By Sam W Gillard

Most small and medium sized business owners with a web presence by now know at least what SEO stands for and the concept behind it. However, when it comes to the question of 'do I need an SEO?' plenty of people aren't quite sure of the answer. Plenty of people also think they can get a good search ranking by themselves.

If your regular line of work isn't keeping you too busy you could dedicate more time to producing high quality content that people want to read and search engines want to promote. Of course that's only a tiny part of what SEO is all about, so you'll probably want to check out a library book or two to learn more. Just make sure you leave someone suitable in charge, because you'll soon find there's a lot more to SEO than you thought there was.

However, it's much more likely that since your expertise lies somewhere else you won't have all the SEO methods at your disposal. Learning them yourself can be a difficult as well as time-consuming process. If your business has lots of online competition the chances of getting a good search ranking without expert SEO knowledge aren't good.

If you are fortunate to have found yourself with the top spot for a search term without the help of an SEO don't pop open the champagne just yet. A top search spot by itself doesn't mean anything. Firstly, it could actually mean fewer people are viewing your website than if you were ranked lower for a more popular term. Secondly, the people finding their way to your website might not be interested in what you have to offer if their keyword searches don't match what you're offering.

This is where an SEO can really help - the good ones don't just improve your search ranking for any old term. Instead, they find out what consumers are searching for on the internet. Are more people searching for 'fire extinguishers' or 'fire fighting equipment'? Focusing on the right keyword can make all the difference. A good SEO will have no hesitations in letting you know how else they can help your business, and if it results in a good return on investment then there really should be nothing to stop you enquiring.

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