We’ve finally reached a point in business where SEOs are viewed as unnecessary. Business owners either think “SEO is dead” or “SEO is common knowledge,” so they don’t go through the effort of sourcing and hiring quality SEO consultants or agencies.
There are times, however, when you absolutely must hire an SEO. Whether you go the agency or the consultant route is up to you. The important thing is that you gain the expertise and experience of someone who can advise you at a critical juncture. Here are those five areas when you must hire and SEO.
When Launching a New Site
Let’s say you want to redesign your site. Maybe your old site has performance or UX issues. Maybe you’re just doing some basic sprucing up. Whatever. No big deal, right?
Actually, it could be a big deal. It could obliterate your traffic.
Small redesigns may not be a major problem. But when you start messing with categories, a different CMS, new pages, and other similar stuff, you could be headed towards trouble.
Countless horror stories have documented that tragic drop that comes when a new site is released. In his SEJ article Glenn Gabe writes, “You want scary? I’ve got scary.” And then he displays the scare he’s talking about:
He not only redesigned the site, but migrated the CMS, too. Double whammy.
In this situation, you need the help of an SEO to do the following:
- Crawl your site
- Provide SEO recommendations on early-stage design mockups or wireframes
- Conduct development site reviews
- Consult with developers on the use of Java
- Conduct an inbound link analysis
- Create a 301 redirect map
- Provide page title recommendations
- Provide H1 recommendations
- Perform a content audit
- Monitor response codes post launch
There are a variety of things that need to happen from an SEO perspective. This is not an issue where you want to wing it on your own or hope things turn out alright. You need an SEO.
When Getting Started in Digital Marketing
If you’re new to the field of digital marketing, an SEO could become your best friend.
An SEO’s job used to be pretty simple—create title tags, H1s, and metas. Today, it’s a lot more complicated. As digital marketing has evolved into its current state of monstrosity, SEO has evolved as well.
Now there’s more rules to the game. Many business owners have a grasp on SEO’s basic concepts. But are you familiar with the following?
- Optimizing Robots.txt
- Integrating Google Analytics
- Integrating Google Webmaster tools
- Putting noindex tags in place
These are now a standard part of the SEO’s tasklist, but they are less familiar to business owners or developers.
But that’s just the technical stuff—the behind the scenes of digital marketing. The digital marketing scene today involves other advanced forms of optimization such as mobile SEO and App Store Optimization.
These forms of search engagement in the digital marketing milieu are essential to survival…and they require an SEO.
When You’re Hit With Penalty
Google is still unleashing manual and algorithmic penalties thick and fast. Since Google still rules the search world, sites must adapt to its demands.
Many business owners know a few tips and tricks for “link building”. What they may not know is that these tips and tricks are now considered black hat techniques, putting them at a huge risk for a penalty.
If and when a manual penalty comes, the implications could be severe. For a company that relies on online traffic for revenue, the implications are devastating.
Analytics reports like these are commonplace for a site that has received a penalty.
Recovering from a penalty requires enormous amounts of time and effort. You can go it alone, but your efforts may either take forever, or be totally ineffective. In the long run (and the short run) you’re way better off hiring an SEO.
When Launching a Content Marketing Campaign
Content marketing is the new black. Companies of all shapes, sizes, forms, approaches, niches, and industries are engaging in this powerful form of marketing.
Even in the B2B field — notoriously slow on the uptake — content marketing is a big deal.
Unfortunately, content marketing is not as effective as it could be. Why? Because it is not integrated successfully into search engine optimization.
Content marketing and Search Engine Optimization have a lot of overlap. However, they are not the same thing. Hiring a content marketing expert does not guarantee that you will get the SEO value you need from those efforts.
This is not to say that SEO and Content Marketing are in conflict. They are most definitely not. As content marketing’s influence and impact grew, some marketers were fond of pitting the two against each other. Barry Feldman capably put this to rest in his CMI article:
As I see it, saying SEO and content are two separate marketing tactics is akin to saying headlines and copy are foes. How preposterous is that? You write headlines to get people to read copy. You then optimize your online content to get people to discover it.
The two must be integrated, but in order to do that, every content marketing needs to have an SEO angle.
- A content marketing effort needs to target the correct keywords.
- A content marketing effort needs to understand the impact of user intent on search queries.
- A content marketing effort should ensure that all technical SEO features are in place.
To sum it up, a content marketing effort needs to be integrated with SEO. If you are launching content marketing, don’t do so unless you also have advice and consultation from an SEO.
When You’re a Local Business
Today’s local businesses require local SEO.
Local SEO is easier said than done. The issue is made even more complicated by the fact that local SEO is in a constant state of flux.
Few local business owners, especially small business owners, have the time to implement all the local SEO best practices on their own. To do it, and do it right, requires a level of time and effort that few business owners can afford.
Take just one aspect of local SEO—creating local citations. There’s a hornet’s nest of risk involved in creating citations. Signing up with the wrong directories or in the wrong places could have a negative effect on SEO. But even if you do it the right way, finding the right sources for citation listing is not easy. From there, you get into the issue of creating those listings — often a mind-numbing endeavor in filling out forms.
And what if your business has ever changed names, addresses, or phone numbers? Then you introduce a whole new layer of complexity.
The importance of local SEO experts has grown in recent months. Local businesses can no longer stay above the fray of search engine optimization. With the mushrooming of mobile searchers, your business could either sink or float based on the success of your local SEO efforts.
Hiring an experienced and capable local SEO is usually the best solution.
There may come a day when we don’t need SEOs and SEO agencies. There may even come a day when the SEO-is-dead crowd is finally justified in their predictions.
But we’re not quite there yet.
In the meantime, you may wish to ask for some help from an SEO. It won’t just help your business. It could save your business.