Update: I’m “live blogging” my evaluation of DIYSEO.com, a new service that promises to facilitate the basic SEO kick-start for small businesses. As I sign up and run through it (as a professional SEO consultant in Seattle) I will add thoughts here, so if you are reading this on Tuesday April 6 be sure and refresh the page for the latest notes.
DIYSEO.com has been under development for a while and is now “live”. I love the concept - an easy, thoughtful kickstart to adding search engine optimization (SEO) to your Internet web site. Given the tools available these days for SEO research, and the established basis of SEO as a web business strategy, it should be possible to provide serious value through such a subscription service. Did they do it? Did they at least build a foundation for success? Is it worth $49/month? I hope to find out. Here we go.
DIYSEO Sign Up
There’s an affiliate program, which should be excellent for established SEO professionals. This promises to be the kind of service I would love to use as a reference for small business contacts. I will definitely sign up for this. Update: I hesitate… the affiliate program is part of the Google Affiliate Network, and requires an Adsense account etc. Not my favorite company for financial data. I will pass on the affiliate program for now, and pass along the feedback.
Nice web 2.0 site… promises a 27 second signup.. took me more like 18 seconds. I did have to sign up for the free trial with a credit card, but I know the people behind DIYSEO have a lot of skin in the online marketing game. No worries about handing over a credit card. I know where they live ;-)
I’ve got 7 days of free usage under the sign up, after which it’ll be $49/month. Seems reasonable. How hard is it to recover $49 per month? Given most SEO consultants charge between $100 and $500 per hour and most initial consults with an SEO cost upwards of $500, small businesses need to take risks like the $49/month trial (as do I as a professional.. I need to know the latest staus of the mythical “SEO in a Box” we expect one of these decades).
SEO Process Feedback
Wow.. that’s way cool. I just graduated “SEO Kindergarten” by adding a site for evaluation, identifying competitor sites and core keyword niche, and following prompts for some automated keyword research. And then awesomeness… it asked me to do a 1 minute optional feedback survey on that process! That’s has got to be awesome for the developers of DIYSEO… great time to ask. I will now add my feedback…
DIYSEO uses APIs to keyword research tools. I think I noticed when it was returning Wordtracker and SEO Pivot results. Two things I noted as I worked with it:
- The keyword research was no better than initial runs at Wordtracker, at first, but then as I added more specific keywords I could see SEOPivot coming in (with keywords pulled from my site’s historical performance in search engines). I imagine there is no upper limit for improvements to the automated keyword research of an SEO tool like this.
- I love that the small business client is walked through this basic keyword research step! They see how “easy” automated keyword research is, but also how inefficient and time-consuming it can be.
I expect the automated keyword research to get better.
My Blog is Horrible. My old blog and its hosting are way sub-standard at this point. too slow, too slow. Alas, it is what it is for now.
SEO Middle School or Primary School
I forget what it said… that I was now in SEO primary schol or whatever after graduating kindergarten. Whatever. Building in some game theory is a great idea, but I’m not the typical doi tit yourself SEO tool customer and, well, meh.
I am staring at my SEO dashboard for my site. Ranking reports (not available for 24 hours). Domain age, index status in Bing, Yahoo, and something called “Google” (what a stupid name). Anyway my s”Key SEO Metrics” are there, sans Page Rank (nothing shown). Bythe way I kid about the Google name. I actually know what Google is ;-)
The Dashboard shows me 3 core areas: Key SEO Metrics (indexation & status), Rankings (not avail for 24 hours), and Backlinks (total backlinks and unique backlinks). Again, no backlink data available yet.
There is a social component.. I see a silhouette avatar and mention of forums. I can see how future clients will start here and either grow into DIYSEO as it grows, or use it as “k-12″ education for SEO. Again, another stroing reason for established professional SEO consultants to participate in the community and secure a presence.
Okay now I see it on the right side column… SEO Steps with thevarious education levels shown with their sub-parts, with Kindergarten items checked off. Nice work on the interface. Now I need to do SEO Grade School, SEO High School, and SEO College.
Overall it shows I completed 5 of 56 steps, for 1.50 “hours logged”.. I suppose towards graduation? Will there be a party?
Okay it’s time for my Spring Break. I’ll return to this later, and look at what’s been updated. Then I’ll make a push to get to High School and see just what that entails.
Doing the SEO Tasks
I think this is pretty cool for customers who are adding SEO processes, but also for its potential as an SEO community project. The steps are good.. whocould argue with advice to add target keywords to your page content, consider adding target keywords to your page titles, and other SEO basics? For those just getting started with SEO for a website, the task list is great. Behind the list is the potential for awesomeness. Each “task” has a “how” link with a top on how to accomplish the task. Not everything is in there obviously. I’m sure this is a big undertaking, and I would expect them to start with basics and add depth over time.
For example, when I added this site I was asked about the platform and I selected Wordpress. Now, whenit says to edit my page titles, the help doesn’t know I am using Wordpress so it suggests I consult the documentation for my CMS to edit the page titles.
Newbies might think that’s a FAIL… that if it nows I use Wordpress, it should provide Wordpress instructions. The rest of us know, however, that the page titles are designated in the Wordpress template, or perhaps within a Wordpress SEO management plugin. It would be quite a feat for an automated tool like DIYSEO to know those details, yet.. do you see the potential? It’s a no brainer to watch the activity and supplement the help tips with content including links out to smarter help (such as is likely to exist inthe forums someday).
Again… SEO pros should be involved here. This system is showing customers just what it takes to be awesome at SEO, and we all know that takes talent and experience. kick start and edcuation… that’s what DIYSEO can provide, plus an interface to advanced, sometimes custom-specific knowledge for implementing SEO in specific circumstances (like whenusing SEO plugins or popular themes).
I am clearly more excited about DIYSEO for its impact on the SEO industry than client websites. More to follow.