Do It Yourself SEO Guide


SEO: When It's Best To Do It Yourself

Do It Yourself SEO Guide

SEO: When It's Best To Do It Yourself

When it comes to SEO, sometimes it's better to do it yourself. That may not sound like something you would hear coming from an SEO company that sells these services; however, when it comes down to it, we sell time and experience, and for some small businesses, all you have is time. Sometimes it's better to simply invest the time when you don't have the money or resources to invest. There are at least 2 instances in which I recall that demonstrates my point.

One example is when I paid someone to put in a new kitchen faucet. I had the money to hire a plumber, but for some reason I decided to hire an unskilled “handyman” from a popular online classified website. He spent hours, banging around under my sink, made the area dirty, and did not seem to know what he was doing. By the time he finished the job, there were leaks. To top all that off, when I confronted him, he threatened me, and demanded that I pay him. I didn't want the hassle, so like many, I simply paid him and wrote it off as a bad mistake. I then called a plumber who came in, did the job in under an hour, and ended up costing me less... You would think the lesson was learned, but no, it wasn't.

Another example is when I decided to paint a room myself. I figured I could do it. I just needed the paint, a brush, and a roll... The more time I spent in the paint aisle, the more overwhelmed I got and realized that I didn't plan it all out very well. So, I gave up, and decided that going cheap was the way to go and I hired another “handyman” that I found online. I had the resources, to pay for someone to do the job right, but I didn't want to pay the cost to paint a small room. The person I did end up paying spent the better part of a day painting a 50 square foot bathroom. Even worse, he did a terrible job, skipped areas, and basically made my bathroom look worse than it was in the first place. This wasn't about not having the resources, but rather, I simply didn't want to pay someone a thousand dollars to paint a small bathroom.

I let time go by, and eventually I had to fix the bathroom paint job. So, I decided to do it myself, but was far more prepared this time. I painted the whole bathroom in under a few hours. This included the second coat (which was a day later). So, I was able to do it better myself, than an unskilled person could have done it from an online ad. In fact, I decided to paint a few more rooms, and in the end, I painted 3 bedrooms, the bathroom, and the kitchen, and did a far better job! Of course, there was lots of research, time spent reading about techniques, etc. However, I was happy that I did it myself because the job actually came out better than paying others to do it. I'm sure you can relate to these examples if you have found yourself in such a situation.

When it comes to starting over, or starting a home business, I have known many people who decided to take a chance. I have known people who were at home due to a career change, or after having a family, and they had a specific skill to promote or sell, but did not have enough business to sustain hiring a professional for their digital marketing. So they created a website using an online service, and while I almost always knock these services (who am I kidding, I always knock them), it was all they thought they could afford at the time, so at least it gave them a start and the motivation to move forward.

One of these people that I knew was wonderfully skilled at creating things, but didn’t know how to sell them. If she had extra money, or this was a hobby and she had a full time career, I would suggest creating a website and hiring an SEO company (like us). However, all she had was her art and time, but did not have the resources to financially pay for a digital marketing company to manage their search engine optimization. In a case like this, it makes sense to read as much as you can about SEO, and do it yourself.

SEO takes time, and good search engine optimization techniques take months to learn. On average, we recommend that most people who can’t afford an SEO professional to spend at least 2-3 hours per day on SEO. That may sound like a lot, but it’s not, it’s the bare minimum that needs to be spent at first. As you start digging into everything, you will understand. As you get familiar, you can cut that time down to a few hours per week, depending on how much you have learned, and how extensive your website is. But ultimately, if you are promoting yourself, whether you are a person selling tangible goods, or a professional selling services, you need to focus your time and energy on doing it yourself, and SEO is one of the best methods for growing your business.

Sure, if you have the resources, by all means hire us, or an SEO company that knows what they’re doing. But, if you don’t have the cash flow, and have the time to invest, who better to grow your business? Do you think finding some cheap SEO company is going to do well for you? If someone is really that good at SEO; a skill that takes years to master, and hours per week for each company, why would they be cheap? Think about that. Even an expert needs to spend a minimum of 2-3 hours per month on any given SEO project. If they charge $100 per month, what is that, $33 per hour, before taxes, before insurance, and before overhead? Do you really think they are going to do as good of a job as you would, or as a real professional SEO company would?

No, they wouldn’t. I tell this to potential customers and Google workshop attendees all the time. The reason I have no problem telling them the truth, rather than pushing our services, is because if they don’t have the money to spend, they are not going to hire us. If we manage to convince them to hire us, and they don’t have a steady cash flow, we are going to be a burden to them should they not reap the benefits of any good SEO campaign. I also know that by telling them these facts, eventually they will come to us when they are successful and no longer have the time to do their own SEO. If someone gives me good advice, I have gone to them later when I needed their services, and I trusted them from the start because they told me the truth up front.

For example, I had a client who was a financial advisor, who had no traffic to his website, and did not have a budget for marketing. I told him I would not recommend hiring anyone to do SEO if he had the time to invest in it himself. He tried everything and could not manage to gain any traction or build success. He then came to me, hoping that SEO would be the answer to his problems. I brought up his traffic dramatically. He went from 2-3 people per week, to 20-30 per day, within a short period of time. He had some calls, some emails, but ultimately, he was not able to sustain himself at that career. So, despite how good our company was doing at SEO for him, I did not see this as a successful because our client was not successful. As a marketing professional, I believe he did too little, too late, but ultimately, this isn’t about his shortcomings, but rather, about the potential he had when he first started doing this on his own. The same potential that you currently have now.

So why pay for services that are likely to yield no results? Either pay someone who can do the job, or do it yourself. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of money. You’re paying for someone to do a bad paint job, and in the end, you won’t be able to fix it yourself and will need to hire a professional to fix their mistakes. Just be prepared to spend time, and analyze the results. You need to do more than wish for calls, you need to monitor your traffic, analyze the results, figure out what is working, and what is not working, and adjust accordingly.

Believe it or not, SEO is similar to getting your house painted, but you can’t simply paint over the section. If it’s done incorrectly, you will need to repaint. Unlike paint, however, it could take months, or even as much as a year to repair damage done by someone that does not understand SEO. If you do it yourself, follow the rules, and pay attention to these recommendations, there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself. However someone doing it for you “on the cheap,” is more likely to use shortcuts that in the long run can hurt your business, and create more obstacles than actually growing your business. So, do it right, by either doing it yourself, or hiring a digital marketing agency that knows how to do it right. If you do hire someone, make sure they offer month-to-month search engine optimization services or no contract SEO plans.

I prefer my clients’ to have success from our work. If they have the time, and don’t have the resources, ultimately, they should do it themselves. If they need to focus their time on sales, and/or building their products, but have the resources, please call us, so we can help with your SEO campaign. But, only do so if you have it in your budget, whether it’s for a few months, or you plan on doing this for years, we can help. But, do not hire any SEO company if you don’t have the money. If you think an SEO company is cheap, it’s because they are cheap for a reason. If an SEO professional can bring up search ranking for a client, and they get more customers, translating into thousands, or even millions of dollars, why would you ever think they would be cheap?


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