Upon reading the title, many people might ask what on Earth a painter might know about search engine optimization, other than the importance of looking snazzy in white pants. Oddly enough, the mystical ways of a good house painter can teach us a lot about the basics of SEO. Certainly, there are plenty of jobs outside of the Interwebs that utilize similar strategies, at the most basic level, to a search engine optimization expert. However, I was once a painter, so, well, the painter’s craft will be uses to explore these teaching points.
You Get What You Pay For
Any professional painter will tell you that not all paints are alike. The durability of paint that costs $40 per gallon will almost always be much, much better than the stuff found for $8.97 on the shelf of your local department store. The same goes for SEO. You can’t expect the guy you found on a freelance web site and paid $3 an hour to give you the same results as an established web marketing firm. It just won’t happen.
Years ago, on the first day I began working for a painter, he asked me, “Mark, do you know the difference between a professional painter and an amateur?”
“No,” I replied.
Experienced professionals, SEOs and painters alike, have learned from their mistakes and those of their colleagues. They know which steps and tools are necessary in order to produce the best results, but also know what to look out for in order to avoid a disaster. The folks who offer their services for amazing bargain basement prices may have read a few articles about search engine optimization, but they don’t have the breadth of experience that is required to produce long-lasting results. Nor do they realize when they are using improper techniques, which very well may cause your site far more harm than good today.
There Are No Shortcuts to a Quality Job
If you want a quality finish, you can’t rush for results. Good work requires analysis and planning. Sure, we could slap a fresh coat of paint on that house, but it’s going to immediately start peeling off if we don’t stop to find out the reasons why this one wall is falling apart, repair those issues, then prime the raw wood. It’s the same in SEO. We need to run reports, find out how and WHY your web site is ranking where it is, then create a plan of action. We begin making changes, creating content, and seeking links, all the while monitoring the success of our plan.
The “guaranteed quick results” guy is a black hat fool. His only plan is to make a quick buck. He’s going to anger the search engine gods who will eventually rain hell fire onto your web site. Sure, you might find yourself ranking for a choice keyword phrase for a week or two, but once Google catches on to your shady optimization techniques – and they will – you’re very likely going to find every page of your web site buried in the depths of Google’s bowels. And that’s not a pretty place. It’s also a lot of work and a long journey out of there.
Know Your Product
In painting, knowing one’s product might not take much more than reading the label on the can. Can I use this paint to cover this surface? Is it OK to use this in the direct sunlight or should I use it earlier in the day? Simple information, but necessary to know if you want to do the best job possible. In search engine optimization, your site, your service, your company, and/or your goods are the product, and the SEO needs to learn all she or he can about them in order to serve you well. A quality SEO is a superb researcher. An expert search engine optimizer will learn all she or he can about what it is you’re attempting to market. She will also study the web sites of your competition.
Simply put, a professional painter, like a professional SEO, knows how to do the job correctly the first time. This isn’t their first rodeo. Creating the results the customer expects requires skill, a steady hand, and patience. The talented SEO carries a box of brushes in a variety of sizes. He doesn’t merely whip put the largest brush he can find and slop his way to a quick finish. And when it’s time to care for those hard-to-reach places, he isn’t going to ignore them and hope you don’t notice. He has the tools necessary to get there and do the job right.