Why Hire An SEO Expert VS A Digital Agency That “Offers” SEO: What 3 SEO Experts had to say.

three SEO experts

If you’ve experienced one of the following:

  • You were promised SEO as part of a website package, but you’re still waiting for your site to appear on Google…
  • Or you signed up for an SEO contract, and the company looked like it did a bunch of tasks, but your rankings went backwards instead of forwards…
  • Or you’re working with a Digital Agency promising “we’ll do all your SEO for cheap”, but to this day, you still scratch your head wondering what, if anything, is being done or if they even know what they’re doing.

It’s most likely because a Digital Agency that doesn’t understand Search Engine Optimisation told you they could handle your SEO needs.

And it’s not your fault.

So many others are in the same boat…

That’s why we’ve put this resource together to help you make an educated decision.

We interviewed three seasoned SEO experts, each offering unique perspectives and insights.

Key Takeaways From The Experts:

  • Digital Marketing Agencies tend to do a good job at basic SEO. However, if you want top results or are in a competitive market, you’ll require the help of an SEO Expert.

  • The top common technical SEO errors are crawling issues & proper indexing of the right URLs.

  • The top ways to increase site load speed are compressing large images, browser caching, better hosting and minimising javascript.

  •  “Go-To” technical audit tools include SEMrush, Ahref’s, Screaming Frog & Google Search Console.

  • The “Title Tag” is the No.1 on-page factor that gets SEO results.

  • “Keyword research” is not straightforward and requires an experienced expert to get it right.

  • Quickest and biggest bang for buck UX fix: increase page speed.

  • The top 3 Backlink strategies mentioned are Outreach, Guest Blog Posts, Creating Linkable Assets.

  • No.1 Review tip: respond to positive and ESPECIALLY to bad reviews.

  • Key thought on Socials: “Google cares about your brand!”

  • Top 2 Local Things To Nail: geo-relevant landers and correct/consistent Name Address Phone Number (NAP) across the web.

  • Free & Easy SEO Win: Claim & Optimise your Google Business Profile.

  • Voice Search: If you’re operating and servicing customers locally… it’s relevant.

  • Quick tip for eCommerce sites with lots of duplicate content: get your canonicals right!

  • Top Product Page Tip: “Put yourself in your customer's shoes”, then write the product description around this understanding.

  • Use Structured Data and Schema Mark Up to win extra clicks. 

By the end of the article, you’ll know if you want to stay with your Digital Agency or hire an SEO Expert to get your website ranking and drive leads & sales.

What’s the problem with Agencies offering SEO without a specialist on the team?

Digital Market Agencies usually grasp SEO but may not possess extensive expertise in any particular area.

What we have found in our experience is that their interpretation of SEO is installing a plugin such as YOAST and giving the site the capability to be optimised. That's as far as it goes.

Some agencies do have a better grasp of SEO. They understand the need to optimise some aspects of the site but forget about technical aspects, link building or content marketing.

These agencies are usually a great starting point to get your website off the ground.

However, if you’re looking to rank your website in the top 3 spots on Google, especially for competitive phrases, this level of expertise is often outside of their reach.

What type of SEO can you expect from a non specialists Digital Agency?

When we take over campaigns from agencies that have hit their SEO limits we find that they tend to do 3 things really well.

  1. Design functional and easy-to-use websites, which means a good user experience.
  2. Minimize technical errors on the website
  3. Basic optimisation of title, meta & H tags across pages.

Based on this, you should at a bare minimum expect a Digital Agency to be able to create a great user experience on your website, with minimum technical errors and basic on-page SEO completed.

What is an SEO Expert?

Conversely, an SEO Expert is an individual who has finely tuned their skills and knowledge to a high degree of specialisation in a particular aspect of SEO. 

