As a small business ecommerce, should we do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by ourself or hire an agency or consultant?
5 👍🏽5 35 💬🗨
it's worth trying it yourself, you'll learn as you go by, going with others you won't know.
I agree, learning is great. But making errors along the way for eCommerce can cost a business a lot of untapped sales. Errors also aren't that obvious until months later, so recovery from them will have cost the business time as well as money.
#Perry Bernard Yes, but "if they" find the right SEO tool themselves that is out there, then they can overcome the errors by learning as they go will save the untapped sales. The way I do SEO audits of any page is do it right at the beginning of well before submitting for indexing, it's the only way.
Perry Bernard 👑 » Jaroslaw
Totally agree about doing it right before going live with it if you can, but that's hard, it changed in the time it took you to build it. On "SEO tools", only as good as the skills you have at interpreting the output.
Perry Bernard 👑
It totally depends on your skill set, and the resource you have available to assign to the task. If either of those are lacking compared to a professional, then there's a probability that you lose ground, or worse. Generally, the cost of having that expertise in house is greater than the cost of hiring an expert. The cost of making mistakes is even more. But this does depend on picking the right consultant. One who has proven expertise is often more expensive per hour but more effective and much less likely to make errors in direction.
How many skus?
Gossage » Niclas
Don't undersell yourself, that doesn't sound like a small business to me. I've worked for £bn ecommerce sites with less products.
Niclas ✍️ » Gossage
We have small business revenue
Ammon Johns 👑
There are three main sources of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and all three have certain strengths and weaknesses.
The in-house SEO team give the most value for money, since you get ALL of their salaried time devoted to your site. That's a lot cheaper than paying an agency about the cost of one junior to mid skill SEO users salary for just a few hours a week on your case. BUT, being in-house, they have the least exposure to other markets, to cross-training their knowledge and staying up to date. The skill level of an in-house team tends to narrow and decline over time unless the company is super-strict with itself about not using all their time, and basically having about 20% of their time dedicated to learning, branching out, and honing their skills constantly.
In-house gives the company the absolute highest value for money, but is the fastest to go stale.
The agency SEO has the most exposure to multiple markets and techniques, and has co-workers to constantly trade ideas and skills with. But you pay through the nose for the agency SEO. I think this one is clear – absolutely the worst for cost, but one of the best for not being blinkered by a single case or project.
The third way is the consultant or freelancer. These may often be a sort of midway between the other two – rarely having as many clients on the go at a time as an agency, but still far more than any in-house staff. Far cheaper than an agency, as they have less layers of middlemen, managers, and support staff to pay from the fees. Often freelancers are the absolute best way to get specialists for particular tasks or skills, such as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) or whatever.
One thing I strongly recommend is that you pick any 2 of the three. Usually the value for money of the in-house is an obvious choice, so then either use an agency or freelancer to do the more strategic side, and to help keep the in-house guy(s) trained up and aware of what's new outside of the one site.
Depends on your business and skillset. If you are running a local business, you can probably do it yourself. If you are running an online business — get an agency.
Even if you have all the skills and knowledge, like I do, you will quickly find out that it takes up a lot of your time and you will not be able to do link building yourself as you do not have the resources.
Word of advice — do not pick the cheapest (e.q. from India) And do not pick those those who promise you to get you on the first page in a short time. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long, continuously evolving process.
Thanks for the advice, i got offers from india
We hired an agency and basically threw $40,000 down the drain.
We've done the SEO ourselves for the past 18 months and have gone from 800 visitors per month to 1200 visitors per day.
If you have the time to learn the process then definitely, do it yourself.
You hired the wrong agency, or perhaps you and they were not on the same page.
Possibly, but after learning it myself, I feel as though my money will take my site far further than they could.
$2k spend totally on SEO vs an agency that spends $1000 on SEO deliverables and takes $1000 profit.
Perry Bernard 👑 » Delah
Effective SEO is definitely proprietor actioned. But the technical SEO delivery and the planning and strategy still best left to professionals. Good on you for taking a lead on it and doing well. Many try and fail horribly – by this I mean they might not make a mess, but they may be misguided for months while their business flounders or even dies because they didn't invest in professional help when they should have.
Agreed, it's not for everyone and it is a medium that lends itself to a big learning curve and a large level of jargon.
Honestly, once you siphon through the snake oil and crap gurus put forth it's one of the most useful skills an entrepreneur can have.
Don't ever use Agency's, as Delah wrote waste of space and money.
My clients make more $$$ coz they let us do the SEO for them. Not every agency is trash. You just have to learn how to find the right ones. Proof is the number of quotations for my client for month of August:
Hey Niclas there's always two sides of the coin here. I've worked with clients where I help them build their own in-house team and it worked great because they want to get their hands dirty.
But most of my clients wants to focus solely on what they do best – their business.
Both options are great but it comes with caveats.
Christine Hansen 🎓
I so like Ammon Johns idea of hiring a freelancer. Perhaps a 50/50 would be a good choice, leaving the freelance captain at the helm of the whole project, whilst interactively doing the SEO day-to-day choirs by whatever rules the freelancer sets, having this person overlook and adjust everything.
Adam J. Humphreys 👑
I would want references of their other work in particular your niche. Go on Google ads plunk into the keywords ad planner tool (free) your niche you'd like to rank for and isolate the competitive terms. See if they have ranked for those anywhere.
Tim Capper 👑
I think learning the basics is always beneficial, because you look at online assest you have available with a … how can I leverage this.
Back to the original question – do you have the time to learn an entire new field? What time do you have available as opposed to running your business?
Plus, if you don't know much about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) it is very hard to assess any offers (or talents) of agencies or freelancers other than by their portfolio (and a portfolio only shows the wins, not what percentage of clients were not winners).
Perry Bernard 👑 » Ammon Johns
That's because they only have winners, Ammon. 😉