could get to the top of the rankings (and I did) was to learn SEO. ON MY OWN.

Is learning SEO really important?

If your small business uses a website as a storefront, then SEO is crucial to your business success—especially if you don’t use other advertising options.

Every small business needs a well-optimised site that ranks highly for its chosen keywords and is packed with engaging, shareable content. So it can seem like a great idea to outsource your SEO to another company and make it their problem.

But here’s what usually happens.

A dodgy SEO company:

  • Writes some guest blogs posts and places them on sites such as eHow
  • Cobbles together some back links from dubious sources
  • Enters your site in some free directories
  • Charges you a big lump of money each month

A good SEO company:

  • Does everything above but in a legitimate and high quality way
  • Runs an SEO site audit and suggests updates and amends
  • Helps you generate a content strategy and develop blog content for your site including videos, infographics, etc.
  • Does some other clever whizz bang stuff that’s worth paying for—if you can afford it
  • Charges you a bigger lump of money each month

If you have a big marketing budget, using an SEO company could be the answer. Some of the good guys out there really do know their stuff and can make a huge difference to your site.

But if you’re small, skint, stingy or just starting out, then you really need to learn to do it yourself.

I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t seek advice from an expert now and again. But in reality, good SEO is a continuous effort. There are no easy answers, no quick fixes, and no amount of money will secure that top spot.

Instead you should educate yourself, and make some time each week to focus on your SEO.

Here are some great places to learn:

An SEO eCourse is a great place to start

SEO can just be a giant pain in the bum to be honest.  Not only is it stuffed full of technical gobbledygook, it changes every five minutes and the so-called SEO experts never seem to agree.

But I believe ANYONE can learn the basics of Search Engine Optimisation and that’s why I created The Recipe for SEO Success eCourse.

This 8-week eCourse shows you my tried and tested SEO tactics that can deliver higher rankings, more traffic and more conversions.

It’s a practical, beginner-level SEO eCourse that gives you the confidence to manage your own SEO.

If you want to learn more about it – go and check it out.

The reality of small business SEO

Recently Kelley contacted me for some SEO advice. She was about to sign up with an SEO company for a fairly chunky monthly fee over a minimum of 12 months.  Kelley was nervous, she’d have to make a lot of sales to meet the costs.

So instead she opted to have me carry out an SEO audit of the site and provide some recommendations she could manage herself.

Here’s what Kelley from ToadLane told me after I completed her audit, just last week:

“The world of SEO can be quite daunting and confusing for small business owners, and I am very pleased that a friend recommended Kate’s services to me (as I was about to spend way too much on a SEO package with another provider).

I signed up for Kate’s Pick My Brain package and my biggest takeaway has been Kate telling me that small business owners must live and breathe their own SEO strategy and approach, and that there is no need to pay big bucks for someone else to do it for you!

I have learnt so much from my discussions with Kate and also from reading some of her many useful blog postings and articles from her website. I now have a full SEO audit of my site and a huge to do list!

But most importantly I have a plan and now feel much more confident about the world of SEO, and I’ve saved a truckload of money! Thanks Kate, you truly know your stuff and I would highly recommend you to other small business owners.”

Eating the SEO elephant one bite at a time

SEO is a huge subject and there’s heaps to learn. But you don’t have to do everything at once.  Pick one thing, such as your title tags, and work on that. Then move to the next job.

I’m still fixing SEO bugs on my site every week. I’m still learning. I’m still experimenting.

But the best thing is, I’m in control. I know why things work and why they don’t. I’m not handing over big lumps of cash to some Snake Oil SEO salesman. And if I can do it, you can do it too.

How do you do your SEO?

Do you use an SEO company, or do you look after your SEO yourself? What are your biggest challenges?

Did you like this post?

You might like my book ‘Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur | How to succeed despite yourself’ – buy it online here.

Want to have a chat?

If you need a Copywriter, SEO Consultant or Information Architect, then please contact me.

The Recipe for SEO Success
The Clever Copywriting School

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