If there is one series of letters that has made itself a staple in the marketing world in the last decade, it’s SEO.

“Search Engine Optimization” originated as a way to pinpoint certain buzzwords associated with an inquiry in the early days of online shopping. But gone are the days when all it took were a few choice keywords to get a business on the map.

As SEO evolves to find a more complex place in the digital landscape, it’s prudent to ask if you can do the heavy lifting yourself, or perhaps need to seek out some SEO professionals.

So, what can you (probably) do?

When it comes to an actual website, you can probably at least get the skeleton of what you want it to be out there in the digital space. 

Speaking of building your website, you can also probably handle meta tags (snippets of code that tell search engines important information about your web page ie how to display it in searches and to website visitors). 

Alt tags are another one you’ve more than likely got covered (again we’ve got HTML code that tells your browser what to display as images). 

Both of these are important since they help determine searchability overall, even though they’re not front-end visible. When it comes to the front-end, your website readability is also something you probs have taken care of. 

Are you even interested in SEO?

This one might seem obvious or invalid (you own a business, so you better like SEO and all things marketing, right?), but we’re willing to bet that you went into business because you enjoyed providing a product or service…that doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy all the things that come along with getting your offer into people’s hands.

If learning the ins and outs of SEO seems like something you’d like to learn, and you have the time to dedicate to the research then sure, go for it. It’s also important to note that as you get the hang of things, disposable income is important too- if you’re hanging on by a thread and absolutely need sales to increase next month, investing in a professional might be the way to go.

Are you prepared to provide everything an SEO overhaul requires for success?

Again, this isn’t 2002- keywords alone won’t do the job here. You need to find what we like to call the “buzzword sweet spot”; this is the perfect balance of searchability and availability. You need words that relate to your business that are popular, but not too popular, otherwise, you run the risk of getting lost in the digital shuffle of thousands of other searches. 

Your word selection must be precise, intentional, and really lay the foundation for your brand. In essence, you’re condensing your core message and process into a few choice words, and molding those into a perfectly balanced phrases that are both popular enough without too much commonality with other frequent searches. 

Also, in order to enhance your branding, you need to take your choice words and churn out relatable content. For example, if you’re say, a marketing firm, you need to curate blogs relating to branding, content creation, and SEO (see what we did there?).

The content you create, from your website content to your social media posts, needs to be holistic and call back to your original SEO phrasing- we’re talking a closed-loop strategy where each element you put out there calls back and doubles down on your business as a whole. If you get it right, your marketing strategy becomes almost self-sustaining, with each element spurring the discovery of more of your content.

Some elements that help with all of the above are also probably not anything you can DIY your way through. Site speed, site code, link updates, and tap targets are all crucial and all best left to the experts.

If this seems intimidating…it kind of is. That’s why, unless you’re genuinely interested in mastering the art of SEO, it might be worth looking into working with professionals whose job is to make you more marketable- so you can focus on what you do best.