Why Get Marginalized?

So the web is becoming far more social in nature. Many clients insist on owning a 6 page brochure site (or maybe 100 of them) and expect the SEO to rank them for crumbs. There are a few potential outcomes of working with clients like that:

  1. the client's website and marketing are so bad that you can never rank them

  2. the client's website and marketing are so bad that you can just get them a bit of exposure (but will later be marginalized by improving search technologies and competing companies that better understand the web)

If your marketing is dependant on a piece of software that is publicly available and your strategy is just to replicate what is already out there, then even if you find a way to compete (temporarily perhaps)... eventually you are going to get marginalized.

If a company with greater resources that is more receptive to the web hires a person half as competent as you they are probably still going to kick your ass, in the longrun.

Why fight the algorithms and the natural trends of the web? Doesn't it make more sense to leverage the trends to your benefit?

If you accept bad SEO clients all you are doing is pushing your services toward the commodity end of the market. And that a path to unhappiness.

Published: November 2, 2006

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Comments

November 2, 2006 - 9:49pm

Oh how I agree. Unfortunately there are too many SEOs and not enough of the preferred type of clients around to be so picky.

Yes Aaron, Rand, and other high profile SEOs are to busy to worry about where new clients are coming from but the majority of SEOs are just the opposite.

This is what I suggest to SEOs who fall into this category. Find a mix or good clients who you can do amazing things for, not so good clients who you can help just enough for, and run your own properties. Once you build up enough income from your own properties, you can then only take on great clients who get the net. You will also have more time to spend marketing your own SEO services and maybe someday you can become the next Rand or Aaron.

November 3, 2006 - 11:10am

I fully agree with you.

My problem is even worse.

In Portugal SEO is not know (at least by businesses outside IT).

So it's very difficult to promote SEO services in Portugal and most web pages really suck.

Just an example : A big company is making a huge TV campaign to promote is website but when you see their site they don't even have titles in the pages ...

Regards

Manuel

November 3, 2006 - 11:40am

Hi Manuel
If there is no mindshare then the results should have little competition and be easy to manipulate for personal profit...as suggested by Jeremy.

November 3, 2006 - 11:51am

Its amazing very nice post and very helpful too.

Nuno
November 14, 2006 - 11:40pm

SEO is not a common practice by big companies in many countries, but that doesn't mean that it's easy. There are lots of small guys, with thousands of sites doing that :) Big companies don't care much. They just buy ads in the biggest places.

November 6, 2006 - 9:03am

Jeremy I agree with the mix of clients. We all need to eat and pay mortgage or rent. As much as I would like not to I know I still need to accept some clients I would pefer not to work with in order to stay alive.

But no matter how hungry I get there will always be some clients I will turn away. Aaron's right in that it can easily turn you into a commodity, which can lead you into an cycle you'd like to stay away from.

It's why I like your mix idea. I'll take on some marginal clients while working to grow the clients I desire and build my own properties. In time I'll no longer need the clients I don't want.

November 7, 2006 - 3:30pm

I like the fact that we can make a change for small firms. And if I see a bad website and bad marketing I just say so. Maybe we can make a change. I prefer doing business with entrepeneurs in their market instead of those marketing girls and boys fresh from school who think they know everything. So far for my experience in Europe.....

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