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Aidan
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This question comes up time and again,

It is the same with any pursuit, do you want to pay someone who knows what they are doing or do you want to learn it and do it yourself.

Personally I tinker with my car, I’ll change filters, fuses, belts, do the regular maintenance stuff… but I still prefer to pay the experts to do the servicing or heavier repairs.

In my experience there are lots of great SEO’s who will do all the good things you describe as long as the client is able to pay for it.

Unfortunately, there are many in the small business community who think that a $1,000 spend is enough to cover a whole month’s workload when clearly it is not.

So, SEO services tend to become a matter of what the client can afford. Usually its not enough to get the SEO guy to become your online marketing department, so – no he does not have the time budget to do everything the way he might like in a more perfect paid for timeline.

Your question also pre-supposes some knowledge of website management and wordpress if you use it, which of course many don’t…

I’d also say that WP plugins can be a great help IF you know what you are doing with them – I see many who don’t. The average user’s eyes glaze over when we start talking about taxonomies or no-indexing paginated content, or canonicalisation, or image optimisation, or page load times, or… or.. or…

Having said that I am a great believer in teaching the website owner about good link building, ultimately the best is really all from building great reputation and that is something that should be firmly in the client’s hands IMHO.

:)