I was watching Local Business on MSNBC and a viewer asked a question about getting better SEO ranking for their local sanitation business (i.e. porta-potties). The expert suggested local businesses wouldn’t benefit from SEO, and they should concentrate on FB Live or Periscopes at locations where they were currently servicing. The example given was a 5k Fun Run with the theme “We’re here. Think about us when you need our service.” I immediately thought of what a HORRIBLE response that was on so many levels.

First and foremost, this answer did not address the need of the client. This business owner had a very specific goal – customers finding them on a internet search. When a potential customer goes to their Internet Search Engine and types in for “porta-potties”, your Facebook Live or Periscope isn’t going to pop up anywhere on the search. This expert totally missed the goal of the client with his response. There are other options to spending money on SEO – which I know a lot of businesses who are very successful by the way. You can spend money on ads through the search engines to show up on the search engine results.

Another problem with the expert’s answer is it totally didn’t consider the client’s business. As a TV program, they were probably trying to answer for all local business. Now some businesses might benefit more from Facebook Lives, I can’t imagine one for a porta-potty business is really going to draw a lot of views on their Facebook Live regardless of how big their following is.

So, this is a problem with a lot of experts out there. It’s very well summed up with “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Some experts focus only on what they are good at. All problems are solved by their one area of expertise. Regardless of the needs of the client. “You don’t want to spend money on SEO, you want to spend money on Facebook.” For all the crap SEO gets from a lot of marketers, it works when done correctly. But if you don’t know SEO, you don’t know how to make it work.

Expert advice is a mixed bag. A good expert knows what they are good at and isn’t afraid to refer you to someone else when they can’t meet your needs. Bad experts are constantly trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Getting recommendations from other business owners you trust is always a good place to start. And once you find a good expert, hang on to them with both hands.