Not to put the cart before the horse, but the answer that leaps to mind is “No, leave it to the search engine specialists and focus on running your business.” However, this time we’re going to sidestep providing a yes-or-no answer and just offer a better picture of what you’d be getting yourself into if you tried to DSEOY. There are many factors to consider when doing search engine optimization; here are the 3 biggest:
- Time: This is probably the most underestimated factor of any DIY endeavor, let alone SEO. Consider not only the time it would take you to do the actual link building, copywriting, analysis, etc., but also the time required to learn the tools, terms, and techniques before you can even start optimizing. Also, keep in mind that Google updates it search algorithm upwards of 500 times per year, and while a lot of those changes are minor, it should still serve as a wake-up call for anyone who thinks they can keep one static SEO strategy.
- Delayed results: Assuming you do have the time, it’s a safe bet that you will not start out with the skills of an SEO specialist. The question is, how will this difference in skill manifest itself in your rankings? If a specialist were able to get you onto Google’s front page in 6 -8 months, you might be able to do it in 14 – 18 months, if at all. What will this gap cost you in opportunity?
- Risk: As in most things in life, there are good techniques and bad techniques. In SEO, this basically means “techniques Google likes” and “techniques Google doesn’t like.” If you get caught doing something that Google doesn’t like, or using methods that look like something Google doesn’t like, your site or a group of pages on it could get blacklisted by Google and not appear at all.
Again, the purpose of this post is not to dissuade you from DIY, but to ask the right questions and help you answer these questions for yourself or your business. How does the cost of DIY compare to the cost of paying a professional? Considering the sticking points above will help you answer that with more perspective.