If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, it can be hard to know whether or not you’re on the right track.
Whether you want to do your own SEO or work with an agency, it’s tough to know the right time to invest in this kind of management. The unfortunate truth is that there are a lot of dishonest and poor quality SEO agencies out there who will tell you, regardless of your situation, that you need help.
For this reason, it’s important to be aware you need help prior to going through the process of finding someone. Here are five signs you need help with your SEO.
The top 5 ways you know it’s time to invest in SEO management
It’s important to remember that if you hire an SEO too soon without any knowledge or a solid website, you could damage your site and/or your reputation. Here’s when you know it’s time to have someone manage your SEO:
1. You’re starting a redesign or a new website. This is probably the best reason you’ll need SEO management. Creating a website with SEO in mind right from the start is the best way to ensure its success in the future.
2. Your rankings are dropping quickly, and you don’t know why. Oftentimes algorithm changes or negative SEO can drop your rankings quicker than you can realize what happened. Figuring out why your rankings dropped and how to get them back up can be time consuming and technical, so a professional is your best bet (not to mention doing something wrong could get you in deeper trouble).
3. Your in-house team isn’t performing. There are quite a few benefits to hiring an in-house SEO expert or team of experts, but sometimes this isn’t going to do the trick. If you need more work done at a faster pace (but the same quality), an agency might be able to give this to you for a similar price as your in-house team. You don’t always need to layoff your in-house SEO department, but consider having them work together if things have been going badly for several months. The extra experience could work wonders.
4. If you’ve almost got it. This can refer to anything in SEO — a landing page you wanted, a cool video you need to embed, a great navigation idea you have, etc. Remember, you can bring your own thoughts to an SEO agency if you just can’t seem to figure them out on your own. Many agencies will help you with just one or two things you need and charge accordingly.
5. If one aspect of your SEO seems to be booming. If your SEO is failing, it makes sense that you’d need help. But what if your efforts are going really well? Particularly in a specific aspect of SEO, like social media or PPC? You might be great at optimizing for organic but weren’t ready for the increase in traffic from these sources (or vice versa). In other words, if you’re getting a lot of attention but you simply can’t handle the demand, it’s time for some help.
So when shouldn’t you hire an SEO agency or seek help?
If you don’t know the focus you want your site to have and are unsure of your goals, don’t talk with an SEO. An SEO should be there to help you optimize a site you really want to succeed. If you change your mind halfway through, this could cost you a lot of money.
You’re also better off not bothering with an agency right away if your current methods are working. If you’re seeing a steady increase in rankings and have a little bit of knowledge yourself, you might benefit from taking it slow. This will give you more time to assemble your team and create a real assembly line. This is most often the case for businesses in an obscure niche and/or without much competition.
Your Next Steps: Finding the Right SEO Agency
This part of the process has been written about time and time again. Do a little bit of research to make sure you’re prepared to hire a company that will help you rather than hurt you. You can read the article “SEO Company Scams: How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off” to give you an idea of what to do to stay smart.
Did you have any of these experiences before hiring someone for SEO? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.
Author bio: Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for the nationally recognized SEO firm HigherVisibility.com that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country. Her last article for SEMrush was, “Video Content Strategy: How to Become a YouTube Partner.“