What are you supposed to do when you know you need to do a lot of SEO work on your website, but you feel like you don’t have the time or the technical expertise to do it?
I’m willing to bet your email inbox gets more than a few emails each month from SEO companies who make incredible-sounding promises to put your website at the top of Google.
Most of those are obviously poor choices, but there are some who seem just credible enough to tempt you into considering it.
Before you make a decision you might regret later, here are some things to think about when looking at outsourcing your SEO work…
Outsourcing SEO – Yes or No?
One of the big temptations for many photographers is to think they need to hire a dedicated firm to do all their SEO work for them, and I regularly speak to photographers who’ve actually gone and done this, sometimes at great financial cost, but also with very poor results.
Before I go any further, know that I have nothing against legitimate SEO agencies. Many of them do a great job of taking care of the businesses they work for, and I’m all for them if that’s what’s best for you.
However, be prepared to pay a high premium for these kinds of services.
Good SEO agencies are very expensive, often costing thousands of dollars per month for their marketing services.
For big businesses and larger photography studios, this can be an effective choice, but it’s most likely out of reach of the solo professional photographer.
It’s the many unscrupulous SEO firms that catch so many photographers unaware, often making unsolicited offers with tempting, but highly unrealistic claims to be able to place their websites at the top of the local search results very quickly.
Can this be achieved?
Yes, absolutely, but not without high risk.
The most-used SEO tactic by such firms is to employ aggressive link-building measures.
This often involves selling links on so-called “link farms”, which have somehow managed to avoid detection by Google (although they don’t usually avoid detection for very long).
Such measures might work quickly, but the results are short-lived and can often lead to Google blacklisting your website altogether, which no business owner wants to ever face.
At the end of the day, unless you know a reputable SEO company or sole-practitioner consultant, take my advice and do your SEO work yourself.