Monday 01 Sep 2008
Our chum, David Mihm, very rightly observes that Yellow Pages and Bologna SEO companies capture customers by dint of their simplicity. Buy the biggest YP ad, get the most phone calls. Buy into the idea that submitting your website to Google means success on the web and you’re spared the challenge of any learning curve. While Yellow Pages advertising is certainly a legitimate and aboveboard marketing option, signing up with a spurious SEO company and being duped by their silly to-do list represents lost time, lost income and lost learning opportunities for the small business owner.
As David points out, the trouble with legitimate SEO is that it can be a somewhat nuanced process, takes time and has no simple guarantees. The fishy SEO has a script he is reading over the phone to the prospective client – a script that pares SEO down to 4 or 5 ‘simple’, ‘guaranteed’ steps. Generally, by the time the client realizes that these steps brought no results for them, the sale has long been made and the SEO is either long gone or has some second surefire pitch to make in order to squeeze further money out of the business owner. It’s a nasty but successful business plan.
And where does it leave the qualified SEO firm? Frankly, it leaves them waiting for that sadder but wiser business owner to wend his way eventually to them, having learned the hard way that meta tags do not a successful website make.
And, yet, sometimes we can engage those clients the first time around, saving them from headaches they don’t even dream of and correctly setting their expectations for the hard work ultimate success will require on both our parts. And, we can take a cue from David’s article by coming up with our own simplest method of explaining the basics of a sound web effort to prospective clients. We need to give small business owners truths that they can really sink their teeth into.
So, here it is, David!
The Simple SEO Cake Recipe
1 C. Solid Business Idea
1 C. Astute Market Research
1 C. SE-Friendly, Usable, Research-Based Design
1 C. Best Copywriting
1/2 C. Unique Ingredients Not Found In Competitor’s Cakes
Mix well to form a smooth, lump-free batter. When the batter is ready to launch put in the oven to bake. While you wait for it to rise, turn up the heat by:
- Opening kitchen door and shouting a running commentary on the process out to your neighbors – that will get them talking about your cake!
- Going to your neighbors’ houses and chatting with them about their own cakes, cakes in general and your cake.
- Calling, emailing and visiting prominent neighborhood citizens in hopes that they will take an interest in your cake. Be sure to praise their cakes lavishly!
- Participating in any baking clubs and conversations you can find
Now that you’ve created such a stir about your cake, remove from oven and serve.
Carefully watch the reactions of all your guests as they sample your cake. Did someone spit it out, set their fork down and turn away? Find out why and adjust recipe accordingly. Ask even satisfied tasters if there is anything you can do to improve your cake. Keep working at it. It takes practice and time to become a master baker and the art of perfectly pleasing people is what it’s all about.
Is my SEO Cake Recipe missing any ingredients or steps? You tell me!