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Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

Oct14

Written by:
2009/10/14 10:57 AM RssIcon

Googlelogo Derek Powazek launched an attack on SEO and SEO Consultants on 12 October 2009 that really said nothing that others haven’t ranted about before. In fact he is either a genius or a complete idiot. I must admit that the post did attract a lot of attention. Perhaps this was his ultimate goal. To create a controversial topic so as to attract huge amounts of traffic.

This is what he said in his post.

“Search Engine Optimization is not a legitimate form of marketing. It should not be undertaken by people with brains or souls. If someone charges you for SEO, you have been conned.”

“like the goat sacrificers and snake oil salesmen before them, a new breed of con man was born, the Search Engine Optimizer. These scammers claim that they can dance the magic dance that will please the Google gods and make eyeballs rain down upon you.”

By these statements he obviously does not know what he is talking about. Yes there are those Black Hat SEO operators, but he does not single them out, he paints all SEO consultants with the same brush.

There will always be a gap in the market for SEO Consultants.

I agree with his premise that SEO should be natural, it should be logical. You should write your content for human beings and not for search engines. But just because people don’t do it does not mean that a SEO consultant who will help your content is a spammer and scammer or a con man.

There are many other industries who have speciality services that you could do yourself. But you pay people to do it for you.

  • You pay a mechanic three times as much to change your oil. Is he a con man as well?
  • Businessmen pay image consultants to better their image. Are they con artists as well?
  • You might pay a painter to paint your house when you can clearly do it yourself. Is the painter a scammer?

The list goes on.

Just because we know what we should do does not mean we have the skill, knowledge, ability and time to do it. The market does not lie. If it creates a gap for a legitimate area of expertise, it is because there is a genuine need for that. Hence the need for SEO Consultants

What are we actually paying for in an SEO consultant?

Derek says that if you pay a SEO consultant then you are a fool. But lets have a look at what you are paying for. Then decide.

Knowledge -  Not everyone can know everything. We pay so many other people because they know more than we do. We pay for their knowledge on a particular subject. It’s always been like that. A SEO consultant has knowledge of Search Engines, Key words, form and structure that will help and aid in your content reaching it’s best possible position in the Search Engine Results. Yes you might know  a bit about SEO, after all it is logical and for the most part simple. But there are other areas where you might not know it all, because it is not your field of expertise. This is when you pay an SEO consultant. For his knowledge.

Time. Time is precious. Time is money. What is your time worth? Can you afford to waste your valuable time on SEO, a topic where you are not an expert in? Wouldn't it be more beneficial and profitable to pay an expert to do his job, while you use your valuable time to do what you do best.

You are paying for the SEO consultants time. The time he takes to research Key word terms and phrases. The time the SEO consultants takes to research competition. The time the SEO consultants takes to analyse your site and content.

Experience. If anything else experience is expensive. We pay people that have more experience than we do everyday. We pay the painter to paint our house, because of his experience he does a better job.

A web designer designs websites. He might also have skills in graphic design, but his expertise are not graphic design. That's why we hire a graphic designer or artist. They have the experience and expertise to do the right job.

You pay a SEO consultant because of his experience and his/her expertise

Results. You pay your SEO consultant to get results. Yes you can do most of the SEO yourself. But the competition out there in cyberspace is tough. Everyone is trying to outdo the other. There are millions of other websites trying to get into the #1 Google spot so that they can get traffic from potential clients and readers.

Generally you pay for what you get. Why is it that a Citi-Golf motor car is so so much cheaper than a Ferrari. Should I even answer that question? You know the answer. If you pay zero for SEO, whether that be a dedicated consultant or your own time, you will get zero results.

Can I do SEO myself?

The simple answer is yes. There are tons of tutorial and tips and blog posts on the internet that will educate you into how you can achieve results with SEO. You will even find some great articles on this blog about SEO, just do a search.

My Good friend Etienne from GoodSEO, has written some really simple SEO articles for newbie's. Check then out.

SEO friendly file and folder structures

Good SEO – My top 10 on-page factors

But if you want that extra bit. If you want to go the extra mile. If you want to beat your competition but can’t seem to do it by yourself, then you need to hire an SEO consultant. You can hire any number of good SEO consultants, myself, my good friend Etienne, or any recommended SEO consultant in your area. They are not con men, they are experts.

Conclusion.

There are bad SEOs out there, who give the entire industry a bad name — just as there are bad bloggers, bad designers, bad cops, you name it. There are also excellent SEOs who work inside of companies as well as through agencies for hire. Don’t tarnish an entire industry that actually helps many, many people in ways I’m sure you would agree with. SEO Consultants are not scammers, spamers nor are SEO Consultants con men

What do you think of SEO?

Related Reading:

The four pillars of SEO

The top SEO myth of all time.

Website Design, Coding, SEO - RAP - SEO Rapper

Top 10 Tips on SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Absolute Beginners

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for the Absolute Beginners II

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13 comment(s) so far...


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Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

Some people hire SEO just they didn't have enough time doing on it. With SEO its helping the sites to be on top of it. But some of SEO abuse it. There were always good and bad part.

