My friend, and very smart marketer, Karl Sakas asked a fascinating question during a recent Raleigh SEO Meetup, “Is SEO now moving at such a fast pace that normal small business owners should just hire a professional?”
My gut reaction was to shout NO. I believe that anyone who is willing to give up about an hour or two a month can remain up-to-date on what’s happening within search. The reality is that there are still (and probably always will be) a core set of recommendations that will “work” for on-page optimization.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Karl makes a good point.
Because I enjoy reading Lisa Barone’s posts about how to make smarter business decisions, watching the latest Matt Cutts video at Google’s Webmaster Channel and even listening to the musings at SEOmoz’s blog I forget that I’m not normal. If you’re selling vacuum cleaner parts or scheduling plumbers on commercial jobs you’re not going to want to spend time doing what I’m doing.
So what’s a small business owner to do?
Like everything else in their world, they have to know enough to not get scammed. If they can’t afford to hire a reputable SEO consultant, they can ask specific questions in the Google Webmaster Central Help Forum where my friend Ashley is now a Bionic Poster.
If the business owner lives where there’s a good SEO Meetup, they can attend that. Not every SEO Meetup is as awesome as ours in Raleigh, but Meetup.com has an entire section dedicated to SEO Meetups!
How do you keep up on the latest SEO trends?
Robbie McAlister says
Yes. It is.
I don’t keep up. I read your blog and wait for you to tell me what’s next.
Phil Buckley says
Thanks Robbie 🙂
Cole Watts says
I agree that it’s complicated for normal people, because it’s always changing. A restaurant owner doesn’t have the time to make sure that his website is number one for “pizza shop” in local SERP’s’, because he’s too busy making pizza and running his shop. He can’t keep up with this field because it’s always changing. What if he was affected by Panda? He spends way too much time making pizza and making sure that the delivery boy gets the pizza on time, to pay attention to the update, let alone devise a way to get his rankings back.
Thankfully the pizza owner has people like us, who do this for a living and then get excited when they have a lunch break just so they can watch SEOmoz’s White Board Fridays.
But enough about the pizza owner…I personally keep up to date through the online marketers I follow on Twitter, including yourself Phil, who are always tweeting the latest tips and tricks of the online marketing field, plus there are a few blogs I always keep an eye on including Mashable, SEOmoz, and SearchEngineLand.
Phil Buckley says
I agree Cole. It’s really hard to imagine being able to stay up to date. Now that I’m not doing SEO all day every day I find it hard to keep up with it myself.
The blogs you mention always are at the top of my reading list when I feel like I’m falling behind.
Karl Sakas says
Thanks, Phil! Your response inspired a post of my own — if you own a business but don’t want to become an SEO expert, you should at least learn enough about SEO and online marketing to hire an SEO consultant and hold them accountable: http://karlsakas.com/how-to-hire-an-seo-agency/