Diminishing Returns on Investment Dollars
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It's been a while since I coined a new phrase, but some good conversations recently have inspired me. Today's new phrase even has a cool acronym although I've exceeded the three letters that most acronyms seem to adhere to. Anyway, I've been thinking about search engine optimization diminishing returns on investment dollars or SEO DRoID. Long winded (perhaps unnecessarily), but catchy, no?
The phrase is pretty self-explanatory, but to make sure we're all on the same page let me define it. SEO DRoID refers to the observation I've had that just about every SEO project starts to return less and less on the investment dollars put into it. This isn't because everyone isn't continuing to work as hard as ever, but more because the team has gotten stuck in a rut. For example, you'll get some benefit from adjusting a site's title tags, but adjusting them a second time isn't likely to improve things as much. Similarly, how often can you rewrite content to better target keywords before the benefits peak? I've made it a point now to look out for the following warning signs that SEO DRoID may rear its ugly head.
Lack of Flexibility in the Contract
One of the big factors that I believe leads to SEO DRoID is a contract that doesn't allow for changing course part way through the SEO effort. Sure, the client will gladly take additional deliverables free of charge, but they're much less likely to agree to swap out a line item for something else. It's in their best interest to do so, but educating the client isn't always as easy as it should be.
Lack of Creativity
People are inspired by different things and at different times. The key is to be open to the creative process and not rely on the tried and true project process that has served you well for the last 3 years. The rules of SEO keep changing and so must you. Your choices include following the trail that others are blazing and always be behind the pack or to be a trailblazer with your own ideas. The good thing is that once you've been bitten by the success of the creative bug, you'll be hooked.
Lack of Skills
Related to the subject of lack of creativity is the lack of skills. Some people shy away from trying something new because they don't know how to do it. Rather than looking on such a situation as an opportunity to grow (even though there'll be mistakes along the way), some people instead get defensive. What a shame.
Lack of Support
The search engine marketing industry is certainly full of lone rangers plugging away in their home offices. Nothing wrong with that. However, in a corporate environment it's hard to get anything done without the support of those higher on the ladder as well as the support of your peers.
Optimizing an Already Optimized Site
Perhaps the quickest situation in which SEO DRoID appears is when the project involves optimizing a site that was previously worked on by a search engine optimizer. Yes, nothing is quite done the same way that you would do it, but realistically the previous SEO has probably done most of the on-site work such that 2 months into your 12 month contract, you'll be done with the basics. In such a case, I recommend parking yourself and your team in a room for some brainstorming (see lack of creativity above).
Anyone else have to deal with SEO DRoID?