More threads by Pinkape404

Sep 29, 2014
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Hey All, I have a dilemma of sorts and was hoping to get some objective feedback so that I can use it to add to other factors in making a well informed business decission.
Do I pay a marketing company for local seo or allocate those funds to hire freelancers and manage the show on my own?

I have a good knowledge of IT, eager to learn, and feel that long term a business man nowadays must know st a minimum a practical knowledge of SEO and web dev.

I feel the cookie cutter marketing guys are attempting to sell me on points I deem weak (we will submit you to 50 search directories, build you a website, give you crm,).. all these things are dull fruit to me. Amd its not like yodle is about to use blackhat tactics or has some secret weapin to magically outjump my! like everyone else, they too follow same steps and protocols. Same templates amnd plugins....

I know wordpress very well, understand yost, and would rather spend funds to hire genuine pros (I.e. content copywriters, talented developers to finetune some points wherein I lack the coding know how, etc).

I am by far not cheap, just a business decission: pay some cookie cutter who will move onto the next lead faster than google changes its algo or actually provide work for people who need it and have real xrdative and passionate resolve (im gong ho about fueling entrapenuers.)...

if I was to go with hiring a turn key SEO group, who would you recomend for local?

If I was to go the DIY route where would I start? Is anyone aroynd in NYC who is interested to chat or maybe grab a coffee?

I currently need to get several locally optimized service business sites up and running.

I currently need to get several locally optimized service business sites up and running.

Wanted to ask. At 1st I thought you were the business owner and were talking about your own business - but then the comment I quoted above almost sounds like you are talking about optimizing for others? Are you the owner or a consultant?

Based what you've said I think an audit and consulting/recommendations is the best way to go. Get someone super skilled at local to eval where you're at, your goals and advise the best way to proceed.

Since none of our members have stepped up to offer, if you email me using the contact form on my site (link upper right) I'll introduce you to one of the leading consultants I've trained and after they eval what you have going - can tell you if you have many problems that need to be fixed and either tell how on on a DIY consulting basis or you could hire them to take care of it for you. They'll work either way.

But I think that would be the most cost efficient, so you don't waste money going in the wrong direction, or pay someone to do the wrong type of tasks. Most importantly, wasting time going in the wrong direction can delay getting improved results and more sales sooner.
Hi Linda.. business owner here. Thanks for the input. You understood my issue - I am trying to be efficient and ideally looking to find the rifht cinsultant. Thank you! ! I will certainly take you up on that. Cheers.
I guess our firm is one of those "cookie cutter" marketing firms that would sell you on things you find "dull".

But there's a reason why.

It's what you need from the outset.

Marketing is built on solid foundation. Every single local client that comes through our office gets essentially the same set of services at the onset (tweaked of course for their business).

We would be doing a huge disservice if we tried to push you into advanced marketing strategies without first making sure the essentials have been covered.

So yes, we're going to make sure you're listed in directories. But there's much more to that than just placing an order. What directories are best for your business and location? Do you have existing listings? How about duplicates?

How's your website? Is it properly structured for SEO? We have nearly 200 different things we look at when reviewing or creating a site. And that includes making sure we've identified any conversion traps. After all, we can bring in new traffic but what's the point if they just bounce off the site.

I can go on and on with different aspects but the point is that 99% of local businesses have failed to address what you consider to be those "dull" issues. And that failure creates a massive opportunity for those who recognize the potential online marketing brings.

So quite typically, what you are referring to as the cookie cutter stuff is in fact far from being so cookie cutter since few businesses are even thinking about this stuff. And often this is all you need to achieve the type of success you're looking for in terms of online presence leading to more customers and increased revenues.

The fact that you consider these dull and cookie cutter just puts you ahead of the typical business owner. So for you, some of the above might not even be necessary since perhaps you've already addressed these things. But for the typical business it's the right place to start.

There is a LOT more we can do. Getting multiple first page listings. Video marketing. Review and reputation management. Native ads. Ongoing content creation. The list goes on.

But before we build the skyscraper, we must lay the foundation.

What should you do?

My guess is that part of what we (or most marketing pros) do can be done by most people willing to spend the time to learn. So for those activities, how do you choose to spend your time? Run and/or manage your marketing efforts or spend that time on other aspects of your business? I can't answer that question, only you can.

And then there are things that sure, you could learn, but it'll be very costly, take a lot of time, and/or require some significant connections. But these are certainly not the dull, cookie cutter stuff you're talking about.

I obviously believe that most businesses are better off hiring a professional marketer (or firm). We understand marketing. We don't necessarily know how to sell whatever widget you have, nor do most people. Focus on what you do best is my general advice. Spend the effort you'd have to put forth with DIY Marketing and build a more awesome business.

But of course, I'm biased.
Thanks Lloyd, you make some really good points about cookie cutter marketing and dull marketing tasks.

But I think the point that should be made that he's probably not even aware of higher end marketing that follows a proven system, like you do.

When he refers to dull cookie cutter marketing I'm sure he's not referring to someone like you, but to the low end guys that DON'T do quality and use a lot of either outdated tactics or ones that are meaningless with today's algo.
Hey guys thanks for the input. I got a cold so was a bit out of it hence no response.

Lloyd, I certainly do not mean to downplay the importance of SEO. On the contrary I hold to the opinion that IT as a whole should be a part of any meaningful college degree... Linda got my point - As business owners we have a keen sense of smell for BS and incompetence. When a sales rep that knows less about SEO than me is attempting to glorify submission to 50 major directories as a selling point, that automatically sets off red flags for me. Despite the backlink submission being an integral part of ranking, SEO and Local SEO is a complex creature which mutates on a daily basis. So as linda put it I am looking for a competent consultant who is savy and on par. Based on these respo ses and some more searching I am going the privateky owned local busness approach to SEO.
The answer here is pretty simple, I think.

Do you have time to manage SEO?

Among your other responsibilities, do you have time to manage an ongoing SEO effort, direct, check work, etc. What about managing people/freelancers to do this?

Many times I have found it sounds like a good idea to some people but then they get into it, waste a lot of time, effort, not to mention money, then hand it off to someone.

Beware of that.

Secondarily, I would consider the learning curve for Local SEO. It will take time to learn all the nuances.


If you do decide to do it on your own, I would seriously consider some Local SEO consulting. I would find someone with the knowledge you need and pay them for it. It would also help if they need a decent bit about outsourcing and considered time management from a business owner's perspective as running an agency and a local business are very different.

I think it's very feasibly for you to run your own Local SEO and make it work, saving tons of money in the process. However, you will need someone to help you get around that initial learning curve and help you understand how to manage it.
I find this thread interesting and want to share some thoughts.

I once heard a phrase that I think has some bearing here:
"The true test of intelligence isn't what you know, it's how you react to something you don't know."

I think this is relevant because the value of a skilled local SEO pro really comes into play when problems arise and need to be solved. Setting up the Google listing alone has nuances that most non-local pros would miss. Local SEO done properly is much more than 50 directory submissions. This is why any pro can easily kick ass on a business that is using Yext.

Just as rebuilding a transmission to a properly trained and experienced mechanic is easy, so too is local SEO for me. While any intelligent person with the proper tools and instructions could also have a decent chance at performing the task, the time it would take would be a net loss for any business owner who should have much more valuable ways to sell his time.

My suggestion to the OP or anyone like him would be to avoid the large corporate SEO that have non-SEO sales people pitching people on solving problems they barely understand and instead find a small company where you are speaking directly to the talent and ideally the SEO business owner.

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