The Pros And Cons Of Doing SEO Yourself Vs Using An SEO Agency

The Pros And Cons Of Doing SEO Yourself Vs Using An SEO Agency

For any website to rank well on search engines and thus benefit from the organic traffic that this generates, search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential. Of that fact, most business and website owners are aware. However, what many of them are not so sure of is how they ensure that the necessary SEO is achieved. More specifically, they may have a dilemma in deciding who will carry out the SEO.

Whilst they have several choices, the two main ones which they are likely to be considering are doing the SEO themselves, or hiring an SEO agency to do it. Both of these options have their respective pros and cons, so let us look at them all in the hope that this may help you make this decision if it is one you are currently in the process of weighing up.

Pros Of Doing SEO Yourself

  • Cost Savings: One of the most significant advantages of doing SEO yourself is it will cost you less. By handling SEO on your own, you avoid the cost of hiring an SEO agency or consultant, however, you might wish to consider the opportunity cost of you spending your time on SEO rather than you focusing on other elements of running your business.
  • Control: If you do the SEO yourself, control over the process is entirely in your hands, therefore, you can make whatever changes you wish to your website at any time and without delay. This can be especially important if you own a small business that needs you to make quick adjustments to its website in response to changes in the market.
  • Learning Experience: Doing SEO yourself can be a valuable learning experience, helping you develop new skills and knowledge that you can use to improve your website and your business. Bear in mind, SEO is constantly changing due to updates from Google and other search engines, so be prepared to continually update your knowledge.
10 Red Flags That Should Raise Concerns When Assessing SEO Agencies Part 3

10 Red Flags That Should Raise Concerns When Assessing SEO Agencies Part 3

Vague Explanations of Their Processes

If an SEO agency is not prepared to give you an explanation of how they operate, then the question that needs asking is ‘What have they got to hide?’.

With a poor agency, the answer is going to be either they do not have any processes and thus the campaign will be a shambles, or they use black hat techniques and do not want to reveal that to you.

Little or Poor Reporting

As part of your research, you should be asking what the reporting from the SEO agency is going to be. Good SEO agencies will have detailed and regular reporting, which is what you want to see.

However, poor agencies who know they are not going to get results will shy away from giving you regular reports, and if that is the case with any prospective agency you are looking at, do not even consider hiring them.

10 Red Flags That Should Raise Concerns When Assessing SEO Agencies Part 2

10 Red Flags That Should Raise Concerns When Assessing SEO Agencies Part 2

Low Ratio of Staff to Clients

When speaking to a prospective SEO agency, always ask them about their staffing levels. One point here is that many agencies sub-contract out specific areas of the work, and there is nothing wrong with that, especially if they are giving those parts of the work to experts.

However, if an agency tells you they have 90 clients, 3 staff, and everything is done in-house, that should set alarm bells ringing.

That ratio means that each member of staff is servicing 30 clients each, and given the time necessary for proper SEO analysis, planning, implementation, monitoring, and adjustments, it suggests that each client’s campaign is getting hardly any time, if any, each day.

Negative or Poorly Handled Reviews

Presumably, you already know to seek out reviews and testimonials, but one other thing to look for carefully is how the agency handled those reviews, especially the negative ones.

As we mentioned previously, no business is perfect, and even the best gets it wrong sometimes. If they have an unhappy customer who has left a 1 or 2-star review, look to see if the agency has responded. If they have and have also taken full responsibility for their error, then that is a positive sign.

If they have simply ignored it, or worse, pushed back on the customer and started an online argument with them, they are not an agency you want to do business with.

10 Red Flags That Should Raise Concerns When Assessing SEO Agencies Part 1

10 Red Flags That Should Raise Concerns When Assessing SEO Agencies Part 1

When any business owner is seeking to employ another company to work for them or carry out some kind of service, it is normal practice to take some time to assess one’s options, and carry out a reasonable level of due diligence.

According to, this should especially be the case when selecting a digital marketing agency, and there are number of reasons for that. The first is that carrying out SEO is a service which differs in several ways to many others, because the actions that the agency will undertake can actually change during the contract due to the nature of search engines and how they often ‘move the goalposts’ with little or no notice.

Another reason is that an SEO campaign is something that doesn’t always have a finite end. For example, if you employ a company to come in and replace the five printers that you have in your offices, once they have replaced them, set them up, and have them working, their job is done.

Compare that to SEO, where a campaign’s length is something that might not be defined due to the many external factors that can affect a website’s rankings.

You may be in an incredibly competitive niche where your competition is working every bit as hard to gain or maintain their rankings as you are. In that case, you may retain your SEO agency’s services for longer, or even on an ongoing basis to ensure your rankings remain high.

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