A well-seasoned SEO expert should have the knowledge and demonstrate an understanding around the following concepts:

Technical SEO:

  • Load speed
  • Broken links
  • AMP
  • Crawlability
  • Page size
  • Non-secure content
  • Mixed content
  • Canonicals
  • Redirects

On-page SEO:

  • Page cannibalisation
  • Duplicate content
  • Title, meta, Htag optimisation
  • Keyword density
  • Internal linking
  • Structured data
  • Schema mark up
  • Image optimisation
  • Quality content


  • Entities
  • Content clusters
  • Semantic interlinking
  • Rank brain
  • Customer journey

Link Building:

  • Local links
  • Link Outreach
  • Multi-Media Links
  • PBN’s (private blog networks)
  • Guest Blog Posts
  • Linking Asset Content and anchor text optimisation


  • eCommerce SEO
  • Local SEO
  • Multi City SEO
  • International SEO
  • Mobile Rankings

Advanced Concepts

  • EEAT
  • Core Web Vitals
  • Crawl Budget
  • Rank Brain
  • Cumulative Layout Shift
  • Semantic SEO
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • Website User Experience (UX)

SEO experts deeply understand the intricacies and subtleties within their chosen specialisation and can offer advanced strategies and solutions customised for intricate SEO challenges. 

SEO Experts are frequently sought after for larger, more competitive websites and industries.

The choice between employing a generalist or an expert hinges on the specific needs and objectives of a business, website or campaign.

Introducing Our SEO Experts

SEO expert David Krauter

David Krauter Expert #1

Roles: Head of SEO
Years in SEO: 10+ years
Specialisation: SEO Strategy
Industry: Service based, Professionals & eCommerce
Size of clients: Small businesses, National Companies and consulted on global projects for Proctor & Gamble

SEO expert Camilla Hansen

Camilla Hansen Expert #2

Roles: In Organisations, Agency, Freelance
Years in SEO: 5 years
Specialisation: On-page SEO and User Experience
Industry: Professional Services, Retail, Hospitality, eCommerce
Size of clients: Individuals, Small Businesses & Large Nationwide Companies

Robin Averbeck SEO expert

Robin Averbeck | Expert #3

Roles: In-House SEO (eCommerce), Agency, Consulting
Years in SEO: 5 years
Specialisation: On-page SEO, UX, and Off-page SEO
Industry: Ecommerce, Retail, Professional Services, Travel
Size of clients: Large eCom Companies, Small Local Businesses, Large Nationwide Companies

3 Experts share their knowledge based on their SEO specialisations.

technical SEO graphic

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to the process of optimising a website's infrastructure, code, and server configuration to ensure it meets search engine guidelines. It focuses on improving website performance, crawl-ability, index-ability, and user experience, ultimately enhancing a site's chances of ranking well in search engine results pages.

Technical Questions we asked our SEO Experts

1. "What are the most common technical SEO issues that websites often encounter, and how can these issues impact a site's search engine rankings and overall performance?"

  • Expert 1: The most common technical SEO issue is the website and its pages are accessible from multiple variations of the URL. Search engines will need help to rank and index the proper URLs of those pages. The general idea is that webpages should be accessible from a single URL

  • Expert 2: I often come across websites that are not keeping up with the ever-evolving world of optimisation. Slow loading speed is one common issue, poor mobile usability is another. A poorly set-up URL structure is also very common - this is often the case for businesses that have added more services down the track, without taking this into account when first building their website.

  • Expert 3: I'd say the two most common technical SEO issues I see across clients' sites are pages not being indexed correctly and slow page load times. Firstly, Google can only crawl pages which are indexed. If they are not indexed, they essentially don't exist on Google and you won't receive any traffic. An easy trick to see which pages are indexed for a specific domain is to search site:"your domain" in Google. It will then display all the results. If the specific domain you searched for is not appearing or certain pages are missing it means they are not indexed. This can be fixed using Google Search Console. Secondly, page load speed is a major ranking factor for Google as it wants to provide searchers with the best user experience while they are searching. A standard benchmark that we use in SEO is that pages should load in under 3 seconds. Therefore, if you have a slow performing site it will affect both your site's ranking and user experience once the user is on your site.

2. "Could you explain the importance of site speed and mobile-friendliness in technical SEO, and what strategies or best practices should businesses implement to ensure their website meets these criteria?"

  • Expert 1: The site speed is a must for websites as users browse the site through smartphones using mobile data. Therefore, the site needs to be faster. One way to achieve this is to use clean coding and compressed images. The site where it is being hosted also plays a major part. Closer to the customer audience, the better.

  • Expert 2: Who wants to wait for a website to load, or try to read a text that is way too small for a mobile screen? Ensuring that your website is optimised is absolutely crucial if you don’t want people to drop out and select the next website from the never ending list of options on SERP. Ask an SEO expert to audit your site, or try free tools like Google Search Console to see if your site is mobile-friendly.

