I’ve had clients ask if they could pay for an hour or two of SEO lessons. I laugh. Not to them. Silently. To myself. Then, I cry.
SEO is not something you can learn by reading a book, not even a good one like Danny Dover’s Search Engine Optimization Secrets.
Why? Because SEO is something learned by the doing. It is hardly rocket science but it is a massive ocean liner ever moving, with millions of moving parts, submerged icebergs in its path, other ships to distract from its being viewed from shore, and a regulatory body (Google) setting constantly-changing rules that must be inferred rather than read.
While someone with a mind that cannot but analyze everything all day long finds this fascinating and even at times exciting, if you dread the kind of detail that can reduce an accountant to tears, run away. You’ll think you’ve done everything you know to move needles in rankings only to find a one-line error in a file somewhere has tripped you up.
Or you get a client with reasonable rankings whose host service company has sworn they’ve redirected the clients old web pages only to find they never set up the redirects and your client’s sole source of income, their e-commerce website, tanks in the rankings for having lost nearly every shred of their backlink juice. So you set up the redirects and wait.
There are no real secrets to SEO work. Yes, Google has secrets about its algorithms but the work of optimization is not a dark art. It’s just a lot of work and no businessperson who is spending the time to run their business can take on SEO as a hobby. N-o-t possible.
Like hiring a good real estate agent to sell your home, hiring a good SEO agency or specialist is worth every penny, because SEO should provide a measurable return on your investment. It should bring targeted traffic to your site. And your website design should convert that traffic into leads and sales.
Otherwise, all you have on the web is a pretty calling card.
I soooo agree, Brian.
Although the basics of SEO can be grasped pretty quickly, what most don’t understand are the “millions of moving parts, submerged icebergs in its path, other ships to distract from its being viewed from shore, and a regulatory body (Google) setting constantly-changing rules that must be inferred rather than read” that you so brilliantly describe.
I tell freelancers all the time, you have to CONSTANTLY read/study SEO; it’s not static — it’s mercurial.