I keep seeing articles online about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) being dead. That design studios are dead. That branding agencies are dead. In every single one of them, they rest on the idea that business owners can just do the work themselves. To quote a great man, “obviously, you’re not a golfer”. If you’re reading this and you happen to be a business owner, how much extra time do you have? Speaking from experience, our own company’s rebrand took 6 months to do all the work ourselves in house. We had to limit the number of new customers we took on because of ALL the extra work. The people writing these articles must believe that every business owner has some innate knowledge of Adobe Illustrator or have been studying Google’s changes in ranking algorithms. Anyone can do it right? Wrong, so wrong.
When it comes to things like branding your company, the bottom line is you absolutely can not get it wrong. I mentioned this in a previous blog which you can read here, but to paraphrase, rushing your branding design and failing to take time to consider things like color, shape, font, logo, site layout, among a laundry list of other factors, you are asking for a very expensive headache further down the line. Think about it, you hastily created your brand, it’s packed with issues, the logo doesn’t make sense and it’s not scalable, your website is slow and you can’t figure out why your business doesn’t show up when you Google it. These issues need to be fixed, but now you’re out there in the public eye. People know your brand and now you’re going to change it all. You’re going to lose customers and the confidence in your brand may take a hit as well. Back to square one essentially. So now that you’ve wasted your time propping up a brand that you ultimately can’t use, what are you going to do? HIRE A PROFESSIONAL!
If you don’t know enough about design, or web development, or SEO, I suggest you get familiar. You should be able to at least hold an intelligent conversation with your developer, designer, and/or your SEO admin. You should be able to convey your wants and needs to them. If you can’t, you are almost guaranteed to be unhappy with the results. You’ll end up spending more money and time than you had anticipated. You should also know enough to hold your agency accountable for what they promised to deliver to you. Ask for periodic growth reports and conversion percentages. Unfortunately, when it comes to SEO and online presence, not all ROI is measurable, but if you hired a skilled professional, they can give you a good idea if you are turning a profit on your efforts.
Despite what these articles are trying to convince you of, there’s nothing wrong with delegating these integral jobs to professionals and making sure you get it right the first time. The key here is to know exactly what you want and collaborate with those professionals until they have produced quality. If you don’t already have the skill and knowledge to do the work, you have to ask yourself if you have the time to learn. If you’re in the middle of running a business, the answer is usually no. And that is why branding agencies, design firms, and SEO companies, are not dead. SEO is a science. Trust me, there is no shortcut or program that is going to produce the same results as an experienced Webmaster.