  • Expert 3: As mentioned above, site speed is very important for both improving your sites ranking on the SERP but also the overall user experience. In 2021 Google announced a Page experience update to enhance its algorithm. This made it very critical for anyone in SEO to focus on improving page speed. From a user experience point of view, data shows that if users have to wait longer than 3 seconds for a page to load they will simply go somewhere else. Businesses can implement both technical and on-page fixes (vary in complexity) to speed up their pages, including compressing large images, browser caching, hosting options, and minimising javascript. In today's day and age more than 60% of Google searches are on mobile instead of on desktop. Therefore, you definitely want to optimise your site for both mobile and desktop. In addition, mobile first indexing is now the standard. This means algorithms will index the mobile rendered version of a page instead of desktop. You can easily get an overview of how your page is performing and where the bottlenecks are for both mobile and desktop by using Googles Page Speed Insights.

3. "What tools and techniques do you use for technical SEO audits, and how do you prioritise and address the issues you uncover during the audit process to improve a website's SEO performance?"

  • Expert 1: There are various SEO tools in the market these days. One needs to use that are reputable and comfortable with. We prefer SEMRush and AHrefs.

  • Expert 2: Screaming Frog is one of my go-to tools to get a quick overview - it will show if there are any broken pages or links on the site, and give you an overview of all URLs, page titles, descriptions, images alt text and more. For a deeper analysis, SEMrush is the tool of preference. It’s an expensive tool but it will let you analyse a deep and broad spectra of any website.

  • Expert 3: For me, an SEO audit is made up of using both manual site checks and industry tools. You can find out a lot about a website by simply checking if it's using SEO best practices such as site structure. After doing an initial manual check, I will then use tools such as Screaming Frog, SEM Rush, and Google Search Console to dive deeper into technical issues that need to be fixed. For example, HTTPS security, indexing, XML sitemaps, robots.txt file, broken links etc. Each issue usually has a different weight score depending on how important it is. This is used to prioritise the fixes.
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What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO involves optimising individual web pages to improve their search engine rankings and attract organic traffic. It encompasses various factors, including optimising content, meta tags, headings, URL structure, and internal linking to make a webpage more relevant and accessible to both search engines and users. Effective on-page SEO helps search engines understand the page's content and relevance, leading to better rankings and increased visibility in search results.

On-Page SEO Questions we asked our SEO Experts

1. "What are the key on-page SEO factors that have the most significant impact on a webpage's search engine rankings, and how should businesses optimise their content and HTML elements to improve these factors?"

  • Expert 1: The key on-page optimisation SEO factor is ensuring the page titles and headings represent the page's intent. We try to do this by injecting keywords, but not in a spammy way.

  • Expert 2: The URL structure and the page title are two of the most important factors here. The page description does not affect the ranking but a well written one can increase the click-through-rate. Each web page should be structured using Heading Tags similar to how a book is structured with chapters.

  • Expert 3: In my opinion the key on-page SEO factors with the most significant impact are:

    - Keyword research - Find relevant keywords with search volume to use within your content
    - Header tags - Have a clear structure for H1, H2, and H3 tags on your pages and include your target keywords
    - Meta titles - Include a unique meta title for each page on the site which includes your keywords
    - Internal linking - Form a network of internal links between related pages to create topic clusters and increase topical authority.

    The overall goal of on-page optimisation should always be to keep the end user in mind and not Google. If you provide a great user experience with high topic authority and give the searcher what they want you will naturally rank well. Over optimising your site can lead to Google penalising you for keyword stuffing.

2. "Can you share best practices for keyword optimisation in on-page SEO, including how to conduct keyword research, integrate keywords into content, and maintain keyword relevancy without over-optimisation?"

  • Expert 1: Keyword density used to be a thing back in the day. Google is smart enough to determine if a site uses keyword spamming techniques. So try to be natural with the usage while also being strategic at the same time. Using your main keywords in the headings and within the first few paragraphs is recommended. SEMRush is a good tool for keyword research.

