I chat quite regularly with a bunch of SEO guys from around Detroit. The vast majority of them are, more or less, like me: smart, hardworking people who have realized that they have, usually through a series of unrelated events, come into a pretty decent understanding of SEO. It’s pretty rare you see someone with a degree in SEO; most of us learned it the old-school way: jumping in and sinking until we swam.
But what I’m seeing a lot of lately is — particularly in Detroit — SEO guys who put in hours and do the work, but don’t necessarily optimize their time. Let me give you a concrete, everyday example: a blog post.
Your typical Detroit SEO guy will do some keyword research when the project starts, and when it comes time to get a blog post done, they’ll give that keyword to a content creator and have that person write 300-500 words about the subject at hand, using the keyword a few times in the process. When the content is done, the SEO guy will post it on the client’s blog, bam, done, thank you, you call me, you know where I am.
But there’s more — much more — to putting an SEO blog post up “properly”. Incomediary has a detailed list for the curious, but it essentially breaks down to:
I hope I’m not coming across as overly cynical here — my point isn’t to denigrate anyone in my industry, it’s only to point out that SEO is a vast and extraordinarily complex field, and that doing things the “right” way isn’t necessarily even the best way. After all, is it better to spend a few hours on every blog post you put up for what may be, as a completely haphazard guess, 8% more SEO-effective?
Wouldn’t it be better to spend your time building backlinks, researching your competition, or doing other things that will be more effective in the long run? Unfortunately, SEO can be a hard thing to stop doing, and that can ultimately lead to us, in our fervor to do it “right” for our clients, failing to do what’s best for those self-same people.