“I don’t know a lot about the whole SEO thing, but I do know that a #1 spot on the Google will bring me heaps of business.”

I was told that by a prospective client once.  The entire reason he is referred to as “prospective” is because he never actually became a client.  He wanted to be #1 on Google and didn’t care how.  I told him that it’s not that simple.  I listed reasons.

  • Any cowboy can get you #1 for an irrelevant or underused phrase.
  • NOBODY can guarantee any ranking of any sort unless their name is “Google”.
  • What you want is targeted traffic.  You want to show up on the first page in searches that will bring visitors to your website and spend their money with you.
  • You also want to be able to track your online successes/failures in regards to this.

He didn’t like hearing any of that.  He wanted to hear what he’d been told that he wanted to hear by the industry itself, “Sit back, relax, give us your money and we’ll get you top rankings and lots of traffic.”

The previous statement isn’t what works best, but it’s a self-perpetuating fallacy that helps people make more money off of others while doing less work.  This is one of the hallmarks of the SEO industry, because so few truly understand it and so many desperately need it.  Which, if you think about the Course of Human History, is when the shysters capitalise on the situation the most.

The only defence against the continuing misinformation and rampant mystery of the SEO/SEM world is education.  The prospective clients out there are every bit as responsible for obtaining this education as the vendors whose services they seek.

Of course not everyone is perceptive to such education, as was the case with this particular prospective client, but that doesn’t mean we should ever stop trying. -JE