Search engine optimisation is a funny old game, as the great Jimmy Greaves might say. Lots of businesses, whether they’re taking their first faltering steps on the web or grizzled e-commerce veterans, find it hard to get a handle on it. There’s a good reason for this; SEO is a subtle blend of skill and educated guesswork that is akin to an art in its own right.
This may not be apparent to someone who has only flirted with the idea of SEO. It may be that they have launched a website for their business and sat back, expecting visitors to be beating the virtual doors down in desperation to spend their money. In an effort to understand why this hasn’t happened, they do some research and come across a search engine optimisation company, which leads on to an investigation into SEO methods. On the face of it, it may seem straightforward; write a regular blog, set up a Facebook fan page, try and get some links to your site and include keywords in your content.
There are some advantages to be had in attempting this in-house. Namely, it’s cheaper and you will have an intimate knowledge of what you are writing about. However, it’s unlikely that this will outweigh the fact that an SEO novice would see minimal improvement on the search engine results pages (SERPs). There are also many traps for the unwary; doing things like posting duplicate content, buying links (which Google really, really doesn’t like) and getting the proportion of keywords wrong can diminish your rankings in the SERPs, and in extreme cases, see you banned from Google entirely.
Calling in the experts by hiring a search engine optimisation company is the only real path to follow. A reputable one will not offer a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but should provide you with a detailed report on your site, and offer a bespoke campaign to inject some life into your online profile. Furthermore, an ethical SEO firm would not entertain methods that are considered underhand, such as buying links en masse, and would also review your SEO strategy over time and fine tune it.
If you take your business seriously, a good SEO company will do too.