Quick & Dirty SEO or Quality Optimization?


One day I went to the barber. Actually she’s a female barber so should I say hairdresser then? I paid 25 Euro for approx. 45 minutes.

That’s quite but not very expensive. A haircut for a man costs 10 to 40 Euro here and takes 10 minutes to an hour usually unless you like the really fancy stuff.

I not only paid 25 instead of 8 Euro I also waited three weeks to get an appointment with my hairdresser.

Usually you can just “cut and go” with many cheap barber shops

but I chose to look like a hobo for three weeks as I needed a haircut badly already three weeks earlier.

My wife is always short of filing for divorce and people on the street almost give me money for looking that desperate.  It seems I’m always late when it comes to cutting hear.


Why wait for quality services?

Now why the hell do I wait so long or pay more than elsewhere? Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite a frugal person.

I’ve even tried several of the “cut and go” 10+ Euro barber shops. I’m not a snob either. I went once or twice to the 40 Euro barber but wasn’t satisfied with the results.

I always go the the same hairdresser whenever I can. She’s my favorite for several years now. I remember when she worked for someone else 5 or 6 years ago.

She then moved on to open her own barber shop, she did open it with another hairdresser. I followed her to the new location.

By now they are a team of five I think. I still stick with her even if the others can a more timely appointment.


The meaning of the analogy

Why do I tell you all this boring crap about hairdressers in an SEO blog? Well, last week I got an email from someone representing a British language school wanting me to work for them.

For a while I got a few offers like that per week and I basically couldn’t even respond to them. I didn’t have the time.

Client work and my own projects plus family life are enough for an eight days week.

From time to time a project or client sounds interesting so that I reply anyway. I did last week. It took me one hour to send the guy a more or less sound offer.

I shouldn’t have bothered though. He wanted German and Polish SEO and just sent me the English keywords to be “translated”.

Of course you can’t simply translate keywords. Also I always perform my own keyword research, even if a client sends me a list of keywords.

Clients almost always err when it comes to the best keyword combinations.

When it comes to search engine optimization clients can optimize as much as they can do design websites themselves.

It’s perfectly fine for the basics when they abide the commonly used best practices but for the work that matters where “the angel is in the details” you need a professional.

In the case of web design clients want a bigger logo, when it comes to SEO they want bigger keywords. Yet Google and the Web does not work like that.

Too broad keywords are not really lucrative and they are very competitive at the same time. Smaller that is more specific keyphrases are easier to optimize for and convert better.


Real life example

Now this guy was too stingy to pay me 4h keyword research (which is the absolute minimum) per language.

Also he stated that the other SEOs already send him the translated keywords in their offer. He was willing to invest in just one hour per language in keyword research.

The older I get the more moderate I get. I didn’t even get angry. I didn’t cry. I almost laughed. I didn’t write him to go to hell and stop wasting my time.

I was very polite. I only wrote him that I don’t offer “quick & dirty” SEO. I offer quality optimization. I can’t help you with “quick and dirty”.

How do you want to build a stable house if you are not willing to pay for a decent foundation?

Without proper market and keyword research your project is doomed from day one. When you optimize for the wrong keywords all your investment might get wasted.

Now I will explain the barber story above. I’ve been to the “quick & dirty” barber shops a few times. It never really worked well.

Either I looked bad from the start, or a few days or weeks later. Once a cheap hairdresser did quite good work but next time I went there she wasn’t working there anymore.


Crafting high-quality websites

In the past I wrote that SEO is a craft. It is similar to cutting hair in a way. A good hairdresser isn’t necessarily quick and dirty.

Effective search engine optimization takes

  • time
  • effort
  • money

You have to wait longer and pay more to be satisfied with the results. The less you invest the less impressive the results will be.

When you pay for quick and dirty you get quick and dirty.

Whether it’s a haircut or SEO. Even if you’re very lucky and you pay for quick and dirty and you get quality you won’t be as lucky the next time.

I only serve a few clients and I work for years with most of them.

What you certainly shouldn’t do is approach a quality SEO practitioner and ask for quick and dirty SEO.

I don’t like huge corporations so I don’t charge 500$ an hour like some of the top SEO experts do. My services are affordable. Still: you wouldn’t ask a barber for a “bad haircut” either, would you?

* Creative Commons image by a4gpa

Last updated: November 6th, 2017.