The Field's Too Wet To Plow And I Can't Dance

We have a lot of really good Southern sayings here in North Carolina but my favorite has always been “well the field’s too wet to plow and I can’t dance.” My second favorite is “I’m finer than a frog’s hair split four ways” just in the extremely rare chance that you’re thinking “wow this is really interesting and I’d like to know more!”

In case you don’t get it, my “the field’s too wet to plow and I can’t dance” quote actually IS meaningful to SEO. Basically it’s saying that there is nothing that can be done right now due to various circumstances. While this is certainly true in many cases, it’s never true in SEO. If you think you’re done and that there is nothing you can do to improve your success, you’re bonkers.

Yes there are cases in SEO when you’re going to be limited by a client’s constraints. For example, I once had a PPC client who was converting at close to 100% on their brand so we thought we’d crank up the budget and get even more sales. However, we’d reached the saturation point with paid ads (they didn’t want to spend money trying out product keywords for some reason) and we ended up spending more money without the resulting increase in conversions, and, most importantly, the client would not take my site usability recommendations into account so I never got the chance to see if that would have made a difference. There are tons of variations on this theme where you’ll have a client who simply won’t follow your recommendations. However, you can’t just sit back and do NOTHING if this happens. In my case, I concentrated on building more quality inbound links and tried to do everything I could to boost their organic traffic but since they wouldn’t let me touch their site, I didn’t have as many options as I would have liked. The point is that I had to still keep doing SOMETHING, or risk losing what I’d worked so hard to build.

This is somewhat off topic but still…Obviously it’s nice when site owners take your recommendations into account and actually follow them to the letter. They may not though, so you need to be prepared to explore other options. I know of several occasions when clients have been told something they MUST do or else x plan won’t work. While this may be the case, most clients aren’t going to want to hear it. If they’re paying you to improve the visibility of their site, you need to be prepared with a variety of methods and worst-case scenario plans. Otherwise you may lose them if you present too rigid a plan.

Even if a site is number one for all top keywords in all major engines, has insanely high conversion rates in PPC, becomes a makeshift tent in the forest, etc, there is still work to be done. If you sit around and do nothing when you’re doing well, you’re going to be seriously unprepared for those major algorithm shifts that take you out of the rankings (I’m sure many of you remember Florida.) You can always build quality inbound links, research sites of your competitors, try out a few new keywords, and READ about what’s going on in the industry. As fast as things change in SEO, you really can’t afford to be complacent. SEO is not like coding a site where you get it to work properly and test out what will happen when some bumbling user types a percent sign 100 times in a row. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re ever truly done.