This is an SEO myth we get to hear a lot. As with so many things today, from the outset, it sure looks simple. Some think that a bit of "tweaking" with a few meta-tags and inserting a keyword or a key phrase in the title tag amounts to great SEO optimization!
To be really successful, a company that wishes to do its own "in house" optimization needs to get prepared for a lot more than that. You might be able to succeed "on your own" if you would have an in-house expert that really knows everything about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and has access to all the expensive and specialized technical equipment needed to do a professional, first rate job.
Professional website optimization and positioning used to be fairly easy, but not anymore. To make matters worse, most major search engine today constantly adjust or make important changes to their search algorithm, further complicating matters for your would-be "in house" SEO. Some techniques that were ok (such as resubmitting your site to search engines repeatedly, on a regular basis) might now get you in trouble as you might be viewed as a "spammer" and could cost you your rankings! To even begin to learn just the basics of what works, you would have to memorize about 800 pages of complex technical instructions. SEO is a science as well as an art.
To keep up with the daily changes in the world of search engines, you'll need to read another 200 pages a month just to keep abreast of all the latest changes. You will also have to read all the daily news in the field of search engines, as there is not a single day that goes by without seeing major changes, or buyouts, or mergers or new and powerful search technology being developed at one particular search engine.
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Additionally, you need to get a lot of hands-on, practical experience along the way. Chances are your "in-house expert" already has a full-time job too, so he or she isn't doing a good enough job of handling this as well.
In our experience at SEO, it just isn't worth it. You might start thinking about outsourcing this expertise if any of the following are true: