Never Do SEO For An SEO

by on April 14, 2011 | posted in SEO Theory

Never do SEO for SEO-related terms. Never do PPC for PPC-related terms. Never cook for a cook. Never build a building for an architect. Never clean the teeth of a dentist. Never do web design for a web designer. Never clean a maid’s house. Never blog about blogging. Never X for X.

This is a rule you should stick to. This is a rule you should engrain to memory. Doing X for X is the worst thing you can do – there is much criticism, and the other person knows the exact value of your services, making for a corrosive work environment where standards are high, but pay is not. As it comes to doing SEO for SEO terms and PPC for PPC, it takes on a slightly different form, but the end message retains continuity. Profit is low. You compete against others that are likely refined at their craft, therefore burning down margins and making things extremely difficult for you to profit as you compete viciously against others who are likely experts in your given business expertise.

The biggest gain lies at the opposite end of the spectrum – where you do your job in a market that knows the least about it. Because knowledge of your expertise is so disconnected, the perceived value of your services is essentially unknown, and margins can potentially skyrocket. Similarly, good work is also hard to define, so complaints are less likely to occur. A spammy link might as well be a link from the homepage of Google for a dog walker in Podunk, Nebraska. Perfect code might as well be sloppy cut-and-paste in the face of a webmaster who has never seen a programming language in his life. A 50% clean set of teeth could be an immaculate wash for someone who doesn’t know the difference between a good cleaning and a bad one.

This is the value of market research. We can use our skills to make money, but the biggest opportunity for us to use our skills to make a large profit are in the areas where we know absolutely nothing – because the people that know everything, there, also similarly know nothing about us.

Connecting those dots – and then taking advantage appropriately – is where the real opportunity lies.

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