How often have you read or even said the following?
- “If you’re doing x like y you’re doing it wrong.”
- “Oh I can’t believe that agency x still uses that link building technique…”
- “Any clients that have been bludgeoned by an update were won after they were hit, nothing to do with us!”
When you read things like this do you think honesty, trust and authority or do you think…
“I know they are lying/talking crap, like the rest of us, but this is the game we play, we better keep a positive spin on it so it looks like we know what we are doing.”
This leads me to an interesting phenomenon within the SEO industry (the sector that does no wrong but see’s it everywhere else…) As you’ve probably noticed it is full of people who are worried about being wrong and shit scared of being seen as wrong. Why can’t we be a bit more honest and open? If I have a shit idea tell me why it’s shit, rip it apart, change it to something completely different. I would honestly be thankful.
If you don’t use a particular technique, don’t talk about how you use it with your clients. If you do a certain technique with a client, don’t take the piss out of other people for doing it.
I’ve seen you do it…
I don’t care about being wrong. In terms of my working life I don’t have to be right all the time. In fact if I was always right, I’d find the rest of my life a crippling disappointment (ok, more so…)
So lets take a gander at why once upon a time getting it wrong was so, uhh, wrong. The two examples below are the old and new school views of SEO as defined by the SEO gods.
‘Old school’ SEO = More algorithmically focused. x links with y anchor text would generally equal z rankings. Often campaigns revolved around the same tactics regardless of niche and thus involved less creativity (99% of the time, I know there are some sharp SEO’s out there who do things I could never think of.)
‘New school’ SEO = More marketing and brand focused. Visibility is king, through different forms of online marketing (thanks inbound) this means an SEO’s role doesn’t begin and end with Google. Allows for creativity, new fresh ideas and probably a more enjoyable job. Well mine is anyway. Yes technical SEO, adding the right page titles and doing keyword research is still important but basically the average SEO campaign is a little different!
The interesting thing is:
If creativity is really increasing within online marketing
then so is the risk of being wrong
Create a piece of content that got no links? Do an outreach campaign that had no replies? Get a website penalised?
Fuck it! Did you learn something from it? Good, do it again, remember why it ‘failed’ previously and do it better
I suppose what I’m trying to get at is –> If your not getting stuff wrong, you’re failing to be creative and if you are failing to be creative you are probably going to struggle to attract links, customers (probably wrong order) to your website, now and in the long term.
I’m not going to say you’re doing it wrong because I fucking hate that ‘saying’.
Talk to your client about the volatility of organic search (without scaring them from it). Admit that no-one really knows exactly what is going on and work together in a partnership that not only makes it easier for you to work together but helps solidify your relationship.
Let the steering wheel go. Have fun, come up with ideas, be creative, make mistakes, learn from them and improve your clients brand. Yes this is dependant on how ‘cool’ your clients are but it’s also down to how well you negotiate or sell the ideas to them. If a few of your clients aren’t interested then that’s the way the cookie crumbles, if none of them are interested, well you’re not doing it right…
I’ve kinda gone off track but I hope you catch my drift. It’s a bit of a ramble.
Have a great weekend y’all.