Why I think SEO is bullshit
An email arrived in my inbox this week asking me how I managed to generate so many inbound links from high page ranking sites, why I didn’t optimise my anchor text with keywords, how to get to the top of Google for the keyword ‘web designer’ and did I even care about search engine optimisation? In short my answer was a resounding no, here’s why.
I can imagine the reactions from some of you already but I implore you to read on.
For me, it’s all about my personal brand, Sam Brown is who I am and who I want to be known as. I do not want to be known as that “web designer from Scotland”. But herein lies the problem, SEO is a flooded market, everyone is trying to game the system, get a higher rank and profit from it, too many people spend too much time trying to get Number #1 rank on Google instead of focusing on improving themselves, their sites and their products. Doing this will not go unnoticed and links will grow organically.
My perfect type of client is one that has been referred to me from past clients happy with my work, colleagues and friends or just general word of mouth. Google is the last place I want potential clients to find me from, their may be that gem in the rough but I would say that at least 90% of Google referrals never get back in touch.
Quality over Quantity
This age old saying applies here also, I want good quality leads not lots of poor quality enquiries from people testing the water and trying to find the best price possible. My price is my price and you get what you pay for. If you are looking for the cheapest web designer around, I’m not that guy but what I do offer is a fucking great service for the price I charge.
Perhaps for others the more enquiries for work they can get the better, perhaps knowing that your site gets thousands of visitors from Google every month is enough for you but I’m pretty happy with who visits, who interacts and who gets involved with me, because these people are loyal, honest and are interested in working with Sam Brown not Joe ‘web designer’.
The Twitter community agrees
This post was inspired by a twitter message I posted and the community seems to agree:
@imgiseverything have to agree – if you’re near the summit for those big phrases you get lots of dead-end leads.
@goodonpaper I can’t think of a client thats ever found me through Google. It’s only ever been word of mouth / reputation.
@philnorton The vast majority of work we’ve got in the past few years has come via referrals, not search engines. Most people who come via Google et al are “tyre kickers” only interested in the lowest possible price.
SEO does of course have its place
I will not deny I have dabbled with it in the past, and I fully realise that it is part and parcel of the internet today with people earning vast salaries doing SEO as their day job and of course it does work. But it isn’t without its flaws with so many people using underhand and blackhat techniques to generate new business. If you have to lower yourself to techniques like this to generate links and in turn business, my advice: YOU’RE. DOING. IT. WRONG.
What I am saying is that in my instance, for my brand, I think SEO is bullshit. What are your thoughts?