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Why SEO Is Not a Do-It-Yourself Project – Here’s Why #68

Some things, such as electrical repairs or your site’s search engine optimization, are better left to an expert.  In this episode of Here’s Why, we explain why SEO isn’t for amateurs and what it would take to become a true expert level person in that field!

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Mark: Okay, Eric, what’s one thing you would mention that is really challenging to people trying to do SEO, even though it might sound dizzy to someone who is not a professional SEO?
Eric: Well, there are some things that are obvious to those of us who are in the business. But if you’re not, finding the right kind of information can be really hard. There are however some good, reputable places where I send people just getting started. Some examples would include Google Search Console, the Google blogs, the Moz Blog, Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday videos are awesome, for example. Search Engine Land, Bill Slawski’s SEO by the Sea, and of course the Digital Marketing Excellence blog on our site, are all good sources of information for the beginner.
Of course, after a while, you’re going to want to expand beyond those resources. When you’re ready to do that, when you need to ask for more information, find people that you can trust, where you can get more information you can look at.
Mark: So find some good sources for information, learn a few basic terms and skills and you’re good to go. Right?
Eric: Well, I wish it were that simple, unfortunately, it really isn’t. While it’s actually quite easy to learn individual pieces and facts of SEO, the problem is that there are hundreds or even thousands of things you need to learn to have a comprehensive SEO background.
And each individual piece is pretty easy, but learning how to integrate them into a broader SEO plan is a big deal. So not only do you have to learn all this information, then you have to review someone’s website and decide how to prioritize what needs to happen first and what will have the biggest impact, what’s worth doing, because some things that you find won’t be worth doing.
Then when you’re done with all of that, over time the landscape keeps changing, so you have to keep learning new things and integrating them into your overall knowledge base. So the big deal here is really learning how to integrate it all together.
Mark: Okay, we’ve gathered information, we’ve learned to integrate it, so now we’re ready to do SEO.
Eric: Uh no, unfortunately, there’s a long way to go from that point.
Now you’re typically running into my three favorite roadblocks at an organizational level: resistance, politics, and ignorance. Okay. Maybe favorite isn’t the word I’d actually use to describe those, but unfortunately when you’re trying to get organizations to move forward with an SEO program, these things emerge.
It happens in different ways for different people in different departments. For example, your chief marketing officer will get stuck on a different point than your CTO, and your CEO might have another issue, and your VP of marketing might be fixated on something else. The big thing you have to learn to do is to figure out where they’re stuck and, in their language, learn how to address their concerns. So for example, the CFO is going to be concerned about the cost and potential ROI of any proposed SEO changes.
Mark: So a really useful SEO has to know a lot more than SEO itself, because what SEO does and the value it can bring are often not fully understood by others who have the authority in the company. The effective SEO also has to know how to present his or her case. So any help you can provide with that?
Eric: Well, I think the most important thing when trying to sell something complex to executives in a company you’re working with is to learn how to reduce it to five slides in five minutes. Conveniently enough, that happens to be the topic of an article I wrote a while back. But it’s a good concept. And if it takes you longer than five minutes to explain to someone why your SEO project is important, you’ll end up failing. That’s the big thing. Learn how to get it in their lingo and how to reduce it to the essentials, and learn how to explain it quickly. That gives you the best chance of success.
Mark: Okay, I’m getting the picture. An effective SEO is an experienced professional, and it’s not as easy as I thought it was. But wait a minute, can’t I just copy what other successful sites are doing, especially my competitors? Wouldn’t that be a shortcut?
Eric: Yeah, I wish you could. Unfortunately, you can’t assume that what works for others will work for you. You can copy someone else’s campaign, and for reasons that are hard to understand, it may be that Google still won’t like it. I’m not talking about duplicating the content, just copying the structural SEO concepts, and it might not work for you still.
The Google algorithm is so complex. There are typically layers of things that you don’t see that caused that other site to rank. It may be because they did it first, earned the authority for the search term, and then you copy the same concept and it doesn’t work for you because you’re second. You have to go beyond that and focus on SEO best practices. If you just copy someone else’s strategy, not only could it not work for you, it could actually get you in trouble with Google’s algorithm.
Mark: So especially if, because of your inexperience, you’re actually copying practices that Google doesn’t like, which could end up getting your site into trouble.
Eric: Not a bet you want to make.
Mark: Okay, you’ve convinced me. I need to hire a true SEO professional to help my site get better at attracting qualified traffic from search.
Eric: You don’t want to leave something that important to the amateurs.
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Thoughts on “Why SEO Is Not a Do-It-Yourself Project – Here’s Why #68”

  1. Great article. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most important thing to learn for best blogging experience. Doing the SEO means raking the website in the top search engine page. Thanks for this explanation.

  2. If we want to gather information about anything the first thing we refer will be the internet. We will open any search engine like Google and will type the information we need in the search bar. Within minutes, the SE will find all the related information and will display it to us. Most reasonably the website we visit to gather the data will be the first one in the displayed list. Surveys show that about 90 percent of the clicks are directed to the website within the first five positions in the ranking. This is where SEO can help you. SEO will ensure the place of your website within the top ranks.

  3. Hello Mark Traphagen,
    Thanks for your great illustrations
    According to me SEO is very sensitive issues . Simple mistake can harm lot.
    For example, if we have simple issues with our eyes, we have to go eye specialists rather having medicine or do some stuff by our self.
    If you are confident enough and done some project under expert, then do SEO by yourself. If not, do not try to do by yourself. Learn, do project under experts, implement knowledge under supervisors.

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Mark Traphagen

Mark Traphagen was our Content Strategy Director for Perficient Digital until February of 2019. He has been named one of the most influential content and social media authors in numerous industry listings.

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