If you’re going to do online marketing, you want to do it right. And to do it right, you need to dominate the Google SERPs for your keywords or niche. After all, if you’re not on the first page of Google search results, you essentially do not exist. You need SEO to get there, and let’s face it, you need a professional. Even if you know a few things about SEO, you have a business to run, and you don’t have time to implement and maintain an effective SEO strategy. You’re doing yourself a favor by hiring a company to help.
But just because you hire an SEO company, it doesn’t mean you want anyone else to know about it. Businesses typically keep behind-the-scenes marketing strategies private from the public and their customers. When it comes to SEO, it’s especially important to keep your outsourcing to yourself, and here’s why.
You Don’t Want to Seem Like You Need It
When it comes to white hat SEO, the focus is on getting your website to the top of the SERPs naturally, through tactics like quality backlink-building, valuable content, and optimizing your site’s HTML. Since the most important thing is that you legitimately rank at the top, you don’t want people to know you needed help to get there. Some people think that if you actually deserved a top spot, you wouldn’t need to hire an SEO company. Being associated with an SEO company can in some ways make your business seem inadequate on its own. As misguided as that sentiment is, it’s real for many people.
You Don’t Want to Go Down with the Ship
If you allow your SEO company to put your brand on their website as a way to foster their credibility, you are relying on them to actually be credible. You never know, however, what kind of tactics they could be using for other clients. If you don’t stay involved in the process, you might not even know what kinds of tactics they’re using for you. If they are engaged in black hat SEO, and they’re caught, your reputation will be hurt, too, just by association alone. The SEO company will be publically viewed as dishonest, underhanded, and of ill repute. People may get the wrong idea about you, too. If you didn’t know that your company was using black hat tactics, it won’t matter; the public will assume you did.
You Don’t Want Your Competition to Know
If you let people know that you’re using an SEO company, your competitors will know it, too. If they’re on top of their game, they’ll be looking closely at you, your marketing tactics, and your places on the SERPs for the keywords they want to be at the top of, too. It’s preferable to keep them guessing about your SEO strategy. Additionally, if they’re threatened by you, and they find out which SEO firm you’re using, they might try to hire the same one. Most SEO companies won’t work with direct competitors, but you never know, and you don’t want your successful strategies to work for your competition, too.
Oftentimes, it can be mutually beneficial for companies to disclose their business relationships to the public. But anytime you are associated with another business, there is risk involved. For SEO in particular, the stakes are higher than you should bet on. While hiring an SEO company in itself is normally a good idea, becoming associated with that company is not, so keep it to yourself.
Mey Lau is an SEO and marketing professional who loves to write pieces to help others understand the do’s and dont’s of SEO strategy.