By Erin Conway on  2009/10/14 11:11 AM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

Erin,

Absolutely correct. There will always be people who will abuse the system. Those idiots give the industry a bad name

By Robert Bravery on  2009/10/14 11:17 AM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

The point Derek missed completely is that while people like you and I, and anyone else in our industry, probably have a good understanding of SEO and can therefore apply it, the vast, vast majority of business owners with websites wouldn't have a clue about it.

They don't just want to pay an expert to help them, they NEED to.

By Mike CJ on  2009/10/14 11:23 AM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

Derek Powazek is commiting a cardinal sin by assuming all SEO's are con men. Certainly, as is the case with many other specialized services we are certain to find a bunch of freeloaders and pirates amongst the really good offerings. I am happy to use SEO plugins for my blog, which has contributed significantly to increased readership - note, I say readership, not hits.

On the other hand, I also do see his point, even if muted. Manipulation of tags, keywords, etc. without giving the reader the substance is bad practice. This is often the case with sites who are only interested in hits for their horrific flashing banners and advertisements. These are the gremlins that give SEO a bad name.

By Emil on  2009/10/14 11:39 AM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

@Emil,

You and me both bud. I hate those who are only interested in shoving those gruesome banners in your face, or those who's sites are just one page sales gotta-buy-it rubbish sites. I have no time for them.

By Robert Bravery on  2009/10/14 11:51 AM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

Yup I read this article as well, I'd have to say while I wouldn't go about hiring an SEO consultant myself. It's mostly because I have an interest in the SEO enigma which is why blogging is such a fun and interesting past time for me. For most people setting up a business or even for less tech savvy bloggers it's less likely they'd go through the effort of keeping up to date with SEO happenings. I agree a lot of it is common sense, but I didn't know any of it when I started and am still learning. If I didn't find the balance between SEO and good writing interesting I'd probably be a very unhappy camper now, as I couldn't possibly tell you how much time I've had to spend reading to know what I do now (which is still not much lol)

By Michale on  2009/10/14 12:02 PM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

One of the reasons I forked out for Thesis is that it is/was supposed to be the mutts nuts as far as SEO is concerned. If I type in Web2 and More then, unsurprisingly, it comes to the top of the page but type in generic web 2 or cloud computing words and it is, for me, very disappointing. I have the description and, I believe, the right key words etc but I am not convinced my SEO rating is very good.

Now I probably won't get an SEO expert is because I need to figure these things out by myself, but there have been times when I have examined the brick marks oin my forehead and I wonder if it would be better employing someone.

By Kevin Tea on  2009/10/14 03:47 PM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

Kevin,

Sometimes we learn best by the mistakes we make. This then translates into experience.
Very Simple.
"Web2 and more" These long tail keywords are found:
In your domain name - big plus
In your Blog Title
In your Blog description you have 6
In your H1/H2/H3 tags
You have it in 3 Links

You could improve it by having it in
your meta Tags
Making the term bold.

But this is just your front page, which is very generic. What you want to show up are individual posts.
Also you competition is 400% more for "Cloud Computing" it is going to be a lot tougher.
You need to increase you Keyword density for that term in you posts to between 6%-3%

Take for example your latest post. Do a search with the term "web2 cloud gmail", you come up #1 and #2

By Robert Bravery on  2009/10/14 05:04 PM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

Why pay for SEO services? Well here is my 5 cents of information on it. Why do you pay to go eat at a fancy restaurant when you can cook at home for a quarter of the price? Usually at a fancy restaurant there's professional chefs that know a thing or three about cooking. The same goes when people argue that they don't need a website development company to develop their website because these days you can download loads of free CMS systems with pre-built templates in them already. Why pay for water in a bottle when you can get it free?

Not everyone is a doctor, lawyer or an accountant. These people are specialized in their roles. The same goes for SEO professionals. They know how to get the job done and show results. The only thing that makes me super angry is that all of a sudden every single web design company out there is trying to sell SEO services and that in the long run makes us look bad because they usually can't provide good results.

By AntonRSA on  2009/10/14 05:53 PM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

Anton,
What a fantastic comment and answer

By Robert Bravery on  2009/10/14 06:57 PM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

Very good post, Robert
everyone knows that there are bad actors in every profession you can think of, that's human nature. Making broad statements about an industry or a particular group can never be an accurate statement.

To answer the question posed in this post's title, yes, I need an SEO consultant. I know the basics, but as you've pointed out, taking it to the highest of levels may require a pro. This is one of those times when you have to know your limitations and weight the cost (time vs benefits) of you taking on something you may not be an expert in performing.

You don't need to be a mechanic to be a good driver, so stick to driving and let someone else fix the thing.

By Jimi Jones on  2009/10/14 11:15 PM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

This is a great post. My wife has a new e-commerce site and I have been a bit confused about this piece of the business. I have spoken with a few SEO consultants and none of them really blew me away.

By JeremyRoberts on  2009/10/19 11:16 PM
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Re: Do you really need a SEO Consultant?

Search Engine Optimization SEO is a comprehensive exercise of customizing and retooling a website so that it achieves sustained high rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).The SEO exercise is just not limited to the factors which affect the website directly (the on-page and off-page factors) but also factors which determine the efficacy of the website to the visitors and the search engines alike.
http://tinyurl.com/yzttqgy

By Arvind on  2009/10/20 07:47 AM
 
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