SEO Is a Leap of Faith, Not a Commodity

In economics, the market treats a commodity (for example, coffee beans) exactly the same across the board, no matter who produced it. SEO, however, is not a commodity. And yes, choosing an SEO can be a leap of faith.

Cheap SEO vendors will say: “Every SEO only edits meta tags and gets links, so why pay more?” This implies that every SEO professional is the same. This could not be further from the truth.

There is no set of standards when it comes to the SEO industry. There are only experts, who charge a premium for their skills, knowledge and strategies, and amateurs, who charge low fees for ticking off items on an SEO checklist. A checklist exists as a guide to get you started — but that’s seldom all it takes.

We know where the latter choice gets us. I’ve explained in the past why cheap SEO is a near-death experience:

There’s a saying in the project management world: good, fast, cheap — pick two. You can usually get something that’s good and fast (like Chinese food delivered from UberEATS) or cheap and fast (a service on Fiverr). But good and cheap is harder to find.

Want good SEO, fast? Double up on your budget for more resources. Want cheap SEO, fast? That’s easy, but you get what you pay for. Want SEO that’s both good quality and cheap? Sorry, but that’s not an option. … Cheap SEO is a near-death experience. It’s an impending death of your website and your business. The way to avoid death is superior quality, and that comes at a price.

We all know that a high school basketball team cannot beat the Los Angeles Lakers. Experience, skill and quality count for a lot, most notably the ability to win. I’ve written about that before on what it takes to be an expert SEO:

Do a search for “how to become a pro basketball player” and you’ll get endless advice. Stay in the game for many years, hone your skills by training, work hard, and understand the commitment you need to succeed. Being an SEO is no different.

To be in the top three out of millions of results for hundreds of keywords takes expert skill that an amateur just cannot provide. Simply editing meta tags and getting links will not get you there.

I’ve said many times before that experience makes a difference:

Experience is what sets agencies apart. It allows us to solve the toughest SEO problems out there for our clients when no other solutions exist in-house. And that’s what’s needed now more than ever.

Still, in many ways, engaging in SEO is a leap of faith. Even when an SEO vendor has proven expertise and demonstrable results, businesses have to take that leap of faith for a chance to succeed in the search results. They simply cannot say, “It’s not worth the risk.”

Remember, in SEO, there are no guarantees:

SEO takes place in an environment where the search engines constantly change their rules and algorithms and where competitors continually adapt. It takes skill, effort and time to compete well. … What quality SEOs can guarantee is their best effort backed by years of experience and education. They can demonstrate achievement backed by a strong reputation, and show past results including references. Those results may include No. 1 rankings for their clients. But they cannot promise rankings. That is unethical.

To succeed, a business leader has to believe that the competitor at the top can be beaten, and that to beat them, they will do whatever it takes because they are worthy as an expert in their industry.

So, are you an expert? Will you do what it takes? Are you better than the people ranking at the top? Do you see that expert skills matter when it comes to SEO and pros usually crush amateurs? What’s it worth to you to get there?

My advice is to get into the game.

If your digital marketing could use an expert assist, here’s where you can contact us for a free consultation without delay.