  • Expert 2: First of all - do not over use keywords on the page in an effort to outrank your competitors. This is called keyword stuffing and it will give you the opposite effect. Instead, research what words and phrases your ideal website visitor is using to find the services or products you offer, and use those on your page. Every web page should focus on one specific word or phrase, and include keywords that support that main topic.

  • Expert 3: As mentioned above, the most important thing to keep in mind when optimising on-page SEO is not to over-optimise your content (stuff your pages with keywords). There needs to be a balance between implementing your keywords and keeping the content as natural as possible. A good place to start is by using SEM Rush's Keyword Magic tool to begin researching potential keywords. Ideally, you want to map out which pages will target specific topics/keywords. From there you want to find a mix of both high volume keywords (high competition) and long-tail keywords that usually have lower search volume but less competition. In addition, the tool will also provide you with questions people ask around a specific keyword which you can use as a guide to create useful content.

3. "In terms of on-page SEO, how does user experience (UX) play a role in search engine rankings, and what strategies should businesses employ to enhance both user experience and SEO simultaneously?"

  • Expert 1: A good user experience is necessary for any website aiming to rank higher. UX indicate how user-friendly and easy it is to navigate and find information on the site. The user-friendliness starts with the page speed of the pages. If the site is not friendly enough, users leave the site in a short time and over the period, this trend lets Google know that the site is not good enough for the intended search terms or the site as a whole.

  • Expert 2: If Google will take notice if the majority of your website visitors are quickly leaving your site, before even clicking through to another page. They want their users to be satisfied with their search results, and if you can’t meet their requirements Google will favor another website. There are free tools that will measure your visitor’s behaviour. Analyse where improvements are needed to achieve a seamless user journey.

  • Expert 3: User experience and SEO overlap in many ways. The definition of UX is to provide the best user experience for users whilst on your site. The overall goal of SEO is to improve rankings. How do you improve rankings? By showing Google that your site is going to provide the best overall UX for its users. So, by keeping UX top of mind you have already won half the battle. At the end of the day this is Google's main goal, to display search results which are both the most relevant and useful for their users. Businesses should have a good understanding of what their customers are searching for and intent in order to rank for these queries. However, once the user lands on their site it also needs to be user friendly to then convert. User friendliness includes things like:

    - Design
    - Site structure
    - Page speed
    - Accessibility
    - Responsiveness
    - Mobile friendliness
Off-Page SEO graphic

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO refers to the activities and strategies implemented outside of a website to enhance its search engine rankings and online authority. It primarily involves building high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites, managing online reputation and mentions, and engaging in social media marketing and influencer outreach. Off-page SEO is essential for establishing a website's credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines, which can result in improved rankings and increased organic traffic.

Off-Page SEO Questions we asked our SEO Experts

1. "Could you explain the significance of backlinks in off-page SEO, and what strategies do you recommend for acquiring high-quality, authoritative backlinks that can positively impact a website's search engine rankings?"

  • Expert 1: Backlinks are a major off-page ranking factor. The idea here is that if your site is useful and good enough for other sites to link to, then it is deemed valuable, and Google favours it. The website needs to gain the backlinks in a non-spammy way - it should be natural. However, with the correct strategy, it can still be achieved. A few ways include providing value to the users through information, services or led by examples, or generate noteworthy resources/assests that media sites would love to mention.

  • Expert 2: Easily put; if high authority websites and organisations link to your website, it tells search engines like Google that your website is relevant. Pin-point which company within your industry (or relevant to your industry) you would like to gain a backlink from, and investigate opportunities on their website. Reach out and offer them something they can’t resist in exchange for a backlink, such as a well written guest blog post that would provide value to their clients/customers.

  • Expert 3: Quality backlinks have always been a big part of SEO. They essentially give your page a vote of confidence and validate to Google that your page is providing useful content as it's being linked to from a referring domain. The higher the authority score of the referring domain the better quality the backlink will be which will give your page a boost. There are many different ways to obtain backlinks including link insertion (find a relevant blog post and request them to link to your page),  guest posting (you provide a quality piece of content for another site to post and link back to your page), finding where your brand is mentioned but not linked and requesting them to link it, or building content which is missing in other blogs and providing them value to link to it (for example if you find an article which is missing key statistics and you provide this for them link to).

