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SEO Agencies vs. DIY Strategies - Pros and Cons

Rohan D'Souza

November 22, 2023


min read


We say ‘search engine’ to be polite. Google has 92% of the search market, so that’s who we’re actually referring to. Google assesses you (meaning, in this case, your business) using an algorithm. They’re notoriously cagey about the specifics of how their algorithm works. Fair enough, since that helps prevent people from gaming the system. But the basics are known: Google judges your businesses against its E-E-A-T metric.

That’s the short answer. I’m not trying to be glib about it; ‘yes’ is just the answer we’ll get to, and everything below is just the scenic route toward it.

My name’s Rohan D’Souza. I’m a content developer here at EngineRoom. There’s no getting around it — I’m writing this to drum up business for EngineRoom’s SEO agency. But I also sincerely believe that if you care about your business and your clients, then investing in your SEO strategy is absolutely worth it. Let me tell you why.

So we’re on the same page — what is an SEO strategy?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of tailoring and refining your digital presence to align with the standards and expectations of various search engines. 

We say ‘search engine’ to be polite. Google has 92% of the search market, so that’s who we’re actually referring to. Google assesses you (meaning, in this case, your business) using an algorithm. They’re notoriously cagey about the specifics of how their algorithm works. Fair enough, since that helps prevent people from gaming the system. But the basics are known: Google judges your businesses against its E-E-A-T metric.

  • Expertise
  • Experience
  • Authority
  • Trust

Demonstrate you meet those criteria, and Google will reward you with prime positions on its Search Engine Results Page (SERP). SEO is how you prove to Google that you meet their standards — and that you exceed them better than your competitors do.

Before we dig into it — why should you listen to us?

Not to put too fine a point on it, but we’re pretty good at what we do. Here are the SEO results we achieve for our clients. We’ll leave you to click through for the details at your leisure.

“We often get asked how we have grown so quickly. The answer? Investing in the right digital channels at the right time.”

Delivering 1000% ROI through SEO for the Victorian Dermal Group

“...we have found a team who understand what we want and deliver it better than we could have expected.”

Unlocking 600% revenue growth through SEO for The Water People

“They have assisted us greatly with a clear strategy and systems that bring real and tangible benefits to the company.”

Growing revenue by 50% per annum through SEO for Supa Group

Search engine optimisation is not about optimising for search engines

“That doesn’t make any sense,” I hear you thinking. “What a needlessly clickbaity headline,” I hear you say out loud, mirroring my own thoughts. “Let me explain,” I write.

A second ago, I told you about Google’s EEAT standards. That might be the first time you’ve heard that term, or it might not be, and you know a fair bit about SEO basics already. Either way, let me point out a simple fact that, like many simple facts, sometimes gets lost in the details.

SEO is about optimising your content and messaging for searchers, not for algorithms.

Search engine algorithms are a means to an end. Google wants to provide the best service and content for their searchers. Google wants you to create content that impresses and improves the lives of those searchers so that their 92% market share becomes 100%. SEO is not about creating content that ticks a box for an algorithm.

So, what is a valuable SEO strategy?

A successful SEO strategy synthesises a variety of searcher data into insights that can be used to tailor content to meet their specific needs with specific products and services. Such a strategy will enable you to immediately prove your value to a specific audience. 

Searcher data includes things like:

  • Location
  • Keywords used
  • Intent

There’s more, but that’s beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that gathering, analysing and synthesising that data is a challenging task.

How to design a successful SEO strategy

Consider these questions:

  • Do you demonstrate a level of expertise that can genuinely make your customers’ lives easier?
  • Do you have enough experience to offer unique and helpful advice, products and services?
  • Do you believe your expertise and experience make you an authority among your competitors?
  • Can your clients trust you to provide factual information and reliable products or services?

You’ve answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions. Everyone does. 

You believe in yourself and your business, so why wouldn’t you? But take a second to think. We’re not trying to break your confidence. We want you to appreciate just how much effort you’ve put into building your business. Now that that’s at the top of your mind, consider this:

What good is your product if nobody knows about it? Or, worse, how useless will your product seem if only the wrong people know about it?

You need to design an SEO strategy that connects your business to the searchers who need you the most. So, if you’re going to build a strategy yourself, you need to know the basics.

Who are you speaking to?
You’re not creating content for ‘everyone’. Be as specific as you can about where they live, their income and lifestyle, and their relationship to your product and even your industry as a whole.

What do they need?

Some searchers need a specific product. Others need advice on how your product, which they’ve already bought, works or can be repaired or upgraded. Others still need to know the basics of your industry so they can make informed decisions. It’s not all about the sales funnel — you need content to suit every need.

How can you help them?

You have the knowledge, products and services to help them. But is that ready and available for them to find? Is it accessible and easy to understand? To be helpful, you may need to add new content, delete poor content, or refine existing content. All three, most likely.

Can you write an SEO strategy yourself?

In 1966, astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell went into space in a rocket, the Gemini XII, to rendezvous with the Agena spacecraft. Their goal was to pioneer and test ‘spacewalk’ maneuvers before the big mission — the moon landing. The two astronauts were to use their computer guidance systems to physically lock in their craft with the Agena. But the computers failed. Aldrin used a sextant, a slide rule and pencil and paper to manually calculate the approach trajectory and safely connect the two spacecraft.

Compared to that, whipping up an SEO strategy doesn’t seem too hard, does it? Yes, you can do this yourself.

But the point of that story isn’t that you can do anything. You could learn to calculate spacecraft approach trajectories, or change car batteries, or tile roofs, or architect bridges, or design SEO strategies. But if you’re going to do it well, you have to devote the time, money and effort it takes to become an expert.

Designing a data-backed, adaptable and successful SEO strategy means, at the very least, becoming proficient in:

  • Customer research
  • Competitor research
  • Keyword research
  • Discerning search intent
  • On-page SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • Backlink building
  • Fluent and enticing communication

And you have to do that while maintaining your business, your family life, and your friendships and hobbies. 

You can’t expect yourself to do all that. We don’t expect ourselves to do all of that — that’s why we specialise. 

Being an effective business owner means knowing when to seek help from those with expertise beyond your capabilities. That’s what we do.

The takeaways

Yes, SEO strategies are absolutely worth investing in. Our results prove it.

Can you create a strategy without the help of an SEO specialist? Yes. Will it be any good? That’s for you to find out.

Why don’t we get more specific? Get in touch. Let’s chat about what you’re hoping to achieve with our business and how SEO and digital marketing, more broadly, can help you reach your goals. 

(And if you do partner with us, mention my name — Rohan D’Souza. I get a finder’s fee.)

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