SEO for Small Business: How to Know If You Can Go It Alone

Running a small business requires a great number of expenses; the last thing you want to do is add another. Business owners are always looking for ways to cut costs, and one possibility could be to handle SEO alone rather than hiring an agency. If you fulfill all the following criteria, this could be the right option for your business.

1. You Have Content Creation Experience

A major aspect of every SEO strategy is content. In the early days of SEO, it was enough to write blog posts on relevant topics and stuff a several keywords into the text. Now, content creation involves so much more.

First, you need to research your audience to know what they will find interesting and useful. Next, you need to research which keywords will give you the best chance of gaining a top ranking in search results. Finally, you must publish high-quality, engaging pieces that can compete with a huge amount of other content for your audience’s attention.

Beyond knowing how to create such content, you need to know the best time to post and how to promote pieces. You must be willing to undertake trial and error experimentation to keep improving.

2. You Have Extensive Tech Knowledge

SEO is much more than just content and keywords. You will also need to know about things like website optimization, improving site speed, and schema markup.

3. You Operate in Only One Location

When you have to scale your efforts across more than one location, SEO becomes more complex. Your team may be able to manage a single local SEO project, but when you add more places into the equation, there is a higher risk of mistakes and inconsistencies.

4. Small Scale Efforts Will Be Sufficient

If you want to manage SEO alone, you need to be satisfied with basic content optimization and small-scale review generation campaigns.

5. You Have Knowledge of PPC

Unlike other aspects of SEO, ads have a direct cost. The good news is that when you run PPC ads, you set your budget to ensure that you will only spend as much as you can afford. However, without knowledge of PPC, you may waste money. You need to know how to find the right keywords, who you’re targeting, where are the best places to advertise, and how to write copy that leads to clicks.

6. You Understand Analytics

To check that your SEO strategy is on target, you need to turn to the data. To do this, you must know which metrics provide the most important information, what this information means, and how to act on it.

An easy mistake to make when handling SEO alone is to focus on vanity metrics, like total traffic and page views. Instead, you need to consider things like type of traffic, conversion rates by search query, average time on page, and repeat visits. With the knowhow, you can use this data to determine how to improve your content, site design, and other aspects of your SEO strategy.

7. You Can Afford the Costs

When you pay an agency for SEO, the price you pay covers all additional costs. To go it alone, you will need to have the funds to pay for site hosting, local citation fees, and tracking tools, at a minimum. If you are unable to build your website on your own, you will also need to pay someone for web design and ongoing website maintenance.

8. You Have the Time

SEO is a big commitment. You will need to have enough time in your schedule to handle everything it involves as well as your other business tasks.

For instance, a key part of SEO is citations — or mentions of your business elsewhere on the Internet with or without a link to your site. To find success with your SEO strategy, you will need to spend time creating citations on numerous portals. Just a few won’t cut it and neither will citations on low-quality pages — all need to be from authoritative sites.

If you are unequipped to manage SEO alone but you try anyway, you will likely end up spending more. With poor visibility online, your marketing efforts will fail to have the impact you expected. Unless someone in your company is experienced in all aspects of SEO, hire an agency from the start to avoid months of wasted time and resources.

About the Author


Kelly has over 20 years marketing, sales and customer service experience. He is a champion for small businesses and prides himself in helping them compete and thrive in a digital world. Kelly is currently the VP of Marketing for Boostability, a company dedicated to helping small businesses grow online. He manages a team that is responsible for demand generation, customer messaging and experience, branding, social media and all things marketing. His expertise includes search engine optimization, social media, content marketing, customer communication, lead generation and conversion optimization, to name a few.

Twitter - @kellyshelton32

Email – [email protected]

Phone – 800-261-1537

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