2. "In the context of off-page SEO, how does online reputation management and brand mentions contribute to a website's overall SEO performance, and what approaches should businesses take to maintain a positive online presence?"

  • Expert 1: This kind of relates to the response above. To add more, businesses can maintain online reputation by accumulating positive reviews and responding to bad ones straight away, frequently updating social media, and providing remarkable services to customers.

  • Expert 2: Always respond to reviews, especially bad ones. Remember that anyone who can see the negative reviews are likely to read your answer so make sure that you write in a professional and positive manner. Interact with customers/clients on social media and in comment sections on your blog.

  • Expert 3: In my opinion any PR is good PR when it comes to SEO. In this case you need to differentiate SEO from brand management. If there is a bad story out there linking back to your site you are still getting that backlink. Google does not care if the story is good or bad, you will simply be rewarded with a quality backlink. However from a CTR point of view it does not paint a good picture for the customer if the overall sentiment is negative towards your brand on the first page.

    Brand management for SEO specifically comes down to making sure that whenever a searcher encounters your site its following your brands guidelines. Often times a search engine will be the first encounter a potential new customer will have with your brand.

3. "What role does social media play in off-page SEO, and how can businesses effectively leverage social media platforms to enhance their online authority and visibility in search engine results?"

  • Expert 1: It plays an important role. Being active on various social platforms will help to increase brand authority and trustworthiness, which is an important factor in rankings. Businesses need to ensure the business's name, phone number and address remain consistent across all the social profiles. You do not need to be active on all the social platforms. Choose ones that match your industry and customer engagement.

  • Expert 2: Even though social media doesn’t have a direct impact on SEO, they provide pathways to your website - make the most of it! Review which platforms your customers tend to use, and be active on those. If you run a corporate business, LinkedIn is likely your best bet, while an eCommerce business are more likely to get a great reach through Instagram. Try to use the same profile name on all platforms to make it easy for people to find you.

  • Expert 3: Even though social media does not impact SEO directly and isn't a rankings factor it can be used as a tool to influence rankings. For example, if your content goes viral across social media it will drive more traffic to your sites blog article and tell Google this page has authority which can indirectly boost the ranking. Furthermore, links from your social media accounts can help boost local SEO through citations.
Local SEO Graphic

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a specialised branch of search engine optimisation that focuses on optimising a website and online presence to improve visibility in local search results. It involves strategies and tactics aimed at helping businesses appear in local searches, particularly on search engines like Google and Bing, as well as in map listings. Local SEO includes optimising a Google Business Profile, acquiring local citations, generating online reviews, and tailoring website content to cater to local search intent, all to enhance a business's prominence in local searches and attract nearby customers.

Local SEO Questions we asked our SEO Experts

1. "What are the most critical factors for businesses looking to optimise their online presence for local search, and how do you recommend they start their local SEO strategy?"

  • Expert 1: Make their local listings on the web consistent across all, ensuring name, address and phone (NAP) are the same. Complete the profiles by including all the company details - services, trading hours, a few images, a logo, and more. The first step is to ensure that you claim the business name on major platforms such as Google, Bing, Yelp and Apple Maps listings.

  • Expert 2: If you have branches in multiple locations (if you are a plumber, for example), it can be worth adding a web page per location and service on your website. These pages shouls be dedicated to the specific target area and speak to the locals. You can add case studies, show local projects and talk about solving problems that are specific to the area you are targeting.

  • Expert 3: One of the most critical factors for businesses looking to optimise their online presence for local search in multiple locations is to have dedicated GEO landing pages per location. This will enable you to target specific location related keywords for different locations your business operates in. By doing so, you will increase the chances of your pages ranking higher as they have a higher topical relevance for the location. Start by conducting keyword research around your locations to see if there is potential search traffic. Then optimise the pages by implementing keywords, NAP details, and maps. This will show Google that you are prominent in this location. Furthermore, ensure you have created a Google Business Profile for each location with up to date NAP details. This will increase your visibility when users are searching locally as Google will display the businesses closest, most prominent, and relevant to the users search query. Google displays the business profiles right at the top of the page above search results so it's great real estate for your business to show up.

2. "Could you explain the significance of Google My Business optimisation and local citations in local SEO, and what strategies or best practices do you recommend for businesses to effectively manage and improve these aspects?"

