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Why You Should NEVER Hire an SEO (and why you should)

January 22, 2020


Let's talk about why you should NEVER consider hiring an SEO

And.... WHY should SHOULD.

Read on and allow me to explain.

As a business owner, or digital marketing leader, you might be thinking about whether or not you actually need to hire an SEO consultant. 

If that's you, this piece is something you should read.

Let me start by saying, that as someone who has been inside the digital marketing world, particularly specialized in search engine optimization since about 2004, I've been a huge proponent of the need for a well organized SEO program, led by a professional SEO. 

The Power of SEO as Marketing Channel

What still surprises me after all these years is those who just still really do not understand the power SEO can have on the overall success of your business. 

We do know that the need for solid, smart, and expert SEOs and those who just starting out... is TREMENDOUS In 2019 there was an 81% increase in SEO Job openings over 2018. So the need for SEOs is clearly there.

First, let me begin by showing you a few stats on the topic of SEO as a marketing channel and the power it still yields. 

According to a recent SearchEngineJournal Poll  ... and this isn't the only report conducted. There have been so many others over the years, yet SEO is still the Jan Brady of the digital marketing channels... why? 

seo highest ROI

OK but that still doesn't address why you should NEVER hire an SEO consultant. 

Let's get into that right now.

There are many I speak with who should absolutely NEVER, EVER hire an SEO agency or consultant for the following reasons

1. They Would Rather Spend Their OWN time Doing it Themselves

If that's you, perfect. Keep on doing what you're doing. By the way, how's that working out for you? Are you spending a good 20 hours of your week digging into your keyword ranking tools or doing keyword research until midnight?

Have you actually calculated your time? 

If you spend 20 hours (that's probably being pretty conservative, those doing this themselves are likely spending more on any given week) of your week on doing SEO when you could be speaking on the phone booking new business appointments with prospective new customers, is that really a good use of your time? 

(Your Time) * (SEO Time) = Wasted Time or calculated in another way what is your hourly rate? This is the cost of what it would take for you to do those SEO tasks better left for SEO professionals to own. Not to mention the fact that this stuff isn't easy to keep up with.

Any idea how many times Google makes big updates, small updates and algorithm changes throughout the course of a year? Back in 2010 we were lucky to see 1 or 2 changes each year. Now, it's nuts. 

If you think SEO is just writing new content, making a good title tag with a killer head keyword in there and making sure Google My Business is all set - you have a lot more to learn. 

2. I Would Never Pay Anyone To Run a Technical SEO Audit. 

Yes, if that is you, please do not bother to pay anyone to run your SEO program. Most of what I do is education. That's because in 2020, SEO is still vague to many, unclear and confusing. How then, would anyone think that running a technical SEO audit would pay for itself? 

Running a thorough technical SEO audit is always advised no matter how old your site is, how much or how little traffic you get or even if you just launched your site last month. 

When you learn what could potentially be holding your site back from getting all its pages in the search engine index that could actually make you money. Yes, paying for a technical site audit could actually make you money because if that SEO consultant uncovers any number of crawl inhibitors and solves them through remediation you could actually see increases in your organic traffic. 

Don't believe me. I actually have loads of case studies that enabled my clients to see an ROI after the audit, and after we implemented all the corrective changes within just a few weeks or months. Traffic and sales shot back way up from there. 

3. "I Actually Know it All and Don't Respect Your Professional Opinion"

Yes, if this is you, please don't even bother hiring an SEO consultant. I'll just leave this here. It pretty much says it all. If you have no respect for another professional, how then can any professional respect you? There are many really brilliant SEOs out there, myself included, that don't or shouldn't suffer fools - so spare us and save us all a lot of time, headaches and stress and just revert to #1 above. 


Who SHOULD Work With an SEO Consultant or Agency? 

There are many types of businesses that should actually find and hire an SEO professional.  I'll start with the obvious first. 

1. You Have a Digital Marketing Manager 

If you already have someone in your team that owns all digital marketing, maybe they are a digital marketing manager or director. 

They can oversee all the day to day in digital marketing operations, but to be honest that likely don't have the very deep specialization that you can get with a deeply specialized SEO professional. If you have them manage all your digital marketing efforts they will likely not have time to dedicate to each activity with the time and effort needed.  I've come across this far too often. 

One situation a well known watch brand in a very similar situation. They have a digital marketing manager. The guy is managing all the Paid Search, SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing, Analytics...

This person is extremely overwhelmed and needed to hire an SEO consultant. That's someone who needs other support so that he can dedicate his time and energy to the overall strategy side of that very large global brand. 

2. You Either Own or Work for a Multi-Million Dollar Business

If you want to remain at all competitive, you need to hire an SEO agency or consultant. Each year there should be some dedicated budget put towards your digital marketing efforts. You might never had SEO work done on the site, because you relied heavily on referral traffic from affiliates or aggregator sites.

The problem with that is the same problem as "word of mouth" marketing.... it can be highly unreliable and eventually go away. Avoid that, and hire yourself a professional SEO consultant. 

3. You Have a Paid Search Program with Google and Bing

If you have paid search, but NO SEO... you should absolutely make sure you have an SEO program working in coordination with your paid search efforts. It just makes the paid search budget go a lot further. 

You also get to learn and test keywords through your paid search campaigns. Identify which keywords you should be targeting and optimizing for because you see a direct ROI, but maybe the cost per click is also high. 

2020 future of seo

Ok you still might be asking "Why Do I need SEO Services? 

Anytime your site undergoes major changes including but not limited to, a site redesign, migration (moving one site to another location), replatforming (migrating from WordPress to Shopify, etc), expanding internationally, enhancing your brand awareness... all valid reasons for needing and acquiring SEO services. 

Hiring an individual SEO consultant or agency is almost always a lot less expensive than hiring an in-house full time employee. 

With Google and other search engines constantly tweaking their algorithms, having a team that is always in-the-know can prove invaluable when responding to sudden changes.

Is SEO Important for Small Business? 

Absolutely! The notion that there's not enough space for you or that you can't possibly compete with larger competitors is small thinking. I know the organic rankings have changed, and there's less room for organic search rankings.... but it's still the #1 place YOUR customers and clients go to research and find solutions to their problems. You MUST be found so that you can let them know you have what they need. 

Ultimately, it's up to you...

I hope I've been able to provide you with something to think about. There's a lot to consider. What one business decides to do may not work for another. 

This is what we do, so if you have any questions or want to discuss your strategy - fill out the form below and let's chat! 






About the author 

Janet Bartoli

Founder and Strategist-in-Chief With over 16 years experience creating and managing SEO, and digital marketing programs for some of the world’s most iconic brands (Verizon, Fiat, Payless Shoes, Bank of Montreal, etc)

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