Outsource or DIY – SEO step by step guide

So, should you outsource SEO in your business or should you go for the DIY option and try to do it in-house? We are asked this question frequently. After all, there are a huge number of blogs, guides, tip sheets and more on the internet so it is possible, theoretically, to do it yourself.

This could save you time. In addition, you may have heard stories about poor quality SEO consultants who don’t deliver or, worse, leave your website in a worse position than it was before.

The Building Metaphor

When thinking about the question of whether to outsource or go DIY, it can be helpful to think about building an extension to your house (providing you are not a builder or in the building trade). It is possible to do it yourself, particularly with all the instructional videos that are on YouTube. It will take up a lot of your time, however, plus it will simply take longer than if the project is completed by a professional.

In addition, the quality of the work will be to a lower standard than that done by a professional. You might even make mistakes that won’t become apparent for months or years after the build is complete. You might even make costly mistakes that you have to rectify immediately, such as mistakes that put you in breach of building regulations.

So, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. You might think it will save you money, but when you consider everything in the round, including the cost of your time, you will probably end up spending more.

What about avoiding the cowboy builder (i.e. the so-called SEO expert who doesn’t really have a clue what they are doing)? This shouldn’t prevent you from outsourcing either. Instead of going DIY, you should spend time making sure you get the right SEO provider – someone who is realistic, that delivers what they say they will, and who you can trust.

Reasons You Should Outsource SEO

To clarify the points above, here are the main reasons why you should outsource SEO in your business:

  • SEO changes fast – Google’s search algorithm changes all the time, as do industry best practices. When focusing on your own business, you simply won’t have time to keep up with these changes.
  • Requires specific expertise – SEO requires specific expertise, such as the production of high-quality content for your website and other locations. If you have the skills to produce this content you will be at an advantage, but not everybody does.
  • Requires consistency – often, businesses that take the DIY approach do SEO for a while before other business pressures take over. SEO then becomes less of a priority until a focus is put back on it again. Proper SEO requires consistent effort, however.
  • Easy to get wrong – like many elements of digital marketing, SEO is easy to get wrong. You might read and implement bad or outdated advice, for example. While you can do this in good faith, it can still lower your rankings in Google search and might even result in a penalty. A high-quality, professional SEO consultant will be aware of the pitfalls and risks so can avoid them.
  • Very complex – the tools and strategies used to deliver effective SEO are very complex. One example is Google Analytics. You might have a basic or average understanding of this tool, but you may not be aware of all it can do. An SEO consultant will, however, and will be able to use that knowledge to improve your SEO.

Doing DIY SEO definitely has its advantages but for most businesses, outsourcing is the better option.