Would you choose a new doctor to perform a major surgery, if he’s never operated before?
Read an interesting new article on SERoundtable today on how SEO developed in the early 90s, and how newbies lack the perspective necessary to discern good versus bad advice. I would say this is also true in Web development/Internet Marketing in general.
I’ve been engaged in SEO/Internet Marketing/Web dev for over a decade, and although I have been fortunate to work with some of the *best* people in the industry (literally), there are still plenty of things I don’t know, or could know better. And like most of the pros I know, I have a wide knowledge base and special areas of expertise. That seems to be the case in our industry. We all have talents… Some of us are coders, some of us are designers, some of us are “writers,” and some of us are the “glue” that bring the elements together (I could go on…). That’s alot of expertise and specialties for one website, but like a good recipie, you need all the right ingredients to pull off a truly successful project.
So, just because your nephew Marvin “launched” a blog or two, it doesn’t mean he understands the finer points necessary to put together a creative, usable website, including the technical elements, that will lead to rankings and conversions. In other words, a good website. Unless he is hooked into a community of REAL experts who can provide guidance, and understands how all the elements interact together, both of you will probably learn the hard way what is good or bad advice. Long-term, it will cost you much more money in re-development and lost opportunity.
The results of SEO & Web development efforts can be measured. So before you decide to go the “cheap” route and pass off SEO & web development efforts to a newbie, think again. Learn the right questions to ask a Web developer or SEO, and then ask them, before you hire them. Better yet, ask to see their “results.” And once you hire them, let them be the experts. Just like you would not trust a serious surgery to a brand new doctor (learning in his basement) who’s never completed an operation, it’s not wise to put a serious project in the hands of a SEO/Web dev newbie – and especially one that is learning based on the information posted in forums and on blogs.
Most experts are happy to share information with others truly interested in learning. However, misinformation disseminated by newbies is problematic. Even worse, in addition to leading people astray and getting poor results, newbies posing as experts can end up shooting themselves in the foot by alienating the very community they aspire to belong to.
We’ve all had a client who thinks they know better. How can we help them better understand the importance of all the *little* things we do and add to a project to make it a success? And what questions do you think are most important to ask before hiring a Web developer/SEO? What is your opinion on taking the “short-cuts” clients often want?