Home Forums Tech talk Why most small-medium business shouldn’t outsource SEO

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  • #1175165
    Byron Trzeciak
    Member
    • Total posts: 422

    Hi Help4bis

    Tools can provide automation and might be used in issue identification, research, reporting etc. but no tool is able to do it all. Human logic is required to do a quality job.

    For example website structure is something that requires research, which might use tools, but only human logic will be able to identify a website structure that meets the business goals based on competition and investment.

    At the same time, onsite optimisation requires hands on time to resolve the issues discovered. Tools can provide basic recommendations but they cannot resolve issues or identify high level issues such as Google penalties, over optimised link profiles, negative SEO etc.

    Another example might be link building where you might use a tool to identify link building opportunities. The tool may assist with processing large datasets but then it takes a human to engage in outreach and gain the link opportunity.

    These are just a sample of examples.

    Cheers

    #1175166
    AmberS
    Member
    • Total posts: 66
    brendan29, post: 203773 wrote:
    Please correct me if I am wrong, but for sub-$1000 or even $2000 per month, would any SEO company/freelancer put in the time to research your business, write great website copy, create great link-worthy content and outreach to relevant websites to get links?

    It isn’t about the time or the monthly spend on this, it is about who you engage. As someone who manages the inbound marketing for a number of clients at around the $2000/month mark (less than this and you struggle to get enough quality work done each month to see results) – I do really care about their business, we always do an initial data gather to make sure we know as much about the business as we can, we work with the clients constantly, tweaking and adjusting strategy and approach. We have only Uni educated people working on the content, we do great infographics for clients as well as video, social media, offline marketing materials…

    Maybe we are different because we aren’t an SEO company, we aren’t a digital marketing agency, we do marketing and know the importance and relevance of SEO, content, social and offline and can use the given hours to the best advantage of each client. Of course the more a client is involved and contributes, the more bang for their buck they’ll get.

    But I’d say for smaller businesses, where every dollar spent is important, finding a provider that will work best for you is essential, and the bigger guys may not be the best option for limited budgets.

    #1175167
    MissSassy
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,255

    I completely agree with this post and it is something that I teach all my small business owners to do the themselves.

    You can make a massive difference when you know just a free things. Naturally the professionals have their place but for micro business they MUST do it themselves if they are going to be found and eventually progress to being able to outsource.

    #1175168
    help4bis.com
    Member
    • Total posts: 268
    Byron Trzeciak, post: 203951 wrote:
    Hi Help4bis

    Tools can provide automation and might be used in issue identification, research, reporting etc. but no tool is able to do it all. Human logic is required to do a quality job.

    For example website structure is something that requires research, which might use tools, but only human logic will be able to identify a website structure that meets the business goals based on competition and investment.

    At the same time, onsite optimisation requires hands on time to resolve the issues discovered. Tools can provide basic recommendations but they cannot resolve issues or identify high level issues such as Google penalties, over optimised link profiles, negative SEO etc.

    Another example might be link building where you might use a tool to identify link building opportunities. The tool may assist with processing large datasets but then it takes a human to engage in outreach and gain the link opportunity.

    These are just a sample of examples.

    Cheers
    Thanks, mate, although I respect your answer I not necessary agree.
    Human logic is not guaranteeing a quality job. Far from that, that is why we automate things.

    What got me baffled is that there is so much emphasis on compulsory human aspect, to satisfy an automated algorithm.
    I am not an SEO expert, was at some stage, but not anymore yet I have troubles with the pricing and the human interaction requirement of the SEO company.

    Sure structure, etc. is important as you mentioned, but yet the meta tag stuff (we used in the old days) are becoming less and less important I believe.
    Also, the emphasis is more and more on being an authority on the subject (of your article and web page) that it is on the structure of the web page.

    All of these things, I believe are based upon duration not so much on SEO.
    The older the domain, the higher the ranking.
    The more authoritative, the higher the ranking.
    Two things I do not believe SEO companies can fix as they are time related.

    Backlinks are (black or white) sure SEO can work with that, but again something that can be done by a small business owner themselves as it is not about volume, but the quality.
    All said and done…. I do not believe $2000 investment in SEO is a good decision.

    So please educate me,

    #1175169
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    help4bis.com, post: 203969 wrote:
    All said and done…. I do not believe $2000 investment in SEO is a good decision.
    So if you made an extra $10,000 that would not be worth it?

    Of course if you don’t get a return it’s a waste of money.

    #1175170
    John Romaine
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,104
    help4bis.com, post: 203947 wrote:
    I believe that SEO is important and is best done by a specialised service who is willing to learn your objectives.

    Yet I am not sure why it has so expensive. Can someone enlighten me on a breakdown of cost for example hours etc.

    I am living under the impression (most likely wrongly) that a lot of this stuff can be done automatically of some sort.

    This is the frustrating part for service providers – perception

    They often ask…

    Don’t you just build links?
    Can’t you just submit our site to some directories?
    Can’t you just use some software or something to do that?