  • Expert 1: Google deems to keep an eye on the business existence and ranks the site according to their Map Pack, looking at the local citations all over the internet. The higher in consistency and number, the better. Effectively managing, as mentioned in point no. 1 above, will help to dominate the local visibility within the service areas.

  • Expert 2: Every business should have an optimised Google Business Profile - this will make them visible on Google Maps for local searches. Ensure that your basic information and contact details are correct, collect reviews, upload images and add your services and service area. Add your business details to other online directories and make sure to use the same address and contact details on all of them.

  • Expert 3: Optimising your Google Business Profile is essential for local SEO. Without it, your business will not display when people are searching for local businesses. Around 64% of consumers use it to find contact details of businesses or where they are located. By listing your business, you will significantly increase conversions. A business should ensure that the details listed on their business profile are always up to date, collect reviews, include photos, list the right categories, add products, post weekly etc. In addition to optimising their GBP they should also build local citations to further validate to Google that they are local. Always make sure that the NAP details you are listing on local citations match the ones on your GBP and website. The easiest way to get local citations is through directory sites. Simply list your business which includes a link to your site.

3. "In the context of local SEO, how does mobile optimisation and voice search impact search rankings and user behavior, and what steps should businesses take to ensure they're catering to these trends in their local SEO efforts?"

  • Expert 1: Mobile optimisation ensures that your website is responsive and user-friendly on mobile devices. Google considers user experience as a ranking factor, so a mobile-friendly site is more likely to rank higher in mobile search results. With voice search, it is often used for local queries, such as "find a nearby restaurant" or "plumber near me." Ensuring your business information, including location and contact details, is accurate and up-to-date is crucial for ranking in voice search results
  • Expert 2: Imagine a tourist walking the streets of a city they are visiting, searching for a restaurant. They are guaranteed to use their phone to find what they are looking for. If you website is targeting their area and is mobile friendly, you are more likely to rank higher for their search and win a new customer. Use free tools such as Google Search Console to analyse how mobile friendly your website is, or get in touch with an SEO expert to have it reviewed professionally.
  • Expert 3: As mentioned in a previous question a majority of consumers today are searching mainly on their mobile devices. If you are not optimising your site for mobile then you are missing out on both traffic and conversions through lower rankings and poor UX. A study has shown that 50% of the US population (Australian Statistics here: 49% if you want to replace it) use voice search features daily. This will only increase as the technology improves and generational shifts happen. Therefore, it's important that you as a business stay agile and optimise your site for voice search to maximise search visibility. To optimise your site for voice search, you need to put yourself in the shoes of a voice searcher. Add long-tail keywords, conversational keywords, and questions which can all be found using tools such as SEM Rush.
eCommerce SEO graphic

What is eCommerce SEO?

eCommerce SEO is a specific subset of search engine optimisation tailored to online retail websites. Its primary goal is to enhance the visibility and ranking of eCommerce websites in search engine results pages (SERPs) to attract more organic traffic and boost sales. This involves optimising product pages, and category structures, enhancing site speed and user experience, managing duplicate content, and implementing schema markup, all geared towards improving the online shopping experience and increasing conversions for eCommerce businesses.

eCommerce SEO Questions we asked our SEO Experts

1. "What are the key technical SEO challenges specific to eCommerce websites, and how can businesses address issues like duplicate content, faceted navigation, and site speed to improve their online store's search engine performance?"

  • Expert 1: One key technical SEO challenge for an e-commerce site is the duplicate content issue caused by the same content accessible from different URLs. To overcome the duplicate content issues, ensure each content is accessible from only one URL. If not possible, configure the canonical URL to the preferred link. On the page speed improvement part, try using standard image sizes that are compressed well. We want to make sure because almost all e-commerce sites heavily use product images.

  • Expert 2: In general, an eCommerce has a lot of images and/or product videos. This can slow the site down and have a negative impact on the user experience and rankings. To avoid this, compromise your images and videos - there are free tools for this. When it comes to duplicate content, which is another common issue especially for large-scale eCommerce, Google is smart enough to understand that your product pages will contain similar descriptions, but make sure that each product page at least has its unique title.

