A Lesson I Learned in SEO (the hard way)

Search engine optimisation is a pretty critical, yet often misunderstood aspect of website development and market strategy.

Realistically, as business owners we all need it, yet few of us can do it ourselves (successfully), and even fewer of us know the best places to go to find someone to do it for us. SEO is certainly not something that a serious business wants to experiment or play around with, so I’ll traditionally stick with the established individuals that I have within my own network. 

Be Selective

As a developer, I have filters on all channels of communication through my sites, meaning when those fairly common requests from offshore “experts” come through relating to SEO work or digital marketing, it’s directed from the client to me, and I can select whether to accept or deny the contact request. 

Typically, when it comes to SEO and digital marketing, I’ll always hit deny. 

Curiosity Something Something Cat

And yet, curiosity and investigative interest got the better of me, and I thought I might work to gather further information, and potentially try out one particularly persistent source. Within a few clicks and messages, I had their information, their pricing (which wasn’t outside the realm of reality for the task at hand) and I’d decided to move forward with a sort of trial run with them.

I accept their fee for a one-month service (of which they’d tried to encourage more months, naturally) and decided to sit back and wait to see the results.

Uh-oh, Spaghetti-o

Fast forward to today, with me checking my SEO software and seeing how it’s applied to my site.
Now, when it comes to SEO, there are always those who think simply plugging in words and attaching backlinks are going to do the trick, but this is so far from the truth. When I log on and see there are 10 or so new backlinks to my site, I’m initially impressed. That is, until I actually check out these backlinks. And this is where so many SEO “experts” have it wrong. The articles these backlinks are attached to take me all over the place; they’re riddled with grammatical errors, the content is weak and irrelevant, and the domain authority on one of the sites was about a 15 (to put this into perspective, if you’re unfamiliar with DA, 40 is average, 50 is good, and 60+ is excellent).
Oh, and if you’re wondering about the other 9 articles, their DA was at a zero.

This Was Not What I Hoped For

It was immediately clear to me that to use these services would not only be a waste of money, because it clearly wouldn’t help my site, but it actually was so poorly done as to be damaging to my optimisation. 

Be Smart

Ultimately, it comes down to knowing what you need and knowing what you’re paying for. Some developers and business owners swear by these types of sources, with offshore experts offering them services that the developer or owner believes really do work. And if you really know what you’re doing, and you can truly tell good SEO from bad SEO, then you’re going to do what you’re going to do. However, I hate to say it but, if you don’t know what good SEO looks like, then you’re almost certain to waste money.  

If You're Going to Do It, Do It Right

Regardless, I’ll leave you with this: if you’re going to get SEO work done, pay a professional. This professional might be a developer or part of that developer’s services, or it might be a separate source, but hiring a trusted, professional industry expert who actually knows what they’re doing is going to make all the difference in the world.  

A Lesson I Learned in SEO (the hard way)
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