If you spend time at some of the SEO forums on the web it is quite common to have people stop in and inquire about hiring someone to help their website achieve better rankings in the search engines. What’s fascinating is one of the popular answers is to not hire anybody – that if you want to achieve better results you should just do it yourself. I’ve always found this answer to be a bit surprising.
This will be a two part series. This first article will look at whether or not you should do your own SEO. In a follow-up article we will then look at what you will have to learn should you decide to do it yourself.
If someone at work were to ask you where the closest Grease Monkey shop was so that they could get their car tuned-up would you tell them to read up on how to change their own oil and to do it themself? If someone were to ask you if you know of a good plumber would you tell them to talk to someone at Home Depot and then do it themself? How about if someone needed a good physical therapist to aid them in recovery, would your response be, “just do it yourself?” Or if someone were to ask you if you knew of a good place to get barbecue ribs would you hand them a recipe and tell them to just make it themself? Probably not. So then why tell someone to take on all the design and marketing responsibilities of their website themselves?
I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking but they CAN do their own SEO. I don’t disagree. People can do just about anything they set their mind to; so I have no doubt they could do it themselves. But, the reality is that we pay for things all the time that we could do ourselves. In fact just recently I paid a good bit on money to have someone build a flagstone patio in my backyard. I could have done the job myself, the skills required to do the job aren’t great, but for me to do the job would actually cost me more money because my time is more valuable than that. In addition, the guys I hired are professionals; there’s no doubt they did a better job than I could have done. I also pay people to change the oil in my car and I even pay people to make and deliver pizzas to me. I pay for all sorts of things I could do myself, and so do you.
So just because they CAN do it themselves doesn’t mean they should. Before you tell someone to do their own SEO have them answer the four questions below.
Answer these four questions before you decide to do your own SEO:
1. Do I really have time to take on the development and promotion of a website?
Most CEO’s or entrepreneurs don’t have time to do optimization and marketing; they’re too busy running a business. They’re forecasting trends, cornering markets, and managing relationships — to suggest they should stop that to spend time on their website could actually cost them more money than if they hired someone.
2. How much is my time worth?
This is a question you should always ask yourself before starting any project. Remember, time spent doing one job is time away from doing another. Again, this could mean you are actually losing money by doing the job yourself.
3. How strong are my web development skills?
Really be honest, most CEOs I know are business people, not techies.
4. How good are your marketing skills?
Maybe you do have the development skills – what about the marketing skills? Marketing and promoting actually takes much more time than developing does. MUCH MORE! And it should never end!
After answering these questions you should be better equipped to decide if you are the right person for the job or if someone else is. There’s little doubt that some people could and probably even should do their own SEO – after all some of you like to change your own oil and some of you even like to make your own pizzas. But, often times you will be better off hiring a professional.
[ NOW READ PART 2 ]