SEO Should NOT Be a Time Suck!


Don’t get caught up in the SEO treadmill, because, seriously, you’ve got better things to do


By Dirk Johnson


Much of the SEO world lives in it’s own self-created bubble, and that bubble can easily disconnect from reality.


This becomes apparent when an SEO consultant advises a laundry list of tasks for you to do on a regular basis in order to keep your site’s SEO condition in a finely tuned state. This is usually followed by a dire warning that, if you don’t, well then…all kinds of bad things will happen.


To them, SEO work is like owning a racehorse. It needs fed, it needs the stall mucked, and it needs a track workout every morning at 6 AM. All at some cost of time and/or money, of course.


Note that the SEO consultant is usually more than willing to do all of that for you. J


You’re a Small Business Owner, Not an SEO Junkie


I’ll bet that you already have a full list of things to do on a daily basis, and that list does not include a series of SEO tasks on an ongoing basis. That is reality for a small business owner.


The good news is that, in many SEO situations, an ongoing campaign of SEO work may not be necessary. In fact, once you get some great rankings, it might just be massive overkill, wasting your precious time when you need that time to do other things.


My first line of advice is always this: Get your SEO basics in place and then see what happens. After that, maybe you’ll need to do more work, but maybe not.


In the music lesson business, you might be pleasantly surprised at how little work it takes to do well. 


You Are Not Running a Hotel In New York City!


If you were competing for the search term “Hotels in New York City”, then that’s a situation that demands a lot of ongoing SEO attention. But we’re not in that business.


If you are competing for “violin lessons in Dallas”, that is usually a very different race. If you just get your SEO basics in place, then the chances are very good that you won’t need to be constantly futzing around with your SEO setup.


Everything is Relative in SEO


It is all related to how competitive your own primary search terms are in the real world environment, not in some imagined, hypothetical scenario.


Thousands of people search for “hotels in NYC” on a weekly basis. The money at stake is huge, and the interested parties are usually large corporations, with marketing teams assigned to the daily task of SEO. So things get very competitive.


In low to moderate competition search environments, things tend to be very different, and searches for music lessons, in most markets, are still marginally competitive. In some markets, for music lessons, well-prepared local vendor search competition can be effectively non-existent.


I have seen this first-hand regularly while I am doing my FREE SEO analysis for music teachers.  You can get your own free SEO analysis by contacting me with, your domain name. I’ll take a look.


The local vendors in the music lesson race tend to be small business owners, just like you. To your huge advantage, many of them don’t even know what SEO is, or if they do, they’ve done nothing about it.


What’s more, the amount of work that any of the local music lesson vendors is willing to exert with respect to SEO seems to be rather limited.


The upside to you is that that condition is very much to your advantage.


Blasphemy Cry the Gurus!


I am aware that my position here is controversial within in the SEO world, where there is no allowance for rational discourse, a check of the facts, or even a review of real search results. People’s opinions are hardened.


Much of the SEO world thrives in the bubble of “you must do something regularly, or else!” Frankly, it is good for (their) business to approach it with that kind of determined mentality.


In very specific competitive situations (and yes, even with local music lessons in some places), a regular, ongoing SEO effort is exactly what is needed.


Can You Beat a Snail to Market?


But for most local music lessons, we’re in an industry that is still operating at a snail’s pace and not a racehorse pace when it comes to SEO.


You will find that most local music lesson vendors (your competitors) have done absolutely NOTHING yet to enhance their search engine optimization. So those of you who do SOMETHING correct with regard to SEO stand a very good chance of making substantial gains in your rankings for your primary search terms.


What’s more, those gains can stand for a very long time, especially if few other local competitors do much in the meantime. Yes, I am talking in terms of years here.

If YOU do something about your SEO basics, then you just might be the only one in your market to address this, for years. I can’t think of another marketing opportunity that is still so easy to corner and lock down to your advantage in so many places.


I continue to be amazed by the lack of effort that is applied to SEO by most lesson studio owners, be it the one-person operations, or even the multi-teacher schools.


I Am Walking Proof


I am not making these claims in a vacuum. My own lesson site has enjoyed great search rankings for almost 5 years now, and I have done almost nothing since the initial set up to enhance it. I do live in a very large suburban area, yet it has been easy to get what I got.


With that set up, I have built a thriving guitar lesson practice using leads from search engine results, and I continue to get regular leads from the SEO work that I did 5 years ago.


I don’t write regular blog posts or chase down links, or do any of the ongoing work tasks that are advised by most SEO gurus. I do other stuff, like play golf, or play my guitar for fun.


Note that I have been working in the SEO world professionally for about 20 years now, so I am not making these decisions blindly. 


Now, I cannot guarantee that the same will happen to you, but in many places around the globe, this kind of opportunity still exists.


Where Are You?


If you live in a huge city, then maybe you will have to work a little harder than most people to beat the established competition. Then again, maybe not, if none of the locals have their act together.


In a large city, the search traffic for lessons is huge, and a solid effort is probably worthwhile, if you do it right.


If you live in the suburbs or a smaller city, then chances are very good that doing some good, basic SEO work correctly will result in some very good gains in the rankings that might just sustain themselves for years. Again, it depends on your current situation.


The SEO guidebook that I wrote will show you how to conduct a very quick competitive analysis of your current situation. From that, you’ll have a good idea where you stand.


If you need some guidance on h to go about setting up your site, this 80 page do-it-yourself guide to SEO for music lesson teachers, tutors, and studios will help.


If don’t have time, or if you prefer to have someone else manage the basics for you, please contact me.


CAVEAT TO THIS ARTICLE: Please note that if you already have chosen an SEO consultant and you prefer their advice, there is a good chance that they will disagree strongly with the content of this article.


That’s fine. Opinions are rampant in the SEO world, and I am used to it. I have my opinions and they have theirs. I do have a solid foundation for my positions, having worked with hundreds of sites over a 20 year span.

Please note that I am not here to argue with you or with them, nor do I even want to do that!


Instead, please take their advice, if you prefer what you hear from them.


However, you might want to ask them to delineate the workload that they expect you to perform if they insist that a regular, ongoing enhancement of your SEO condition is what is needed indefinitely. You do need to know what is expected, from a time and money consideration.


Then determine if you have the time or the money, and if all of that is worth it. That is pretty simple, from a business analysis perspective.