I enjoy listening to a podcast by Leo Laporte at twit.tv. During his Valentines Day show (2010) he told a caller that SEO was snake oil, and was so simple, most folks should just do it themselves.
Ugh. Not really.
Sure, if someone has time, and the computer skills, yes, they can spend the hours to learn what works to help a site rank higher in the search engine results, update title tags, do keyword research, build out more pages on their site, add a blog, verify and update their local and directory listings, and do backlink research on the competition…
But then, they could also spend hours learning tax laws and do their own business taxes… or hire a CPA.
Or they could read a few articles on the Internet about framing and dry-wall, and mud and tape… OR they could hire a contractor to remodel their basement. It comes down to what business you are in, and what you should really spend your time doing. Leo seems to think a couple small changes to a title tag and “get some links” will be all you need. Sorry Leo. It’s just not that simple.
And even if it were.. the guy running the shoe store is too busy helping his customers and trying to motivate his employees than try to learn how to update his website. So when I can point out his home base title tag is “Untitled” and he has an all flash site that isn’t indexed… the money he pays me to optimize his site will be money very well spent.
If you want your site to rank higher (and you probably should), ask yourself… do I really want to spend my time learning all about this crazy web stuff? or should I spend my time doing what I do well, and hire someone else to help me with my rankings.
I know it’s tempting to save money and do it yourself. I tried to give myself a buzz cut right before a holiday party last December. Let’s just say, the results were not pretty, and the only option was to shave my head and go to the party bald.
There are bad apples in every industry (Leo, I bet you even know of some radio talk show hosts that are snake oil salesmen.. and they might even be on the same AM stations that broadcast your fine show). So as with most things… when hiring someone to help with your website, do your home work, get references, and be careful of anyone promising you top rankings.