Can small business owners really DIY SEO?

The mere mention of SEO is enough to send many small business owners into a tailspin.  Optimisation is considered confusing, boring, and expensive.  The truth is, that ranking on Google can be a relatively simple process.  It doesn’t have to be mind-boggling and it can be done on a pretty modest budget.  What you do need is a bit of time to educate yourself, to implement basic SEO steps and to build your presence over the long term.  In this blog, I take a little look at some of the pros and cons of DIY SEO.

DIY SEO Pros vs Cons

Pro – Save money

It’s no secret that SEO consultants can cost a pretty penny so by doing it yourself you save some serious dollars.  The cost of education is far cheaper than ongoing consultancy fees.

Con – It takes up valuable time

SEO is for life not just for the new year.  Google is an ever-changing, ever-growing beast, therefore, SEO is an ongoing process.  A set and forget approach simply won’t work so if you decide to DIY then you need to commit for the long term.  If you really don’t have time to dedicate to your SEO, it is probably a good idea to enlist some help.

Pro – You have full control of your website

If you’re like me and are a total control freak, doing your own SEO will give you peace of mind.  It will give you a 360-degree perspective of your online presence and an understanding of how all of your digital assets work together to build brand awareness, customer engagement, and conversion. 

Con – it’s on you

If you make a mistake, or your SEO is implemented incorrectly then you will only have yourself to blame.  Your SEO is an important part of your business and if you go at it ‘willy-nilly’ you’ll do more damage than good.  Make sure you know what you’re doing before you start playing with your website and invest in some SEO training.  Check out my SEO workshop here.

If you go at your SEO 'willy-nilly' you'll do more damage than good. Click To Tweet
Common Mistakes with DIY SEO
  1. Keywords are inappropriate, unrealistic, and unresearched.
  2. Keyword stuffing (overuse, unnatural use of keywords)
  3. Unresponsive design
  4. Poor website speed and page loading time
  5. Duplicate Content
  6. Lack of Alt Tags for images
  7. Broken Links and 404 errors.
Pro – Keep your consultant honest

Even if you choose to hire an SEO consultant, in the end, if you know how to DIY then you’ll also know what your consultant should be doing for you and what they shouldn’t.  By educating yourself, you’ll know how tell the difference between a dodgy SEO consultant and a Google champion.

 Con – You are not an SEO consultant

While I believe that DIY SEO can achieve some great results for small businesses, I think it’s important to note that a good SEO consultant will have an in-depth knowledge of all things optimisation and will have the ability to implement SEO in a deeper, more effective way than you might.  The idea of DIY SEO is to empower businesses to implement some of the basics.  The basics can make a big impact on your ranking but will not completely replace the skills of a professional consultant.



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