I admire your decision to do SEO on your own. However, I also have some words of advice. As you’re getting started – the onslaught of SEO tutorials and guides you’re going to read will often provide 100’s of different optimization methods to you all at once, sometimes leaving you even more confused than when you started.
Of course we also understand that some smart business owners are just trying to do their homework to get an understanding of what Search Engine Optimization is so that you can either save a few bucks, or at least come to understand SEO well enough that you don’t get taken advantage of when the time comes to select an SEO consultant.
Our recommendation is to always choose ONE main source of SEO guidance – and stick to it like glue. Find an author you like, follow their advice, and see if you get anywhere. The only way to know that your “Guru” knows his stuff is to test their methods for yourself. Though we’d love to be that source of guidance, we still recommend limiting your information intake to one agency or provider regardless of who you choose. At least try to stick to a “one-at-a-time” strategy. If the first person you follow doesn’t work out, move on to the next best option. The worst thing you can ever do is put your eggs in multiple baskets at the same time – or even worse, hire multiple agencies. Wires are going to become crossed over time – and then you’ll be putting out fires as the SEO penalties from Google start to stack up.
Another warning about self-taught learning would be to watch out for out-of-date sources like SEO blogs & articles. For example you might come across a website that lists a method you want to put into practice for your business, but you miss the fact that the post date is from 2009. Why is that so bad you might ask? Well, any “cutting-edge” methods that may have worked well back in 2010, are quite likely to be of zero use to your website today in 2018. Google makes major updates to their PageRank Algorithm on a weekly basis! It’s completely understandable that most people running a business have little to no extra time to read an SEO blog every day to keep up with the latest best practices.
When You’re Doing SEO on Your Own, Double-Check Everything
Do you really have any way of knowing whether that method you want to use really works? Aside from that blog post – is your first instinct to do additional research to see if everything checks out? In a nutshell, that’s SEO. You’ll be trying to read up and discover new options, strategies, and tactics. Test them out, record / measure the results of your changes, rinse and repeat. I say that so you have a realistic understanding of what you need to be doing to be successful if you really want to handle your own SEO. If you just about fell asleep reading that, you may want to re-think being your own Search Consultant because you’re going to be doing a whole lot of this type of thing!
By jumping all over the place and getting your information from multiple sources (self proclaimed SEO gurus etc) you will damn near guarantee yourself a boatload of confusion even if you do begin to comprehend bits and pieces as you go along. There’s really no way to get around that and it stems from the fact that there’s no agreed upon magic formula for success in the SEO industry. Those who do know how to improve position rankings are usually very guarded with those secrets (and with good reason) until the point they become common knowledge. There are online discussion forums full of disputes and arguments about SEO best practices and without any true authority on the subject – we may never know who’s right! How crazy is that?
We honestly wish you the best of luck should you choose to do your own SEO, just be aware you have your work cut out for you if you didn’t get started early on in the process (Early 2000’s). Those of us who have watched the industry grow from it’s infancy will always have a bit of a leg up on any late bloomers and that has much to do with being able to learn from the evolution of PageRank as we’ve watched it grow up. I remember the good old days of being able to rank my pages by tricking Search Engines with all kinds of “spammy” methods. Then, overnight it seemed everything changed in what Google, Yahoo, and Bing found to be “fair” and as things got more difficult, I became determined to focus on doing things the right way.
As the founder of an SEO company I’ve been able to view the traffic information for thousands of websites over the years – and as a result I have a solid understanding of what is going to improve website traffic, and what will negatively impact a site.
If you choose to heed my warnings about the pitfalls of doing your own SEO and decide you’d just as soon hire these very time-intensive tasks out, please schedule a FREE consultation and we’ll get started on turning your web properties into finely tuned SEO machines!