Short answer? No. I’ll explain why in this article.
SEO is an important part of any business’s marketing strategy. In fact, it’s probably one of the more important long term strategies that is often overlooked, and thus affects their website’s rank on Google. To compensate, many small to medium sized businesses hire an SEO agency to beef up their SEO and make them “number one” on the search engine.
This article will look into whether the SEO agency is necessary and whether you should or should not hire one. This is not one of those hating on SEO agency posts. It is just some simple reasons why your business might not need an SEO agency. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s dive into the details!
I have had many clients tell me that they hired an SEO agency to strengthen their SEO position and get more business from Google searches and it did not work. It’s a very common symptom to a very broken system and unfortunately it makes our job much harder as a result. SEO is not standalone. For SEO to work and be successful, it needs to be part of a much larger digital strategy that will turn your company from being stagnant to a content production house in its own right. Oh, you thought this would be a simple fix? LOL, no.
So how does this all work then? When you’re looking at marketing today, it’s a lot more complicated than print, TV, radio, billboards and direct mail. Today, you have the ever changing list of must-haves, recommendations and options. A marketing strategy should look at your business, your target and the best approach for your specific target market. Consumer goods, such as fashion and cosmetics, are much simpler: social media, influencers with special discounts or offers, competitions, healthy ad budget and online shopping with next day delivery and a solid email campaign to remarket to people who have previously shopped. This will provide the foundation to grow a trendy business for the now-crowd, and these businesses often have someone in-house running their marketing with few segments outsourced.
Marketing a niche business product or service to industries is a whole other kettle of fish, and this is where the hiccup happens, or at least from what I see. Many smaller businesses don’t have the budget to hire an all-round marketing manager, as their salary should be about £40-50k/year, so internally, non-marketing people without in-depth industry knowledge roll up their sleeves and try to tackle it themselves. They are aware that SEO is important, social media is where they should be because that is where people are spending their time, but what they don’t know is how the industry has changed and the nuances in between those broad strokes. If you’re someone who has tried this before, I mean zero offence to your approach and I commend you for trying to do it yourself and get your hands dirty, but what you really needed was someone to lay it all out for you and then you dive in. Marketing is not what it used to be. It’s still a lot of trial and error, but you have to have some meat in the game. It’s not cheap and cheerful if you want real results.
Now where does SEO come in? Remember that person who wanted to DIY their marketing? 9 out of 10 times, they would have hired an SEO agency that promises to put them on the front page of Google in six months by tweaking with keywords, internal linking and… you guessed it, backlinks. Backlinks… the holy grail of SEO that brings such promise with it. Here’s the catch: unless you’re back linked by several website that have 80-100 domain authority, you’re not going to be rich and famous, and this does not include social media.
The whole puzzle, including SEO
For SEO to work, you need the other pieces of the puzzle. We’re walking you through a short list of the most important pieces of the puzzle, for SEO to work in your favour.
Websites – Your website needs to be search engine optimised to start with. This is your foundation. Get an audit done, determine your keywords, re-write all of your content, and while you’re at it, look at the layout of your website and make sure that it’s working for you and not against you.
Blogging – This is a must for SEO. Changing keywords on your website will never be enough, as a keyword strategy is a long haul plan that will put you on the first page, but your message has to be consistent, and frequent. Google does not like an inactive website. Also, blogging shows off your authority and competency on a subject, so why wouldn’t you do this?
Social media – While you might not think you need social media, you do. Social sharing of those blog posts can give you a 25% boost in ranking. So, get writing and get sharing those articles! It’s not complicated but it’s time consuming and necessary.
Email marketing – Oh, you guys hate this list don’t you? Yes, email marketing is important because you see those blogs you have written? This is a great way of getting people to open them, read them and share them. Also, once people get used to getting little nuggets of gold in your emails, they will be more likely to read them.
Advertising – The bane of the marketing world, advertising. Yes, you’ve spent money on writing the damn blogs so put a little more into giving them a nudge on the most popular platforms… Yes, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc etc. That nudge can give you the extra boost in visibility that your current rank needs.
This isn’t a fool proof list, and there is a LOT more that goes into SEO and digital marketing, but if I told you everything, then I’d have no more secrets…. And where would that leave me? 🤣 At least this way, you can see that SEO doesn’t really have too much to do with SEO only… it’s a cog in a whole system, not the system itself, and it needs all the other moving parts for it to work.
You should hire an SEO agency for a strategy, or for a consultation, but if you’re a small business without an internal marketing team and a competent writer, I would advise against it, since it wouldn’t make sense financially. You will not get the returns you’re looking for, which is more revenue or sales, and you will leave the experience feeling like you have wasted money, tarnishing your future with marketing agencies who might have a solution for you.
Thank you for reading my editorial. It’s been a blast! And if you need any of the above mentioned services, well, just pop me a message and let’s see what I can do for you!
About TILT Creative
TILT Creative is a UK based creative agency specialising in content creation and managed solutions for blogs, websites, branding and social media. Désiré, the chief writer, artist and strategist behind TILT Creative, has worked with a variety of clients (from startups to luxury brands) across all kinds of industries (such as automotive, beverage, construction, oil and gas, tourism, and health and safety) across the United Kingdom, Dubai and the Caribbean.
TILT Creative’s core philosophy is to change the perspective, or ‘tilt’ it. How can you TILT your business? Could it be a brand refresh, a better experience on your website, or perhaps a stronger blog strategy? Maybe writing a book on your expertise could skyrocket your company’s credibility and revenue?
Désiré’s work quality stems from her ability to infuse your brand’s story with the essence of abstract creativity, and disseminate a unique experience to your customers on an individual level, while meeting your business’ objectives. Her comprehensive research process, attention to detail, and pursuit of perfection embellishes every piece of her work: writing and design. The results are always favourable.