When it comes to search engine marketing, it’s clear that some businesses are simply operating on a different level. Large corporations are able to throw vast sums of money at their online marketing projects, without having to worry about a little bit of waste here and there.
This can certainly be seen in the world of paid search. While many smaller businesses struggle to write targeted Adwords ads in order to get the best returns, some larger companies make use of marketing agencies and don’t ask too many questions about where money is occasionally wasted.
It would be nice to think that things would be different in the world of organic search, but the reality is that “money talks” here too. If you don’t believe me, simply check out the search engine results for many of the big financial terms – you’ll find that the results are dominated by the same old big spenders.
Things weren’t meant to be this way! Many people believed that the Internet presented a level playing field and that any business could gain exposure within Google. All that you were supposed to need was the ability to display relevance.
It’s clear that SEO is more complicated that many people were led to believe. What are the implications of this, particularly for those with a small budget?
Should you outsource?
For any small business owner, the first consideration should be whether it’s feasible to carry out SEO work in-house. This will probably depend upon a number of factors, including:
- Existing expertise
- Time that’s available
- Level of competition
If you already know about SEO, have plenty of time on your hands and you’re looking to target a relatively uncompetitive industry, then why not do the work yourself? It makes a lot of sense to do so and you’ll save a lot of money in the process.
But what about if the reverse is true? Could you simply learn SEO in your limited spare time? In this situation, things become considerably more complicated. You need to think about the balance between saving money at the outset and having to wait for results. In effect, you could end up costing yourself a lot of money as a result of missing out on sales.
Improving your SEO skills
Even if you do decide to outsource all of your SEO requirements, there’s certainly value to be found in ensuring that you at least have a basic understanding of search engine optimization. This will allow you to examine the approach of your chosen SEO contractor and ensure that you get high quality work carried out on your behalf.
It may also give you scope to reduce your SEO costs. Although you may not have the skills of a professional internet marketing expert, you may well be able to advise in some areas and hence reduced the amount of time that is required of your SEO consultants.
The world of SEO is highly competitive and it can sometimes feel like it’s dominated by the big brands. This needn’t, however, be the case. It’s perfectly possible to get results, even on a relatively small budget.
You’ll need to assess whether you can realistically carry out many of the SEO tasks in-house, or whether you’ll need to seek the help of external consultants.
Keith Barrett is a small business SEO expert, providing services to many UK small businesses. He’s also able to advise on paid search marketing and the role of social media.