Over the last 13 years, I’ve learned a lot about search engine optimization (SEO) and made my share of mistakes.
Now I’d like to share some views from the front lines – cut through some of the confusion and misunderstandings about what an SEO firm does.
In this SEO Is NOT a Candy Store Series, I’ll periodically offer some tips, help marketers avoid some traps and provide insights about the industry, including pricing and the scope of services.
Why compare SEO to a Candy Store?
A Candy Store is how I think a lot of business executives view SEO – if they’re not just ignoring it all together. Since SEO involves the regular listings, people look at those natural rankings as the FREE stuff. Google may not charge anything, but someone is going to take your money. And if you go it alone, then get ready for the business opportunity cost.
Once marketers and business owners start thinking about keyword phrases, it’s like the Candy Store owner opened the doors on a Saturday morning and announced, “Everyone’s welcome. Today, everything is free. Grab as much candy as you want.”
I realize SEO is a serious discipline, part of an Internet industry filled with excellent minds. In other words, business executives do respect our knowledge. Time and time again, however, they become fascinated with one keyword phrase or expect to rank for just about any keyword that comes to mind.
Everything I share in this Candy Store series is intended to educate marketers and business owners so they understand that SEO is neither easy nor FREE.
Web Designers: Aisle #1 in the SEO Candy Store
I’m dismayed by website designers who rob their clients. No, they don’t break into homes or work on pick-pocket skills. But they sure pull one over on companies who think they’re getting a deal when they’re not.
Isn’t it funny how business executives decide they want SEO services and trust their website designer to handle everything?
In the end, we still end up with frame websites – a taboo for years. We get websites with no Calls to Action and no effort to include keywords in text navigation. Page titles only reflect the site structure. If someone pretends to be an SEO expert, he or she either dreams up the broadest, most competitive keywords for page titles or litters the page titles with an endless string of keywords.
I’m fighting with one website now that has make-it-up-as-you-go CSS throughout the website. I thought the whole idea with CSS was to establish design standards.
Sometimes it seems that a website has so many things going against it from the start that it seems like God himself would need to perform a new miracle to make the website grab a top ranking position.
Are all websites train wrecks when they arrive for SEO services? Not all. But many need a lot of work. It’s such as shame when no one bothers (or knows) to take more care from the start.