When to hire an SEO,
Search optimisation.

Posted on 25th Jun 2008

It often is surprising to see many companies and businesses fail to even consider and subsequently plan for search engine optimisation.

They fail to see the potential upside that a business gets when you can rank highly on a high traffic search engine such as Google.

Hire an SEO company from the beginning or at the end?

SEO services are now mainstream, but somehow invariably the time when you start to think of using such services are often when your website is completely built and many potential advantages are lost in the process.

Let us give an example

Web 2.0 is synonymous, with cool and creative names that startups come up with for their websites. Part of this is due to the fact the all dictionary names even with the combination of one or two words are pretty much taken. This has led to a flurry of misspellings and even Swahili words (just to illustrate an example) used as the domain name.

While this is understandable, this is by no means the only option. Depending on the business or service you are offering, it is vital that you also look at pre-owned domain names as an option for your website name. Now we don’t mean buying a domain name from a “domaineer”, though that is one option which usually will turn out to be expensive, we were more suggesting looking at domain names that expire almost every day.

Now you might not get the perfect brandable domain name or the coolest sounding one, but one thing you will get is a definite advantage in your search engine ranking. In fact, we turn away some customers that come to us asking to get them onto the first page with a brand new domain with a highly competitive niche.

If there is one thing that we would compromise with, then this one is it. Using an aged domain name will get you out the blocks faster and is more search-engine-friendly, especially if you are in a highly competitive niche. Now there are ways to go about rebuilding an expired domain so that you get the maximum benefit out of them.

Back to the topic of whether or not you need SEO services for your business. One of the main issues that we see is that clients are all for SEO at some point, but get disillusioned pretty soon with the lack of results. We believe there are a few reasons for that.

  1. The main reason we see is that many companies and consultants advertise offering SEO services, but all they do is submit to search engines and directories.
  2. As SEO is becoming more and more mainstream, many companies offering SEO are taking a commoditised approach. While this is more profitable and easier to manage, clients usually make the mistake of using few of the services that are offered and often see little or no change in search engine rankings. There is no point in taking a piecemeal approach to website optimisation. Either you do the “full Monty” or you plan to do it over time. Anything else may be wasting your time and money.
  3. One of the biggest issues is trying to rank for a keyword or phrase that either does not convert or does not bring in the right target audience. This is a common problem that many clients face and while they cannot complain about the SEO firm, they do not see a return on investment on the money spent on SEO.

These are some of the frustrations that many clients go through and soon enough start to wonder if SEO is the all-important as it is cranked up to be. While there are many reasons to push the case for investing and planning for SEO, the above are not reasons to avoid it.

If you have been in the same boat and the above is a familiar story, then it is most likely your SEO consultant or company was not doing a good enough job. However, it is important to understand that SEO is a commitment from both sides and you have to be prepared to invest and be patient as the results take time — especially in a competitive niche.

So the next time you talk to your SEO firm, ask about what exactly you are signing up for. What are the services that come as part of the SEO-package and how are they geared to help you in your quest for search engine rankings. Our suggestion would be to find someone that gives you the entire gamut of SEO services under one umbrella, even if the cost is somewhat higher.

A tip for decreasing costs for SEO is to bring in your SEO from the very beginning. This could help save you costly man-hours spent on the process to re-optimisation, amongst other SEO related things.

Let us end this by saying that a good SEO consultant or firm could take your business to the next level. The key is to find the right person or firm and equally important from a cost-perspective is to engage with an SEO consultant right at the beginning.