Every once in a while I get a Skype connection from someone trying to sell Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services. My standard rebuttal is to show them how my business ranks higher than theirs on a search for “search engine optimization”. We do relatively well because years ago I posted a very basic article on Realistic SEO. Generally speaking, the site isn’t particularly authoritative on the subject, so the search has the link down in no mans land on page 22 or so (for a search done in Canada; if you’re outside the country your results will probably place it on page ten million or so). If you add “realistic” to the search then it comes up much higher, but still in desperation land (page 2 or 3).
Nevertheless, these dismal results are usually far better than the poor sod who is trying to sell me on SEO via a cold-call Skype connection. Most of the time, the observation is enough to make them go away. But not always. Sometimes I think I bruise the ego of the brand-person (there is rarely an actual name) on the other end.
Sansoft Online (sansoftonline.com) is one of those. I made the mistake of adding “can I interest you in our SEO services to my remarks, and the brand-person said yes. I quoted a rather high price and asked where I could send the invoice. Now a reasonable person would tell me to bugger off at this point, but Mr. Sansoftonline.com would have none of that. Instead of buggering off he wanted details on our services, to which I offered something along the lines of “you send money, we get you better search rank”. It’s pretty obvious that he wanted to tell me about all the wonderful stuff he can do for his clients, after all he has a pretty capable website. I guess in his book that makes up for not actually ranking on your search terms but not in mine.
Here’s the thing: a canned search process can get you a bump in results, but if you’re trying to rank on highly popular keywords, it takes work, and a hell of a lot of it. Google is in the business of providing authoritative results on search, which means a search on “SEO” is always going to be dominated by sites like searchengineland.com and moz.com. If you want to get a good worldwide rank on “aluminum siding”, then you had better have a bucket load of content on aluminum siding. If you have an aluminum siding installation business in East Armpit, Ontario, then you’d better have all those keywords on a bunch of pages with some sort of real content, and you’d better get some follow links from your suppliers too. There’s a whole range of tactics between those two, and here’s the thing: a collection of tactics don’t add up to a strategy.
That’s more work than making sure you have heading tags in the right place and getting your authorship right. It means really taking a comprehensive look at what makes your business different, breaking down how people try to find your business, and looking for opportunities where you can provide good content (yes, content, see On Content Marketing: It’s about Content, Stupid).
I suspect this Sansoftonline.com fellow is going to continue to let me bruise his ego for a while. It’s fine for me, every once in a while it’s good to write something frivolous in nature, keep the words flowing and all that. But if you’re so desperate for business that you have to search out people on Skype, you should really learn when it’s time to cut your losses and move on to the next prospect. maybe I should be writing a post on how to optimize the sales process too.
Well I was wrong, this guy just went away until now when he sends me this:
Besides SEO, we also provide following services in very affordable price. If interested please contact us.
Obviously he doesn’t realize (or maybe doesn’t care) that purchased followers on Facebook are a death knell for engagement [watch this great video from Veritasium for why]. Or maybe this article killed his SEO business. Either way he’s on the Skype block list now.