Many small business owners, when they first start out, learn how to do everything from bookkeeping to public relations, on their own. SEO is one of the hats that entrepreneurs wear in the beginning. It’s possible for just about anyone to perform a few basic SEO moves well enough to optimize the company website on their own. At some point, however, business owners need to think about finding a good SEO agency to take better care of their optimization. How do you know that it’s time to call in the professionals? The answer is, you look for a few signs.
1. You’re too busy to do SEO yourself
Businesses often begin to look for an SEO agency to outsource their optimization to when they reach a position where they can no longer do it themselves, but aren’t large enough yet to retain a team in-house. There is too much work for current employees to handle, but not enough to justify new ones. It’s a good time to talk to professional SEO agencies when you can no longer handle work in-house.
2. You’ve done all you can on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
Often, new companies starting out begin to create an audience for themselves online through social media. They do a good job of cultivating a following in the beginning but see their results plateau after a while.
While businesses can effectively create a following, it’s important to have a professional look at whether the following created is the right kind. If your social media presence doesn’t translate to better sales, an SEO agency can help you leverage your following into better results on the search engines.
3. Your online advertising expenses are too high
Organic search traffic can be hard for businesses to find when they are just starting out. Pay-per-click advertising can help put them in front of audiences. It can quickly become expensive, however. If the traffic generated doesn’t translate to customers, it can be outflow that is hard to justify. When your PPC expenses seem too high for the benefit that you obtain from them, SEO can be a far more profitable way to go about finding online traffic.
While SEO can take a minimum of 6 months to begin working, it can offer momentum after that point. It also comes with none of the costs of advertising. PPC is still a good idea; it should be done alongside of SEO, however, for improved return on your investment.
4. You need reputation management
You may have reviews by unhappy customers appearing on searches for your company’s name. Your competition may have unflattering things to say about you, that appear in searches, as well. If you only have time to do a little basic SEO, you won’t be able to devote yourself to creating positive buzz around your company’s name online to take negative mentions off the first page. If you find that the search engines present negative information about you, you need professional SEO to manage your reputation.
5. Your business relies on a local audience
If your primary audience is local to your city, they probably search for your kind of business by location. It is important to perform local SEO to show up on such searches. If you aren’t sure how to have your name show up on map searches or how to get listed with your location and phone number on the search engines, you need to know that these are just as important as traditional SEO. An optimization company should be able to help you appear in all the right places for a local audience.
6. You’re expanding beyond your own city
If you’ve already managed to do well in your own city, and need to branch out, you need a professional SEO agency to help you find out what kind of optimization budget you need to make a name for yourself in an established market. When you have an SEO agency on your team, you can discuss the competition that you have for the most important keywords, and create a plan to rank for them.
7. You’re planning on building a new website
If you’re planning a major overhaul of your existing site or building a new website altogether, you have to deal with considerable disruption to your linking structure. You don’t want these changes to affect your search engine rankings. If you’re planning major changes, you need to bring an SEO agency into the loop as early in the design process as possible. They should be able to make sure that the changes to your website don’t result in poor rankings.
If you’re a new small business, you need to take your web presence seriously. When you don’t believe that you can do justice to the SEO requirements of your business working by yourself, you should begin to think about bringing optimization professionals in.