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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
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
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
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
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
You Are Not Running a Hotel In New York
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
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
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
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.
Our Blog Posts:
Is Google My Business (GMB) converting to a PAID SUBSCRIPTION model? Well, sort of…
Google is rolling out the "Google Guarantee" badge for home services. Does that include music lessons?
April 08, 2019
SEO - Now More Than Ever!
Current circumstances have upended the entire marketing landscape and how people view our industry. Here’s why SEO matters now.
February 12, 2020
Is SEO Dead, Again? PLUS: Predictions!
Every SEO guru has declared the death of SEO at least
once, and then they make "future" SEO predictions in their next blog post. My turn, in just one
December 11, 2019
Save Time and Money by Staging Your SEO Project
With a well-planned SEO strategy, you DO NOT eat the SEO
elephant in one big bite. In fact, you might only need the appetizer!
November 11, 2019
What Does “Build Content for SEO” Mean?
The SEO world is fascinated with “building content”. What exactly does that mean for a music lesson studio owner? (Teaser: It’s much easier than you think!)
September 05, 2019
Yelp = FREE “Piggyback” Traffic!
Love it or not, Yelp and other lead generation sites show up in local search results consistently. You can get a piece of the action, for FREE!
August 09, 2019
Outsourcing Your SEO
Here’s a quick guide to what to consider if you plan to outsource your SEO project
June 11, 2018
Facebook vs. Referrals and SEO
Facebook marketing seems to be gaining traction with music lesson studio owners. Let’s compare!
March 19, 2019
We All Want Easy Backlinks. Here They Are!
Here is the “low hanging fruit” of link building, in the legitimate business directory world.
November 5, 2018
DO NOT Overhaul Your Entire Website for SEO!
That May Not Be Necessary At All!
September 26, 2018
* But My Web Software Did My SEO For Me – NOT!
Sorry, but good SEO can’t be automated – It still takes some thought, planning, and a bit of effort.
September 12, 2018
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.
September 04, 2018
What Are The Three Most Important Aspects of SEO?
It's not what you think. It's not about tactics. It's what you do that matters!
August 28, 2018
* Did Your New Student Inquiries Suddenly Slow Down?
There's a very likely culprit, and it's easy to diagnose and fix, if that's the cause.
August 19, 2018
* Git 'er Done! – How To Slay Your SEO Funk
Are you procrastinating your SEO efforts? Here's how to quickly get your SEO efforts on track.
August 2, 2018
* Web Traffic is NOT Created Equal! Get The Best!
There are a lot of ways to get website traffic. Mostly, it's all good, but some of it is better. And some of it is the best! Find out how to get the best.
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For Private Music Teachers!
A Step-by-Step Guide to the Basics
By Dirk Johnson - A successful private lesson guitar teacher with 20 years of experience in search engine optimization. Read more