SEO and the voice of Saruman

A client calls a few weeks ago. He is interested in expanding his inbound marketing through more web visibility work, and adding content to his web site.   His site is currently in the number one position on Google and Bing for the targeted audience, and well represented through out the local web community.  He is very happy.

We give him a assessment and proposal to add content and do some additional work to make sure the new service is well ranked on the search engines.  He does mention he is looking at one other option, which I think is fine. One should always check out options when buying.

I speak with him yesterday. He went with the other option.  Because we have known him for a long time I feel comfortable asking why.  The other company is $149.00  per month and is building a web site for him included in the fee. The longer the discussion, the more clear to me that he has been “sold”, and that the decision was made on a bunch of marketing lingo and facts and figures some SEO’s use to bedazzle prospects and convince them they have the super secret, cross your fingers and hope to die information that for almost no money will bring them a huge amount of traffic and customers. Ie Yi Yi

This is what I call the Voice of Saruman syndrome. Remember Saruman the wizard from the Lord of the rings? Anyone listening to his voice (with the exception of a few very powerful other wizards and such) came under his spell, and would be convinced what he was saying was the truth and very powerful.

It happens so often in SEO and many other areas. SEO and I.T. seem to have a larger share of Saruman’s out there convincing businesses that their magic is the best magic. Perhaps it’s the nature of the business.

What is strikingly odd is this client really understands price and quality. We have discussed how his service isn’t cheap, and how he won’t lower his standards to offer poor work for low dollars.

Yet he listens to the voice of Saruman.

Here is what I advise , and the principle I use in business when selecting a service. First, if what I have is working I am not very likely to change.  If I am approached, I always ask this question, can you provide me with just 3 local accounts you have that will tell me what you are saying works.  That seems to knock out the VAST majority of bad decisions I might make while under the spell.

I should note this client is continuing with us on his existing service. I mean, you can not do much better than the number one spot.





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