Two recent articles sparked some discussion around the question if SEOs that specialize in an industry or two are more qualified then SEOs that do not specialize. One article was from Search Engine Land and the other from Top Rank Blog.
Lee Odden said:
Experience in a particular industry may be important on one level, but a company that specializes in a particular vertical warrants questions about conflict of interest. How can a company specialize in “real estate” for example, without working for competing firms? The biggest advantages that come industry specific experience is the ability to quickly ramp up on client key messaging and audience needs as well as connections made online for content promotion, online public relations and link building.
To me, there is nothing better then having an SEO that is 100% devoted to your site and has been an SEO in your industry for a couple years. These SEOs have the experience of seeing, day in and day out, what has been working on your site and your competitors. But if you can't afford to hire a full time SEO, then hiring a company is a good alternative. Should that company have direct experience in the industry that you are in? You can see the pros and cons to that. Direct experience means they have other clients that are your competitors but yet they know what it takes to rank you well.
So let me ask you, should SEOs specialize in a specific industry or not? This really applies to all work categories, from lawyers to web developers to doctors and caterers, but still, let's poll you guys:
Forum discussion at Sphinn.