John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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Is SEO really this easy, or are expectations just that low?

I’ve been noting how many people claim to be doing SEO these days, and wondering about that whole issue of SEO credibility. I’m starting to think that maybe I’ve been watching the wrong horse. Maybe SEO really is that easy these days, because expectations are so low. If you’ve gotten used to seeing 2 visitors a day to your website, and switching to WordPress (with all of it’s advanced “SEO Features“) got you over 150 per day, wow! Look mom, you really are an SEO.

I stumbled across this lawyer blog service and started reading the promotional copy and liked it for it’s explanation of why it is a good idea for lawyers to have blogs. And then I got down to the part where the lawyer-blogger posted about Matt Cutts, and SEO feedback. Huh? A lawyer blogger thinks he is doing SEO, and suggests other lawyer bloggers give Matt more feedback on what they want to know about SEO and Google.

Ahem. Keyword spam at the bottom of the page… yeah, that’s SEO:

Law Blogs By LexBlog For The Lawyer, Attorney and Law Firm.
Law Blog and Legal Blog Design For Lawyers, Attorneys and Law Firms.
Lawyer Blogs, Weblogs and Blawgs. Lawyer Blog, Blawg and Weblog Design. Law Firm Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

I’ve been watching the wrong horse, ferr sherrrr. Time for a correction I think. I had the write idea when I focused my efforts on “competitive webmastering” instead of SEO. The word SEO has gone to the dogs.

I’ll put it plain and simple. When you hear everyone and his cousin say the stock market is soaring, and you have to get in, that is when it is time toget out. When you see everyone and his brother saying “the stock market is dead. Wait for it to come back” that is the time to get in. And if you are a lawyer and you see other lawyers thinking they are doing their own SEO using a blog service, it’s a perfect time to hire an SEO.

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4 Responses to “Is SEO really this easy, or are expectations just that low?”

  1. Kevin OKeefe Says:

    ‘This lawyer’ is me.

    Not sure what your gripe is. We empower lawyers and law firms to publish blogs. By and large, the lawyers do a nice job. I tell them blogs are a networking tool that allows them to enhance their reputation as a reliable and trusted authority.

    I also tell them though SEO is important, it’s about 20% of the return from blogging. It’s nice to be found on the search engines but it’s the conversation and networking via blogs via effective use of RSS that makes up most of the other 80%.

    75% of lawyers are in firms of three or less. They are small business people. Like other small business people it’s nice to have SEO without being ripped off. We do that through proper set up of the blogs, which does include footer text as you found on my blog.

    My footer probably goes a little further than what is on our clients’ blogs but I do not see the damage. Most people find me because of the networking I do online and other bloggers and offline media citing posts of mine.

  2. john andrews Says:

    Hi Kevin and thanks for posting your comment.

    I have no “gripe”. My point is that SEO is a non-trivial endeavor when done properly, and since it is competitive, doing what everybody is doing is not going to make you competitive. As an SEO for many years, I can tell you one of the primary functions I serve for clients is repair man: I have to fix the damage from the “seo” they did (or had done) to their websites before they called me.

    As you say…you “don’t see the damage” re: footer spam. Does that make it ok? If the network gets devalued, would you ever know? Would your clients?

    I am especially interested in your comment that includes “…it’s nice to have SEO without being ripped off”. That’s probably telling. What happened to you?

  3. Kevin OKeefe Says:

    “…it’s nice to have SEO without being ripped off”

    Refers to law firms paying $5,000 a month or more to snake oil salesmen for SEO that could never work. Problem is the uninformed buyer. Our clients don’t pay half that sum in a year for all of our services, including SEO.

  4. john andrews Says:

    Wow. That sounds pretty bad. I can see paying $5k for the first month, since many sites are ill-prepared for search exposure and there is often much work to do. $5k the second month? It would be hard to burn that, except to conduct competitive research, buy or obtain backlinks, or build out content (such as blogs..plural). Of course if the client has a lot of questions or wants attention paid to certain things, or wants that blog content written, sure - it’s billable time. But hey, that’s how lawyers work, too isn’t it?

    I guess when I look at what it would cost to take a laywer website to page 1 in the lawyer SERPs, I see hat $5k/month is not excessive for that very competetive space. There are plenty of good ways to spend SEO money. I have a plan that would take 6-9 months at 3 or 4k/month, so I could see $5k/month plans being reasonable. That’s for SEO of a target site, with a defined conversation objective, not a blog.

    Are you suggesting that what most/many lawyers actually need is a single blog, and not a website? (and therefore it’s valid to compare your service to $5k/month seo scams)…?

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