    The answer is NO NO NO.

    Good quality SEO takes a lot of time, that’s what you are paying for.

    For instance, let’s say you come to me and say, “John, my site isn’t anywhere in Google, can you help me?”

    I’ll say sure, “Let’s reverse engineer what your competitors are doing to gain some insights into what might be working for them, and see if we can apply some of that to your site…”

    This might include..

    Reverse engineering competing site(s) link profiles
    Reverse engineering competing site(s) content marketing strategies
    Reverse engineering competing site(s) keyword terms
    Reverse engineering competing site(s) structure, information architecture and layout
    Identifying any additional opportunities that may assist in accomplishing the overall campaign objectives

    Then on top of all of this you have content, audits, onpage optimisation, keyword research, meetings, reporting etc.

    This stuff doesn’t just happen by “magic”

    All of this work that I’ve just mentioned is extremely time consuming. Just doing keyword research might take two days alone.

    This is why reputable SEO firms have teams of people. They HAVE to, in order to get through all the work. People need to be paid, and when it’s specialised work like this, you don’t pay $12 an hour.

    This is why it is absolutely ridiculous when service providers offer $99 a month or less for SEO.

    It’s beyond a joke.

    #1175171
    help4bis.com
    Member
    • Total posts: 268
    MatthewKeath, post: 203970 wrote:
    So if you made an extra $10,000 that would not be worth it?

    Of course if you don’t get a return it’s a waste of money.

    So what I can assume is that if I invest 2K I have a 400% ROI (turning 2K into 10K).
    I like to see that happening, if it was happening sure it be worth it…. but I doubt it.

    I think that is what might what is wrong with the SEO industry…. invest 2K and I return you 10K that is just utterly rubbish.

    Making statements like that creates the perception that SEO is has a very high ROI… I do not think it is.

    If any it is a write off (for good reasons) like making payments on a car if you like.

    #1175172
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    help4bis.com, post: 203972 wrote:
    So what I can assume is that if I invest 2K I have a 400% ROI (turning 2K into 10K).
    I like to see that happening, if it was happening sure it be worth it…. but I doubt it.

    I think that is what might what is wrong with the SEO industry…. invest 2K and I return you 10K that is just utterly rubbish.

    Making statements like that creates the perception that SEO is has a very high ROI… I do not think it is.

    If any it is a write off (for good reasons) like making payments on a car if you like.I don’t do SEO – that was just an example of IF you got positive ROI from SEO then $2000 would be worth it.

    I don’t suggest SEO would bring such a return, that for the SEO’ers here. I like to think of SEO as part of inbound marketing for what it’s worth.

    #1175173
    help4bis.com
    Member
    • Total posts: 268
    John Romaine, post: 203971 wrote:
    This is the frustrating part for service providers – perception

    Good quality SEO takes a lot of time, that’s what you are paying for.

    This might include..

    Reverse engineering competing site(s) link profiles
    Reverse engineering competing site(s) content marketing strategies
    Reverse engineering competing site(s) keyword terms
    Reverse engineering competing site(s) structure, information architecture and layout
    Identifying any additional opportunities that may assist in accomplishing the overall campaign objectives

    Then on top of all of this you have content, audits, onpage optimisation, keyword research, meetings, reporting etc.

    This stuff doesn’t just happen by “magic”

    All of this work that I’ve just mentioned is extremely time consuming. Just doing keyword research might take two days alone.

    This is why reputable SEO firms have teams of people. They HAVE to, in order to get through all the work. People need to be paid, and when it’s specialised work like this, you don’t pay $12 an hour.

    This is why it is absolutely ridiculous when service providers offer $99 a month or less for SEO.

    It’s beyond a joke.
    John,

    I always need a little bit more time to digest your answers, mainly because they are very insightfull and intelligent… (this one is not an acception).

    First you know I am a S..t stirrer, I like to poke the bear by providing counter arguments, not to offend just to depthen the discussion. We all do I guess.

    Reverse engineering profiles etc yes time consuming and not necessary difficult and automatable.

    The page optimisation… sure they are a pain in the b..m and take time.

    Yes you can pay someone 12bucks an hour, even less, some even do the project for 5bucks (fiverr) and do a good job. I do not believe that the big companies have armies of staff on AU wages and only ask 2K …. go figure… you would not be able to sustain that unless you have thousands of customers. Yet based upon the above, there is a direct relation between hrs (time as I previous pointed out) and resources.

    No would someone charge 99 dollars for SEO and can do a good job… sure they can, what you charge is not necessary related to the quality. We all buy stuff cheap from china with the same or even better quality than what is produced in AU. So the 99dollars versus 2K argument regards quality is a small one in my view.

    SEO… oohh always a good discussion.
    The way I see it…..

    A small business who has not done SEO before and has NOOOO idea where to start… Sure invest 2K in a SEO COACH… not in SEO as end product. Invest in someone who is able and willing to guide you and coach you (I believe SEO director was mentioned). I do the similar with my customers who buy a SEO enabled package.

