The saying “nothing ventured, nothing gained” has been around since the enlightenment, but the axiom is no less true today than it was 700 years ago. The sentiment is just as true of SEO and what you are willing to risk, which in this case will be time and money. What are some risks that you should take and what are the ones you avoid? The answer is, like most things in the 21st century, it depends. Every company has different needs, goals and finite budgets. What should your company risk to get better SEO? Here are a few suggestions and their rewards and risks:
Expending Capital on an SEO Expert
Regardless if you hire an SEO expert, or put one on the payroll, this is a gamble that will most likely pay off. An SEO expert keep up with trends and the ever-changing way that search engines look at content and reward or penalize it. They can suggest changes or make changes themselves to content when search engines search criteria changes.
The risk with hiring SEO experts is that they may come at a high price and not actually be able to deliver higher traffic and conversions to your website. Check the qualifications and customer satisfaction of an SEO expert you contract. Outsourcing SEO can lead to misspelled words in content, plagiarism, and poor punctuation. Likewise, carefully interview anyone you are going to put on salary to internally manage your company’s SEO.
If an SEO expert your company has hired makes mistakes, it is on the hook after termination for things like health insurance and unemployment. Another consideration is that marketing can use a large percentage of their overall budget on SEO and if the wrong choice is made on who will handle it there will be little to no return on investment. Of all the risks in dealing with SEO, who you use is the biggest risk, but it also can yield the biggest reward with the right SEO expert.
If you are not getting the traffic you want to your website, it is due to the keywords that you use. Your SERP (search engine results page) may even get great rankings, but no clicks. The only way to remedy these results is by testing keywords. You will need to test and track keywords to find which ones yield the best results.
Once you have found the right combination of keywords, you will be able to increase both website traffic and conversions. The risk in testing keywords is worse SERP rankings as you test combinations and decreased visits. This result could be disastrous for a company that is dependent on e-commerce. The search engines could also penalize you if your testing of keywords is seen as keyword stuffing, which will take time to regain your good standing with them.
Backlinks are a well-known tactic to improve your SEO when another company features your backlink; search engines take notice. The more backlinks you have, the better the SERP rankings. Sharing links is an inexpensive way to improve your SEO results quickly, but there is another side to consider. Companies who feature backlinks will want quid pro quo and will ask for their backlink to be featured on your website.
This practice is fine if the company you are dealing with is a reputable one and doesn’t deal in an unseemly trade. If the company is considered to be on the shady side, being associated with them could have a negative impact on your overall brand. Worse than brand damage, if the links are too spammy, malicious, or poor-quality sites, you could be penalized by the search engines. Even if the company you exchange links with is a reputable company, you risk a customer clicking on their link and never returning to your company’s site.
These three methods for improving your SEO, if done properly can bring increased traffic and visits converted to sales, but if done the wrong way can set your SEO efforts back by a year or more.