Getting your business to show up on the front page of Google rankings is critical. In fact, studies show that the top link in Google search results gets clicked by 30% of searchers. If you can get to that coveted top spot, you’ll get significantly more traffic – and significantly more business.
Reaching that point, however, isn’t always easy. In fact, depending on the keywords you’re trying to score for, it can seem like it’s almost impossible. This is especially true when you’re doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your own. Yes, you can learn most of what you need to know about SEO by studying, but actually making it work for you can be a bit more challenging.
That’s where a SEO company can come in. SEO companies specialize in getting businesses to the top of search engine rankings.
There are some definite positives to seeking help from a SEO company, including:
- It saves you time. The fact of the matter is that SEO takes time. You’re not in business because you want to do SEO for websites; you’re in business to do whatever else it is that you do. Having someone else handle the SEO for your site frees you up to do what you’re best at: running your business.
- SEO has a significant learning curve. While you can certainly self-teach what you need to know about SEO, it takes a significant investment in time. Not only that, SEO companies have real-world experience. They’ve studied and analyzed specific sites. They understand how the search engines work not only in theory, but in practice.
- SEO companies have a track record of success. We’re assuming, of course, that you choose an SEO company that has a verifiable track record. Simply picking one at random is never a good idea. Being able to demonstrate where they’ve put previous clients high in the search rankings shows that they can do the same thing for you.
- It lets you keep in step with algorithm changes. The search engines are constantly refining their algorithms in order to produce useful results for the searcher. What this means is that today’s SEO strategies won’t necessarily produce strong search engine results tomorrow. SEO companies have their finger on the pulse of the search world, and they can help you respond in an agile fashion to these kinds of changes.
- Your SEO strategy will be comprehensive. If you develop a SEO strategy on your own, chances are you’re going to miss some important components. SEO companies are professionals, and they know what systems and processes you need to boost your rankings.
All of that considered, there are some drawbacks to seeking help from a SEO company, too:
- SEO companies can be expensive. It’s not cheap to hire an SEO company, especially one with proven results. The best SEO companies come at a premium. If you’re first starting out or if your business is in a cash crunch, there’s a good chance you just can’t afford to hire a SEO company right now.
- Not every SEO company is reputable. Some SEO companies use questionable or even outright forbidden techniques to boost your website to the top of the rankings. While these techniques might fool the search engines for a short amount of time, eventually they’re going to be found out. If a company is using so-called “Black Hat” SEO, it can actually cause your search engine rankings to drop drastically.
- There are no guarantees of success. Generally speaking, your contract with the SEO company won’t promise you first-page results in Google. That doesn’t mean you won’t get there, or that the company isn’t good at what they do, of course. The search engines are highly competitive, and there are plenty of other businesses out there jockeying for position for your keywords. You might spend several thousand dollars with an SEO company only to see your rankings improve from page 10 of Google results to page 6 of Google results.
Whether or not you look to a SEO company for help depends on a number of factors. If you have the money and a reputable SEO company, it can absolutely be worth it. On the other hand, if you’re in a niche that’s not terribly competitive and have plenty of extra time to master SEO techniques on your own, the ROI of an SEO company may not be as high. You need to check your budget and do some basic research into keyword competitiveness before you make that final decision.
Sara Schoonover is Vice President of of Ticket Kick, a California company that helps drivers to reduce speeding fines and/or get speeding tickets, and other traffic tickets dismissed by helping drivers through the trial by written declaration process. The company, which formally launched in 2010 after providing similar services since 2006, is the leading company in this space and growing rapidly.