    I am by no means as qualified as most of the guys here, yet I see guidance and coach more of an ROI than actually getting my page on number 1 in google, without actually understanding how it got there.

    Things change, a static webpage and or business is a dying business. As business owner you constantly seek and look for new and better ways of ROI on what ever you do. Buying 2K of SEO and not learning how to do it…. will mean that every time you improve your business by expanding your focus area you need to pay another xyz dollars to get SEO done.

    SEO as only pusing a page to google number one is in my view OLD and Declining. SEO as being a subscription service, educational and coaching…. sure I pay 2K for that.

    I guess that is how most SEO started in the first place…. Not sure but is there a SEO school :-).

    #1175174
    Byron Trzeciak
    Member
    • Total posts: 422

    Tools have their place. Most tools that I’ve used in my experience work well for
    – Automating a regular review of basic onsite optimisation fundamentals i.e. meta tags, descriptions, alt tags, page speed, keyword density etc. (This might work well for DIY SEO but even for my own business I find little value in this)
    – Monitoring rankings
    – Researching large competitor data sets

    It’s the interpretation of the results where the value is found. For example as a business owner I might decide that I want to rank for “dishwashers” and I optimise my site for it. The tool returns green and says that everything is great.

    The fact is that people searching for dishwashers might want to know
    – what one is
    – want to know which brands are available
    – are looking for local suppliers and the list can go on.

    The logic allows you to understand the intent of what people might be searching for and what will convert best for your business. i.e. LG dishwasher repairs sydney.

    A tool cannot tell you that
    – Your website has no call to action
    – Your website structure is optimised for keywords with the wrong intent.
    – Your content marketing is targeting the wrong customer or the value of the content produced is poor.
    – You’re focusing on one high competition keyword rather than targeting many less competitive phrases

    The list could go on.

    I feel SEO is very similar to security. There are vulnerability scanners that can tell you every vulnerability a system has (that it knows about). You might have several findings that you feel are low risk. The attacker on the other hand understands that exploiting each of those vulnerabilities in a certain order will allow access to complete environment which is a very high risk. It’s the human logic that wins.

    Like I’ve said, I’m more than happy for owners to learn SEO if they have the time however many owners do not want to learn it. They may also come to an SEO agency because they feel their knowledge is limiting their success.

    #1175175
    help4bis.com
    Member
    • Total posts: 268
    MatthewKeath, post: 203973 wrote:
    I don’t do SEO – that was just an example of IF you got positive ROI from SEO then $2000 would be worth it.

    I don’t suggest SEO would bring such a return, that for the SEO’ers here. I like to think of SEO as part of inbound marketing for what it’s worth.

    Sorry must have mis read you post, as I most likely will do this one.

    SEO is part of inbound and outbound marketing… why otherwise do it in the first place.

    #1175176
    help4bis.com
    Member
    • Total posts: 268
    Byron Trzeciak, post: 203975 wrote:
    A tool cannot tell you that
    – Your website has no call to action
    – Your website structure is optimised for keywords with the wrong intent.
    – Your content marketing is targeting the wrong customer or the value of the content produced is poor.
    – You’re focusing on one high competition keyword rather than targeting many less competitive phrases

    .

    Kinda interesting though that all the items listed you use tools to determine that (with some experience I might add).

    #1175177
    bluepenguin
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,026

    If SEO is so time consuming, where do SEO guys find the time to continually write such long, detailed posts on internet forums? :p

    #1175178
    AmberS
    Member
    • Total posts: 66

    To throw the cat amongst the pigeons, why is SEO considered by so many small business owners as almost the sole method of converting online?

    Spending large proportions of money to ‘rent’ space off Google at the expense of creating quality marketing assets that you own is quite often short sighted. There are so many ways that you can gain an audience / conversions / customers / sales… online and Google is just one of them (and a sometimes volatile one at that).

    You definitely need a qualified person to read, analyse and act on the results of tools, metrics and analytics – is someone specialising in SEO the best qualified person to do this taking into consideration all the other ways of marketing a business????

    #1175179
    Byron Trzeciak
    Member
    • Total posts: 422
    help4bis.com, post: 203977 wrote:
    Kinda interesting though that all the items listed you use tools to determine that (with some experience I might add).

    I’m not sure if you read that wrong? It says a tool cannot tell you..

    As mentioned, tools have their place. For example I might run a tool to export all of the competitors backlinks. It’s then up to me to take that link and either a) see if I can create one on my own b) conduct outreach to engage with a website owner to gain that link or c) assist my client with content that can be used for said site.

    I might use a tool to count keyword density because I’d prefer to do that then count every word on a page individually. It’s up to me to understand whether I believe the keyword density is too high or too low or whether the website in question has spammed the keyword so heavily it could result in a penalty.

    Every SEO agency uses tools but it’s how they use and interpret the results that adds the value and gains results that meets the customers expectations. If their is a tool that does all of this then I’ll happily be corrected. I wish there was a one tool fits all or generic report I could run each month to do the job because it would save me some money.

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