Internet SEO Marketing. Should you go at it alone?

Lets face the facts. No one uses the phone book any more. That is apparent from this picture.
Next to all the recycling receptacles lie a stack of phone books. Only days after being delivered to various business, these phone books started to stack up. At least they are getting recycled, right? This leads one to ask where businesses are finding phone numbers and info on other businesses.  Well that’s easy–the internet. Often I point to this trend when people ask me if they really need to market their website. All too often here at Gravity Jack we spend a lot of time working on a website for a client just to have that client decline any search engine marketing after the project is complete. Gravity Jack always builds our webpages utilizing on-site SEO techniques(search engine optimization techniques that are performed within your site’s code). On-site SEO, though, is really only the tip of the iceberg when marketing a website or web applicaiton. After a site is built and live, it’s then time for Offsite SEO. Offsite SEO is search engine optimization techniques that are not performed on your own website. These include generating back-links, directory submissions, social network marking etc. Just like any other area of technology, internet marketing is always changing. Just when it becomes common practice to put in place a particular action to help a site’s ranking, Google changes their search algorithm or starts to index a third party social network in the search results. These constant changes are just one reason why going at it alone may not be the best option. Sure, there is a lot that you can do independently to get the ball rolling; we actually recommend that clients get involved with the content of their marketing campaigns, but unless you want to make a job out of marking your site, I usually recommend that clients leave the majority of  the work in the hands of a professional. Especially in the early stages, there is a lot that comes into play when marketing your website. Everything from how many years you register your domain to what names you give your website images can have an effect on your site’s online visibility and there is no one single step that is going to get you to the first page of Google over night.  There are, however, a few things that can get you banned from Google overnight, and often well-meaning SEO rookies fall into the trap of not knowing the difference between black hat SEO (SEO that violates googles TOS) and white hat SEO (SEO that does not violates googles TOS). I once had a friend ask me about a tactic called key word stuffing.  Keyword stuffing occurs when a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or in content whether hidden or visible. This friend told me that he had recently implemented this technique into his site and seemed proud of himself for knowing such a technique. Once I told him that this practice went against most search engines terms of service and could get his site banned from Google, he was not so excited. The point here is that proper internet marketing is not something you can learn over night.  Much like programming, it requires constant learning and upkeep. There is a lot of good info online, but there is also a lot of info that will lead you astray.