A Stag Do. In Benidorm. 11 blokes and too much beer for 3 days. The inevitable question pops up at some point, as it always does: “So what do you do for a living?” – “Internet stuff” has become my standard answer because admitting that I work in SEO / Online Marketing / PPC Management always seems the garner one of two responses:
1: “That’s not real job is it though? You just buy loads of links, right?”
2: “Really? My mate has a website selling [let’s say tiles] – Can you get him to rank number one for ‘Tiles in Leeds’?!” – “He’s not not really got a budget by the way.”
*Double facepalm – I walk away at this point*
A third point would probably be that I don’t “Make cheap websites” as an online marketer, but that is another story.
Online Marketing is Easy (Insert 90’s ‘NOT’ Joke Here)
Now, I love what I do, I’m good at what I do and I am not ashamed to admit that I work in online marketing BUT it is probably one of the most misunderstood industries that suffers outdated misconceptions of black hat tricks and tactics that magically propel a website into instant number one search engine positions.
If it’s THAT Easy, Then We’d All Do It...
Sadly, our services still seem to be seen as a ‘pay for positions’ fast track to millions. “It does not work like that” I always reason. “If it was that easy then I would have several websites selling a bit of everything and be so rich that I would not be in Benidorm for a stag do, I’d be on a yacht in the south of France.”
“So What do you ACTUALLY do?”
“Well… By creating interesting content and getting elements on your website functioning and conforming with Google Guideline standards, along with Pay Per click advertising, Social media advice or management, we TRY to make a website into an authority on their given subject and help them rank for LOADS of keywords that will actually bring them traffic that converts… not the key terms that they THINK will convert. It’s about brand building and enabling Google and internet users to see you as a reliable, trustworthy expert in your field”
It’s easier saying “Internet stuff”.
Every now and again I meet someone who knows what they are talking about because of hard earned experience: They’ve nearly always worked with a dodgy SEO company at some point and spent a fortune getting nowhere. They’ve learned the hard way: Be it via a penalty in Google Webmaster Tools or a big spell of inactivity on the part of their SEO who did nothing for six months and got paid for it. We know how hard Google Penalty Recovery is: We pick up the pieces after it goes wrong for clients who have worked with agencies who are less than reputable!
Money for Nothin’
Whilst it must be lovely to get paid to do absolutely nothing, my conscience would never allow me to do it and it’s not a sustainable business model. If I sat there for 6 months twiddling my thumbs then there would be hell to pay but it seems like plenty of agencies do exactly that…
I am always surprised that people will work with someone who never tells them what they are actually do or providing any stats / reports to back that up… If I hire a painter I expect decorating to take place. If I get home and he’s sat there having watched my tv all day then he’s out the door without payment.
But then, I guess you don’t know how good your painter is until they’ve done the job… and online marketing does take a while before you’ll see those results… the trouble is we get tarred with the brush that the lazy “Online Marketers” have created…
So for now at least, I tell people that I do “Internet Stuff”; It’s just easier.