Digital Insights

3 Reasons Why You Should Think Twice Before Entrusting Your SEO to a Newbie


Published: June 12, 2014

The more your business depends on search engine results, the more you risk by letting a complete newbie handle your SEO (search engine optimization) campaign. While SEO isn’t exactly rocket science, not everyone is cut out for it. Given enough time and resources, the basic skill set can be learned by a dedicated student, but the problem is that SEO is as much an art as it is a science. Much of it is intuitive, and based on practical knowledge that can only come with experience.

Trusting the financial health of your business to someone with no track record is a risky proposition, and you need to be aware of the potential problems and pitfalls before making that leap of faith.

SEO Has a Steep Learning Curve

Effective SEO practice requires a thorough understanding of both on-site and off-site techniques for improving your search engine rankings. A commitment to continuing education is required as SEO is constantly evolving; Google alone revises its ranking algorithm an average of 500 times each year. Your newbie SEO practitioner needs to be well versed in such topics as

  • Keyword research and analysis. Anyone can create a laundry list of keywords; what you need are ‘buyer keywords’ that you have a decent chance of ranking for, and that will convert once visitors arrive at your website.
  • Tagging your pages and content for optimal search engine indexing.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the conversion funnels that will turn your website visitors into paying customers.
  • Creating quality articles that will appeal to your readers and encourage content sharing.
  • Generating quality ‘Google-approved’ backlinks that will help generate traffic without getting your website penalized or even banned. This includes creating the balanced and well-diversified link profile that the search engines demand.
  • Updating content to your various social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and linking these channels to your SEO efforts.

Avoiding the Temptation of Grey or Black Hat SEO Techniques

There are any number of shady SEO practices that can get you in serious trouble with Google, and the inexperienced SEO practitioner might be prone to following bad advice that could hurt your search engine rankings such as

  • Building backlinks from spammy websites.
  • Building reciprocal backlinks.
  • Blog and forum commenting with do-follow links.
  • Failing to diversity the anchor text when building links.

The Lack of Real-world Website Testing Experience

One of the biggest pitfalls of having a newbie work on your SEO is the lack of practical experience in testing different techniques. Unfortunately, Google does not provide a detailed blueprint on how their ranking algorithm works, only generalized hints as to what they look for.

This makes testing one of the best available methods of improving website rankings, and even the most experienced SEO agencies and consultants continue to test and tweak their website ranking techniques. The newbie SEO practitioner is at a distinct disadvantage in this area; short of allowing your website to be used for testing, you might need to provide the time and funding for a limited number of test websites.