Ask the Experts: Am I Giving Away SEO Secrets?
Q: In order to serve more customers, my web development firm will be offering SEO, based upon the methods in your book. My question is, will passing my recommendations to other webmasters give away all of my SEO techniques? Wouldn’t this be “shooting myself in the foot” so to speak and give a rival webmaster the means to quickly offer their own SEO program using what I’ve handed over? How can I perform SEO and still protect my methods?
A: We don’t think you’re in danger of “shooting yourself in the foot,” for a number of reasons.
First, every website is different, and therefore your advice for every website will be different. Your value as an SEO depends on you giving out specific, well-researched advice based on target audience, conversion goals, and so on – not just a list of best practices. If you are delivering solid SEO recommendations for one website, most of these recommendations will not be transferable to another website.
Second, as we like to say, SEO is not brain surgery. It’s more a mixture of common sense, great writing skills, and boring little details. So, whether you hand them your recommendations or not, your rival webmasters can figure out how to implement basic SEO best practices by surfing the web, reviewing other sites, and reading our SEO book. The question is — will they bother?
And third, good SEO takes a lot of work! There’s much more to being a successful SEO than just reading your recommendations, or our book, or even memorizing basic best practices. For example, good keyword research takes hours. To be good at SEO, you also need to spend time keeping up with search news and developments to make sure you’re giving current recommendations. And it takes work and skill to communicate with your customers so that they understand and trust you.
So, as long as you’re doing good work and building up your experience, knowledge, and range of customers, you probably won’t be giving away anything by handing over good SEO recommendations – it’s more likely that you’ll just be building your reputation and creating another satisfied client.