Sigh. This SEO client won’t make me any money.
But first, a story. Our fancy vacuum cleaner was slowly seeming to get weaker and weaker, until it really would just not suck anything up anymore. This would have precipitated immediate action, except that we have a ShopVac, which at least can pick up most of the dust from out carpets.
So “repair the vacuum cleaner” went onto our to-do list. Which is a lovely place for something that doesn’t seem too urgent. And as long as the ShopVac did 90% of the job, repairing the vacuum cleaner never really became as urgent as dozens of other things that would pop up.
If you have ever had items remain on the to-do list in perpetual procrastination, you will understand how over time they psychologically grow to epic proportions, to the extent where they become jobs that just seem too burdensome to want to tackle.
But one day, not all that long ago, I picked up the phone and called the vacuum repair guy. OK, it actually took several days, because these guys don’t just hang out at the foot of my driveway, and over the years the Canadian rights to the vacuum brand had been sold to another company.
The repair guy asked me a couple questions and gave me a homework assignment. Before charging me a whopping repair bill, he suggested that I check out the *****. Which I did. And the vacuum began sucking immediately. I won’t tell you what ***** was, because I don’t want you to know just exactly how foolish I was and how little this epic repair challenge actually was, but suffice to say that I felt silly. I called him back and thanked him for being so kind and so ethical.
Which brings me to the “testimonial” I received yesterday from a non-client. The gentleman wanted some link-building for both SEO and targeted traffic. After a bit of back-and-forth, it was clear that he had a few specific websites of the Fortune-500 variety in mind. He also had good reason to believe he had a shot at getting those links, based on what he was offering related to their sector. I had to tell him much what the vacuum repair guy ended up telling me:
It sounds like you are seeking somebody to pitch these very specific websites on the value of linking to yours. Unless these are paid links, in which case money talks, you really are the best person to make that pitch. While this is a superb idea, both for direct traffic and for some pretty strong SEO benefits, it is not something you need or should hire an SEO consultant for.
The “testimonial” he provided was a short email back to me:
The advice you have just rendered indicates clearly you are the epitome of your firm’s motto “ethical seo services”. It is nice to know.
So those conversations made approximately $0.00 richer than I was before they began (plus interest!), proving that great non-customer service is just like my “refurbished” vacuum cleaner — it really sucks. But in a sector where so many fly-by-night charlatans look for ways to suck website owners into their own little vaccuums, I believe it pays to be honest in the long run (that’s the “plus interest” part).
Here is our ethical SEO consultant page.
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