SEO: do it yourself or outsource?
Gone are the days when you simply incorporated a relevant keyword thirty times in one blog and thus ended up high in Google's search results. We now live a large number of Google updates and to be found online, you have to deliver quality. This quality consists of all kinds of facets, which we collect under the term SEO: Search Engine Optimization. But can you actually do this yourself today, as a non-SEO specialist? Or do you by definition have to hire experts for this?
Aimed at the users
To be able to make that choice for your company or website, you first have to form a picture of what SEO means today. Until a few years ago, a website was mainly SEO-proof if relevant keywords often – very often – returned and there were many – very many – links from other websites to your pages. Result: loads of contentless websites with only hyperlinks and websites full of cringe-inducing SEO texts, with titles such as 'Placing a dormer yourself'.
However, search engines in general, and Google – with 96% market share being the most used – in particular, have evolved and that has benefited the internet as a whole. What we have seen happen in recent years is that Google took such a prominent place in the internet landscape that pages, websites and actually large parts of the internet were designed to the 'taste' of Google. A text was no longer written for the reader, but for the search engine. Nowadays, search engines work more advanced and good, nice websites are better valued than websites with only a bucket of links and keywords. In other words, Google sets high standards.
Technical condition of your website
When valuing pages and websites, Google looks at dozens of properties, including keywords and links. The big difference with 'before', however, is that Google tries to estimate how likely it is that the user's question will be answered in a pleasant way with the help of your site. And there is more to it.
A fast loading time, for instance. The amount content. The presence of internal and external left – and the absence of dead links. The quality of the security and the state of the safety certificates. And there are many more technical business that Google reviews. In short: Google performs an APK check on your website and takes those results into account before it is warmly recommended to internet users. With this, Google is taking its role as intermediary more seriously than before: it only refers you to a website if it believes in good conscience that you can find your information there in a safe, pleasant and flexible way.
A stranger in the kitchen
Do you want to arrange all this yourself, or is it wiser to have a SEO agency to turn on? Because SEO is much more related to the overall quality of your website than it used to be, it's not something you quickly add to your pages on a Saturday afternoon. You do SEO completely, or not at all, and you do it from the moment you first get started with your website. Have you never done it on your current site? Then you will have to start again. A hard conclusion, but the truth.
There are plenty SEO companies who take care of the entire SEO issue on your website. Advantage: you no longer have to worry about it. You provide the substantive information and the SEO agency does the rest. SEO is not something you fix once, but you will have to apply, refine and maintain it continuously.
The disadvantage of an SEO agency is that there is probably no substantive knowledge about your industry at such an agency. It's like having a kitchen built by someone who never cooks. You will therefore have to keep a finger on the pulse and provide substantive input yourself. You actually want to continuously check whether the end result – the website as it is online – still meets your personal wishes and whether the marketing strategy of your company.
What does an SEO agency cost?
Finally, there are the costs. An SEO agency does not work for nothing, of course, but a website with a lot of traffic also provides you - if it is good - a lot of income. Whether the benefits exceed the costs also depends on the industry you are in. If you work in a niche, you probably have few competitors and you have to put in less effort to be found by Google. If you have many competitors, the bar is automatically raised. You will have to beat many websites. That requires continuous link building.
In any case, a website that is not SEO-proof will let you miss out on a lot of income and that also 'costs' money. Hiring an SEO specialist is also not free. And you can do it all yourself, but be prepared for a few hours a week of extra work and a start-up period in which you will have to learn everything in practice.