Should I hire an SEO or optimize my website myself? I really want to get some good rankings for my site but I don't have a lot of money. Can I realistically expect to get some decent rankings without hiring a professional SEO to do it for me?
Submitted by Dana B.
If you're willing to put in the effort required to learn the principles of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and then apply those principles to your website, then you most certainly can achieve some good rankings in the search engines!
A professional SEO will most likely be able to do the job a lot faster than you can, simply because he/she does it every day, which leads to and in-depth knowledge of the most effective SEO techniques.
That being said, if you have more time than money, it's well worth the effort required to learn how to optimize your site yourself. And who knows, if you learn enough, you can become an SEO professional yourself!
All professional SEO's (myself included) started out just like you. They read everything they could find on the topic and participated in SEO and webmaster forums. They put what they learned into practice (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) and learned even more from the mistakes.
If you decide to optimize your site yourself, start by building a solid foundation of knowledge about the main SEO principles. Participate in online forums (do a Google search for "SEO Forums"). Study some of the many online SEO resources and guides that are available (you can start with my Webmaster SEO Toolkit if you like).
The first things you need to learn are the techniques not to use! These include linking to a bad neighborhood, using hidden text, and many more.
After you understand the don'ts, start learning the do's. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to getting those high search engine rankings that you're looking for (and maybe even a new career)!
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