SEO and the Way of the Miser

SEO and the Way of the Miser

Young grasshopper, today I am going to introduce you to one of the secrets of the path of the Ape – Miser style SEO.

When you are starting out – but also when you made it, this is going to be one of the most important lessons you will learn.

Don’t spend too much money

This lesson comes in many forms and guises, so you will probably have heard of it before.
“Buy low, sell high” – investing
“A penny saved is a penny earned” – grandpa
“Bankroll management” – poker or SEO

As for SEO or content services, this applies as well.  

Always manage your money wisely.

But sensei, don’t you have to spend money to earn money?
As always, young grasshopper, you have listened well, but understood little.
Of course you have to spend money in order to earn money. But you have to know how much you should spend.
Consider this ancient secret formula for financial happiness:

Profit = Revenue – Cost

Even for your eyes, it should be obvious that reducing cost drives up profit. Wisdom is knowing when to avoid reducing the revenue with it.

The case of using fiverr

In the modern world, you can actually enjoy much more personal freedom and productivity by outsourcing tasks to other people around the globe. Also known as geo-arbitrage, you can get things done for cheap in low-cost countries and sell them for good money in your own. Go here for a guide on how to get outsourcing right.
Fiverr is a service that has people do all kinds of things for 5$. Actually, only 4$ of those land in the hand of the person providing the services or goods.
Needless to say that the reputation of these services is not stellar.
So, buying a bad service can actually hurt your business.
If that is the case, reducing costs mean reducing your revenue and profit!
Not a good idea.

However, you need to know what to buy on fiverr.

Bad
SEO services, especially links

Good
Additional material to your website, such as audio voiceovers, slogans painted on boobs, short videos, etc…

So the ultimate question to ask is: Will this hurt my business if it is not done right?

Logo? Fiverr

Ahhh.. I hear the cries of outrage already.

“A logo is the core identity of a company!”
“There is a special place in the brain devoted to logos” (this is actually true)
“People recognize and identify you by the logo!”
“A good logo is worth the money!”

Alright, alright, if you are so sure about that, please identify these logos for me.

Logos of top revenue companies

How many do you get right?

OK, that wasn’t nice, was it?
All of these companies are among the worlds biggest companies by revenue, though.
From left to right:

  • Vitol
  • Shell
  • BP
  • Chevron
  • Chinese National Oil
  • Boeing (Actually I threw the boing logo in there, they don’t belong in the club)

What does this prove?
If you just complained at your screen: “I did not recognize these because I don’t  have anything to do with any of them” – Bingo.
A logo does nothing to further brand awareness. Boeing being in the news often enough anyone will have heard of them (and seen the logo) doesn’t make you recognize their logo either.

Another dirty secret

I had to manually remove the brand name from each and every logo.
Even the really, really big brands write out the name in their logo. Oftentimes, the written name (in some nice font) is the logo. Walmart, Google, etc..
So unless your website is up in the league with the players that people recognize from the logo alone, spending loads of money on it might not be worth it.
It should not be an eyesore, but when is the last time you said “Oh, now THAT is a nice logo, I’ll make sure to bookmark the site and return to it often.”
What to do?
Head on over to fiverr and either spend s5 on a guy with a style you like, or spend $50 for ten variants on your logo by ten people. Then choose.
So if you want added stuff for your site – from a short cartoon skit to a smiling girl telling your story to the camera – think about if it is really vital (as a lot of people think of logos) and if it isn’t go to fiverr and see what you can grab.

And apart from fiverr?

Ah, young grasshopper, good that you ask.
This lesson is universal to all business.

Profit = Revenue – Cost

Keeping cost down can be done in many ways. On the internet, that often means you’ll provide user generated content for other platforms – but you gain audience and links at the same time.
Win – win!

We will use videos as an example.
Of course you use youtube and other streaming clients to host your clips – This will help ypou achieve several things:

  • You’ll disperse the risk – it is unlikely that a youTube server goes down and even if it does, you can switch to a different service
  • You save money
  • You gather some external links and exposure to different audiences

For whiteboard videos -remember the video on linking strategies – That was done with a free software called educreations and now sits on their website as well as embedded in the blind ape.

For social media, I know you guys use twitter, facebook and google+ – same thing.
2nd and 3rd tier content? Use a free blog host, such as wordpress.com, blogger, etc..
Software? Check open source and free software first before buying expensive stuff
Apache is free, WordPress is free, Freemind is free, paint.net is free, Linux is free, etc, etc…

There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur than the current. You can outfit an entire office for less than the cost of a single workplace 20 years ago.

But is reducing cost the only thing to do?

Short answer: No.
Long answer: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Competing on cost alone is always a bad idea.
Why?
Because competing on price means you are competing on only one dimension – and the big boys have a better shot at it.  Economies of scale

But take heart, the top driver of profit is still revenue.
You should do everything to drive revenue and at the same time striving to keep costs down.
So take all the advantages you have as a small solo entrepreneur or small company, which are speed, flexibility, and sheer innovative genius and keep the cost down and you will win.

And always remember:
Profit = Revenue – Cost

Miser style SEO – love it, live it.