  • Expert 3: This comes down to how large the eCommerce site is and how many products they have. This can significantly vary from only a few products to hundreds of thousands of products. The structure of the site and breadcrumbs then become very important in how the products are organized into categories/sub-categories (Category > Sub-category > Product). Also, as product count increases, so does the number of images and duplicate content. This significantly slows down your site so it's vital that these images are compressed as low as possible without compromising quality. eCommerce site owners should focus on creating unique product descriptions. Sometimes this may be difficult if it's the same product but a different variant e.g different color or size. Google should recognize this and not penalize you for duplicate content, but to be safe you could use canonical tags on the variant pages to show Google where the original content is located.  The biggest technical challenge from an SEO point of view is to constantly complete a hygiene check on the site as products are constantly changing. This can cause orphan pages and broken links. Therefore, it's very important to do regular hygiene checks to fix these.

2. "Product pages are crucial for eCommerce success. Could you share best practices for optimising product descriptions, images, and other on-page elements to improve their search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic to individual product listings?"

  • Expert 1: For the best practices, add unique product descriptions, include detailed product details, use key terms and specifications, and follow the same formatting and template for all the product pages. Also, ensure product schema is firing properly so the search results can get populated with rich snippets like price reviews and stock availability. In regards to the images, name the image file that is descriptive about the image and always compress the image before uploading.

  • Expert 2: First of all, check out the competition. What do they include on their product pages, and what are they missing? Secondly, put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What information would they find necessary to take action? Make your listings stand out by including sensory words in your descriptions - what does the leather shoe feel like? What does the soap smell like, and how will it make your hands feel? This can help the customer see themselves using or engaging with your product, which is a step in the right direction.
  • Expert 3: My top 5 best practices for optimising product descriptions are:

    - Include keywords relevant to your products which have search volume into the content.
    - Ensure you are optimising the page for speed. Compress images and check to see if videos may be slowing down the page.
    - Keep UX front of mind when designing the page (cut clutter, call to actions, and be easy to navigate).
    - Optimise all on-page elements such as header tags, meta titles, meta descriptions, and alt tags.
    - Include product structured data to increase visibility in rich results on the SERP e.g price, reviews, offers etc.

3. "In eCommerce SEO, how does structured data and schema markup play a role in enhancing search engine visibility and click-through rates, and what types of data should eCommerce websites consider marking up to stand out in search results?"

  • Expert 1: Structured data with schema markup is essential for e-commerce platforms. It helps Google understand the product page in-depth and shows rich snippets that make it stand out. These rich snippets display price, reviews, images, and availability data, enhancing the click-through rates. E-commerce sites should consider marking their product pages with Product Pageschema and product category pages with the Collections Page schema. Alongside those, breadcrumbs schema should be used to show the trails of the page structure.

  • Expert 2: Structured data is a piece of code that you can add to your web pages to spoon-feed search engines information about your product. The more specified you are, the better the result. If you are unsure how to do this, get in touch with an SEO expert.

  • Expert 3: As mentioned above schema markup plays an important role in increasing search engine visibility and CTR. It pulls key bits of information from your product offering and displays them on the SERP in the form of snippets. This will give searchers a quick snapshot as they are scrolling through results. Many people might simply choose the product with the highest number of positive ratings or ones that offer free shipping/ or sales. If you don't have these included they may look over your listing. These are the types of data I would suggest to add (if possible):

    - Reviews
    - Price
    - Offer (sale price)
    - Image

Hire an SEO Expert or hire an Digital Marketing Agency - What's the next step?

As we wrap up our exploration of the SEO world's intriguing debate between hiring an SEO expert or sticking with a generalist Digital Marketing Agency, one thing becomes crystal clear: there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The insights shared by our three distinguished SEO experts underscore the importance of aligning your choice with your specific needs and goals.

Whether you're looking for specialised SEO solutions or a versatile approach to digital marketing, both paths have their merits. 

What truly matters is understanding your unique circumstances and objectives. 

Do you need laser-focused expertise to rank in the top three spots on Google, or are you just looking to tick the boxes of SEO however actually ranking your site on Google doesn’t really affect your business success?

By carefully weighing the opinions and experiences of these experts, you're empowered to make an informed decision and get a quote from an agency that serves the best interests of your business.

Remember, the SEO landscape is dynamic, and ongoing evaluation and adaptation are key to success. Choose wisely, and your digital presence will undoubtedly flourish.