SEO 101

The Difference Between Helping SEO and Truly Doing SEO

Read about the importance of content creation, technical SEO, link building, and analytics in improving your search engine rankings. Learn the difference between helping and doing SEO and how working with an agency like Kahawai can benefit your business.

April 22, 2024


minute read


Ask any successful business owner how they market their company, and they’ll likely mention SEO as one of their key tactics. They might even spend their own time determining keywords or monitoring their search engine rankings. Having a hand in SEO as a business owner is a great start, but it’s also important to at some point develop a deeper SEO strategy to maximize your impact and drive continuous leads.

The most reliable way to improve your SEO is to work with an outside agency so you can capitalize on their expertise and resources. Going this route ensures that you're truly "doing" SEO rather than simply helping your SEO here and there. If you keep SEO in-house, you may have trouble growing your strategy beyond the basics and/or may find yourself committing a disproportionate amount of time to SEO compared to your other larger responsibilities.

Read this quick guide to see what "helps" your SEO compared to what truly brings results:

Keyword Research and Usage

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Helping SEO: Certain keywords naturally stand out in your industry—better smiles for dentists, easy taxes for accountants, etc. Once you have your keywords figured out, you can pepper them into your content based on common SEO tools or checklists.

Doing SEO: Simple, intuitive keywords are just the first layer. You'll be doing SEO instead of merely helping it when you include long-tail and semantic variations of your keywords. You'll also need to determine user intent and what it means for your brand. How you use your keywords will depend on data analytics rather than a simple checklist. This process also involves avoiding keywords that don’t bring in the right leads.

Content Creation

Helping SEO: Content drives SEO. Creating keyword-aware blog content for your website can make a modest but measurable difference in your search engine rankings, especially if you're using the right keywords. And you can help the content land better by following the right formatting. For instance, use headers instead of publishing long, unbroken chunks of content.

Doing SEO: Really doing SEO requires content that achieves both quality and quantity. Posting a few 600-word articles about your niche isn't enough to drive results. The content needs to be substantive and extensive. An experienced agency will create a long-term plan that revolves around satisfying user questions. If you're a dentist, that could mean writing posts about tooth implant prices. You can take it further with content clusters or "hubs." These are groups of related articles linked in a long-form landing page (similar to a table of contents), often totaling tens or even hundreds of thousands of words when it’s all said and done.

Technical SEO

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Helping SEO: There's a technical side to SEO that you really don’t want to ignore. At its most basic, this includes simple things like making sure your website loads fast enough. A slow load time almost always causes people to leave your site. Other simple fixes include meta tags and alt attributes. A quick review of your website analytics will show if these technical aspects are missing.

Doing SEO: A more comprehensive approach builds a stronger online presence. That means thinking about how the site interacts with the web from the ground up. Your site architecture should be arranged around optimizing indexing and crawlability. Google needs to be able to find your site and send readers your way. Regular, in-depth website audits are necessary to highlight any issues.

Link Building

Helping SEO: You know you want to share your content with users, but how? Link building is a viable strategy, and it's one of the most important parts of SEO. You may be doing it already, as a basic form of link building is posting content on social media. If people like what you share, they might share your posts with friends and naturally expand your reach. To help your SEO a little more, you can encourage other bloggers and websites to link to you.

Doing SEO: Link building becomes more serious when you work with an agency. An agency will work to cultivate relationships with relevant influencers and websites with the goal of better link acquisition. These links deepen your digital imprint, especially if you focus on high-authority sites in your field. However, be wary of any SEO agency that jumps headlong into link building right off the bat. A quality site will only agree to host your link if it leads to valuable content.

Analytics and Adjustment

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Helping SEO: If you're investing even a small chunk of time and energy into helping your SEO, you'll naturally want to monitor your progress. You can monitor your site traffic and see if there are any noticeable dips or peaks. It's also common to keep an eye on your keyword rankings. If a ranking falls, it could be a sign that a tweak is needed. By contrast, soaring popularity shows that you're doing something right and should continue along the same path. Conducting these quick checks requires limited resources and can be reasonably effective.

Doing SEO: SEO experts rely on advanced analytic tools that track everything from website traffic to user behavior and conversion rates. How long do users spend on your site? How many pages do they visit? By analyzing this data, we continually adjust an SEO strategy for optimal use. However, don't become too comfortable. Detailed analytics also lead to frequent strategy revisions.

Which Approach Is Right for Your Business?

Whether you're helping or doing SEO, you're engaged in a continuous process to boost brand awareness. Those who are at the top of the rankings need to ensure competitors don't overtake them, while those still reaching for the summit need to slowly but surely chip away at their long-term strategy. Either way, commitment is necessary.

When you work with Kahawai for content development, our experts can help your SEO with minimal extra effort, or we can go all in and create a complete SEO strategy that seriously strengthens your brand. The right choice depends on your overall business goals and budget. If you want SEO help but want to devote fewer resources, stick with our more basic plan. If you want to pull out all the stops, let us create a custom package that gives your site and brand maximum exposure. Both approaches can lead to more business and greater authority in your industry.

Contact us today to learn more →

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