Should you hire an SEO agency or use DIY Tools?


If you are running your own website, you need to have at least a basic understanding of how search engine optimisation (SEO) works. Relying on paid advertisements to generate traffic is not sustainable for most businesses, and you need to support that income with people finding your website naturally when they use search engines like Google.

In fact, many businesses are almost completely dependent on organic search traffic, so clearly there is a way to really succeed here. But if you don’t have much experience, should you try to learn SEO the hard way and catch up with your competitors, or hire an external company to do the work for you?

We will also look at ways you can find a balance between the two styles which works for you, although that will depend on the pros and cons that means the most to you, considering your business situation. Sites like SEO Rankings offer SEO services which are more hands-off for people who just want access to useful tools, but can also offer additional support and guidance as necessary. We will consider the different ways you could follow this model after looking at the advantages of the two extremes.

The DIY Approach

Here are a few of the main advantages of learning how to do SEO yourself and implementing it on your own website.

  • In the short term, you can certainly save money by not having to pay a third party. This budget can always be put into other areas to help your business grow or develop your website in new ways.
  • The DIY approach is obviously a major learning curve, and after some time you will probably pick up a huge amount of knowledge and extra skills you wouldn’t have had otherwise. This way you can learn to do something once instead of paying someone else to do it multiple times.
  • You can be sure that everything is getting done when you do it yourself, and avoid being ripped off. Unfortunately, some SEO companies only exist to make profit from inexperienced website owners and they overcharge but under-deliver on service.
  • Many people simply like to feel in control, which is understandable when you manage a business that you have developed from your own personal ideas. Being protective is only natural and the idea of a third party getting involved can make people anxious.
  • Just because you choose not to hire an outside company, you don’t have to take on all the SEO work yourself. Instead you might be able to hire a professional to work within your company as an employee, which might give you the right balance between controlling the work that gets done and freeing up your own time.

Hiring An SEO Company

Alternatively, we can look at the benefits of outsourcing to see if this sounds like a more attractive prospect for someone in your position.

  • Real professionals in this field have significantly more knowledge than the average website owner. Most internet users still don’t know much or even anything about SEO, but the real danger is people who think they know what to do but they’re actually using outdated or incorrect logic. Some website owners do more harm than good because they’re misinformed about how to handle their own SEO.
  • SEO companies rely on staying up to date with the latest techniques, so they will be doing this at all times and saving you the time and trouble of doing it yourself.
  • You’ll have one less thing to worry about if you delegate your optimisation to an outside company, which really is invaluable in business when there is usually more than enough to think about already.
  • The results tend to be faster and more reliable when you engage a professional to do the job for you, which really is the end goal. Even the short term cost of hiring an agency can actually be made back relatively quickly if you see a significant increase in traffic to your website.
  • An SEO agency will also be able to give you additional advice on things you probably hadn’t even considered, and look at things from a fresh perspective. This is actually one of the best benefits of hiring a third party, although it is often forgotten.

Can you have the best of both?

It is also worth considering, as we mentioned above, that you could go for combination of both approaches if you want the best results. A few different models can work for business owners who need to increase traffic and profits but want to remain in control.

One example is by using a website, service or resources which provide SEO tools for business owners to do the work themselves (or at least in-house), with appropriate guides and support as required. This is ideal for businesses who need a little extra assistance but would mostly prefer the third party to take a hands-off approach.

Another alternative is to go for a more comprehensive SEO service, but focus more on overall strategy, making sure the agency is responsible for coming up with a plan for your optimisation and implementing things you don’t know how to do. To support their work, you may be able to follow their recommendations rather than paying for their time to do everything manually, which is often a cost-effective way to strike a good balance.