DIYSEO Interview with Patrick Gavin

This week SEO industry veterans Patrick Gavin, most known for launching Text Link Ads a few years ago, and Andy Hagans have launched a new major project. It’s called DIYSEO and is a new kind of SEO software or actually

a web app that enables small business owners to optimize their sites themselves.

I asked Patrick Gavin of DIYSEO a few questions about this new SEO tool. The interview has been conducted by email. I added emphasis in bold here and there.

SEO 2.0: Hello Patrick, congratulations on your new project, DIYSEO. Was it difficult to raise money for an SEO project like this? My impression is that SEO is going truly mainstream in 2010.

Patrick Gavin, DIYSEO: Thanks Tad. It was a lot of hard work by our team to get DIYSEO to market and we are very happy with our product at launch and now look forward to building on the foundation. On the funding side it is definitely not an easy market to raise money although I do think it is thawing out a bit. There is great data around SEO and the disproportionate spend on PPC versus SEO that make for a great pitch to investors and its a pitch we fully believe in.

SEO 2.0: Your target market are small business owners according to your own blog post. How small or how big? Freelancers or also businesses with 30 employees?

PG: Yes our target market is small business owners. We think the smaller the better. We envision and are seeing a lot of local businesses on our platform, ie businesses looking to rank for “san francisco divorce attorney” or “Iowa City party planner” etc.

SEO 2.0: What websites are supported by your system, static HTML ones or dynamic database driven websites like blogs and e-commerce sites as well?

PG: All of the above. With our initial product the “on page” tasks are done by the site owner so there is no limit in the platform type that we can service. We are working on strategic partnerships that would bring a tighter integration with specific platforms for each of use for our clients.

SEO 2.0: Does DIYSEO also work for non-US and non-English sites?

PG: Today’s DIYSEO is for US based sites only. The technology and tasks are designed to help US based sites in the US search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc). We envision non US versions of DIYSEO but not in 2010.

SEO 2.0: Who should not use DIYSEO?

PG: For starters I would say the “Fortune 10,000″. We are not an enterprise solution for large businesses with large websites. I would also say if your business can afford a $5,000/mo+ SEO consultant, this product is probably not for you. We are really looking to service the small business owner with a limited budget but wants exposure in the organic search results.

SEO 2.0: What parts of search engine optimization does DIYSEO actually automate, keyword research, on site optimization or link building or all of them? Can you really automate those?

PG: DIYSEO helps automate the keyword research, on page optimization and link building aspects of SEO. There is always going to be work to be done by the site owner. It will never be 100% automated, hence the “do it yourself” nature of the software. It is designed to take you as far as software can take you but it will still require some sweat by the user.

SEO 2.0: Who are your real competitors, I think the Techcrunch article got it wrong mentioning “Conductor, Marin Software and Kenshoo.”

PG: We don’t think there is currently any products on the market that take the same approach as DIYSEO. We think we service a different segment of the market: the SMB space and approach it in a task based system that is unique to the market.

SEO 2.0: How do measure success for DIYSEO from the user perspective? Higher rankings, more visitors or more conversions/ROI?

PG:

Success should be measured by higher rankings that drive more qualified traffic to our client site that in turn drives more sales/conversions.

SEO 2.0: Imagine a DIYSEO user after a few weeks or months who claims that DIYSEO hasn’t helped to optimize your her or his site. How do you reply? By offering a refund?

PG: We offer users a 7 day free trial and after that it is a month to month service so the user has a very limited investment if they wish to cancel at any time.

SEO 2.0: Your last big venture Text Link Ads has been very successful until it was basically killed off over night by Google. Aren’t you afraid that Big Google will go after you again? Why or why not?

PG: DIYSEO is a 100% white hat solution. Because of that we have no reason to worry about Google and think they would agree with the SEO course we are sending clients down.

SEO 2.0: Do you have something to add I haven’t asked you about?

PG: Thanks again for the opportunity Tad!

Thank you Patrick. Good luck for you and DIYSEO! In my opinion DIYSEO is a good choice for many webmasters who don’t have enough money to pay a reputable SEO company or enough time to learn SEO by themselves.

Also the SEO arena is still full of often ludicrous “autopilot” SEO solutions that in most cases are simply a rip off or violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Thus I’m glad that well known industry insiders like Patrick Gavin and Andy Hagans offer a non-bullshit solution like DIYSEO. Have you tested DIYSEO already? Tell us about it in the comments.