I recently had a request for an SEO review from someone stating they had no experience of SEO, but they had no budget so they needed to take the DIY route. I'll start by saying that despite selling SEO services I've got no problem with people taking the DIY route, in fact we offer many resources such as our SEO explained cartoon to help enthusiastic SEO DIYers.
What did surprise me, although it shouldn't, was their statement that they had "no budget at present, being a start up co". WTF?
It seems odd to me that any company would start up in business expecting to sell on-line yet have no budget for on-line marketing or search engine optimisation. It simply makes no sense and demonstrates a lack of appreciation of what it takes to succeed on the interweb.
Sadly it's quite common and it's not a new phenomena, in fact it pre-dates the Internet and has been around since the beginning of time.
If you want to sell products and services you have to let people know they exist. In recent times we had what Seth Godin called the TV industrial complex AKA interruption marketing. This has now changed and people are filtering this out in favour of search.
Like it or not the world of search has changed the way people selling things hook up with people buying things. Although money still talks there's now an element of merit based exposure and any business who wants to succeed on-line needs to grasp this. If you've got the time and the right kind of warped mind you can take the DIY route, but for most businesses a decent budget and a great on-line marketing agency is the better option.