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Is it always possible to make SEO sexy?

March 21st, 2007 · 15 Comments

In February there was a furore about Jason Calacanis‘ comments that “SEO is bullshit” where there were loads of SEOs jumping up and down about how he was undermining what they were doing, the ethics behind SEO and about how SMO (Social Media Optimization) was the way forward. Well I got to think about one of my web design clients and tried to put together some kind of SEO strategy based on the new wave of thinking so here is the deal.

My client = a small time business that cleans carpets

His customers = small time businesses that need their carpets cleaned

Now I don’t claim to be an SEO expert by any stretch of the imagination but I do understand, to a degree, how the search engines work and how to create a website based on that information. Now, as far as I can see, no carpet cleaning story is ever going to make the front page of Digg. Linkbait for carpet cleaning? I don’t think so. Equally, a YouTube viral ain’t gonna work either so how can I leverage the power of Web 2.0 (God I hate that term already) to increase my customers revenue?

To be honest, I’ve already substantially increased the companies revenue by using old school SEO methods but I’d love to hear from some of the top guns as to how they’d use SEO 2.0 to move forward.

Step up to the plate Aaron, Rand, Andy, Michael, Todd, Jeremy, Marc, Neil et al. Hell, I’d even like to hear some blackhat stuff from QuadsZilla and DaveN on this too!

Tech Tags:, ,

Tags: Search Marketing

15 responses so far ↓

  • Graywolf // Mar 21, 2007 at 1:18 am

    How heat buildup from a computer can permenantly damage your carpets

    Tips for keeping your carpets cleaner and free of unhealthy bacteria

    GTD: How to clean your carpets this weekend

    How cleaning your carpets can increase the resale value of your home by 127%

    Why You never want to have s3x on dirty carpets

    Where do I send my bill :-)

  • Marc // Mar 21, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Maybe social media isn’t the right channel for the client. I can’t imagine your typical small business owner monitoring Digg.

  • Marc // Mar 21, 2007 at 8:34 am

    Maybe social media isn’t the right channel for the client. I can’t imagine your typical small business owner monitoring Digg or any of the SM sites out there…

    Go local and SEO 1.0 on this one. If you must go 2.0, maybe something shocking or humorous that’ll hit the offbeat news providers/commentators…anything that has to do with crime, sex, celebrity and carpets :)

    I’d try baiting pet owners too…

  • Mike // Mar 21, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving some sound advice, guys.

    Michael – I’m loving the last one. Not the bit about the bill, obviously…Can see a nice YouTube video for that 😉

    Marc – Just the title “Crime, Sex, Celebrity and Carpets” had me chuckling. It sounds like the kind of show that you end up watching on cable late at night!

    Interesting that Rand brings up the subject over at SEOmoz too!

  • Darren McLaughlin // Mar 21, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Keep in mind: if it’s tough for your client to attract links, it’s equally as hard for his competitors. Not all categories demand a ton of links.

  • Mike // Mar 21, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Hi Darren,

    Absolutely but, I guess, one of the points I was trying to make is that none of his competitors are likely to be employing Web 2.0 style tactics so how can I use that to our advantage?

    I’m guessing that conversion rates will be pretty low using YouTube, for example, because whilst it may be seen by x-thousand people, only a small percentage are going to be based in his catchment area (i.e. the London ring road) but it could lead to some direct sales, inbound links and suchlike.


  • Lyndon Antcliff // Mar 22, 2007 at 8:35 am

    “Housewife arrested for cleaning carpets whilst nude”

    Clients don’t need to read Digg, it’s all about the links that come from a front page digg.

    There is a book called The 48 Laws of power, read law number 37. Infact, I may as well blog it.

  • Ken Savage // Mar 23, 2007 at 3:52 am

    I didn’t hear no school bell.

    wtf pwn3d by GrayWolf!

  • Mike // Mar 23, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Lyndon,

    I’ve just read your post and I totally agree with what you’re saying. As I replied over at Wolf-Howl, though, it’s about educating the customer about the benefits of creating an article like that or a YouTube video entitled “Debbie Does Dalton”.

    Some customers will be receptive to great ideas like yours whilst others won’t. Sure it’s the job of the SEO or web developer to sell the concept to the client but in some cases it just won’t work.

    I love Michaels idea about why you should never on a dirty carpet. I’m in the film business so I could produce a video for YouTube with no problem but there is no way that my carpet guy would put his hand in his pocket to fund the film unless he could see an immediate ROI.

    You hit the nail squarely on the head in your follow up comment on your site where you say that Brits are slow to embrace change. My carpet guy is a classic example of that.



  • Mike // Mar 23, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Ken,

    I have absolutely no idea what you just said but welcome along 😉


  • Mike // Mar 29, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    The conversation continues over at Search Engine Land where Matt Mcgee looks at how small businesses could use social media marketing.

    Social Media Marketing for Small Business

    Matt hits the nail squarely on the head where he talks about return on investment as being a major factor behind a lot of small businesses not going after the social media market. He then goes into detail on how you can still plug in to social media on a shoestring budget. A good read.

  • Search Engine Optimization // Sep 12, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    There are so many ways in which you can move forward in the field of SEO.

    I think the major thing is to indulge youself in it fully, you cannot be laidback about it because there are people waiting to pounce at one weakness.

    Then bulit a client base and use the good old tricks like article submission.


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