How I realized that SEO is Insane

How SEO turns your website into a lazy, no-good, good-for-nothing, do-nothing couch potato

Transitioning from a SEO-based website to a 7-second website is tricky and takes time. This is because doing so requires more than different behaviors; it requires a fundamental shift in thinking. Most people try to reject the notion of chasing a higher Google search ranking at first, but if you keep an open mind and suspend your disbelief for the duration of the series, you'll increase the chances of the light bulb popping on as it did for me several years ago.
Once you internalize the insanity of waiting for your prospect to find you in the biggest haystack ever in existence and become adept at taking your website directly to your prospect, your higher-value appointments will begin to increase dramatically.
My Backstory
In 2020, Covid hit and my business hit rock bottom. I did all the right things, followed all the rules, posted on LinkedIn daily (yes, daily), and yet, I was still dreading Sunday nights faced with a week so wide open I swear I could see tumbleweeds blowing across my calendar.
Then one day I saw with total clarity that waiting for my prospects to find my website on Google was hurting me, my company, and my clients. It was the source of just about every business problem that I had.
Best of all, I saw an alternative: I tore up my current website and rewrote it so that I could "ship it" to prospects directly, and in the first year doubled my income. All while working with better clients, solving more interesting problems, and helping clients write websites that do what they're supposed to do - book more high-value calendar appointments.
SEO-based websites actually make it harder to find you
Why question the logic of SEO-based websites at all? It’s how people find you, right? And it’s how your competitors do business, right? Not to mention other independent professionals like consultants, speakers, and marketing folks. If it works for them, why wouldn't it work for you?
I’ll tell you why: SEO-based websites do the exact opposite of what they claim to do: help people find you. Instead, they dilute the business owner's resources by having them chase the same goal that everyone else is chasing: Page One of Google. And here's the kicker: The businesses that do make it to the so-called promised land: Page One of Google ???? still don't get people contacting them off their website.
The problem is, while businesses are spending their time and resources in the fruitless pursuit of better SEO, they could be taking their case directly to their prospects. This includes independent disciplines like consulting, SaaS businesses and startups, fractional CMOs, sales teams, and so on. You cannot make your digital presence known to your prospects by expecting them to come and find you. It's the equivalent of getting your business cards back from the printer and then waiting for the phone to ring. You must hand them out.
You also can't grow your business unless you book appointments with your prospects, which means that you can’t get better at selling, which means that your clients aren’t deriving as much value (and loving you as much!) as they could be.
Motivating your prospects to get interested in what you do requires that you take an interest first by reaching out to them with how you can help.
There are lots of reasons why prospects aren't booking appointments from SEO-based websites. Even if your prospect finds you and clicks on your google entry, they rarely if ever book an appointment.
In fact, most websites average only one booked calendar appointment per year.
Here are 3 reasons why:
SEO-based websites put too much pressure on the prospect - The average website visitor spends about 30 seconds on a homepage. Knowing this, think about what a website asks a prospect to do: make a decision in under 30 seconds to book a call with a complete stranger who's almost certainly going to try and sell them something.
SEO-based websites don't provide an alternative to keep in touch - Here's the thing. 90% of visitors NEVER revisit a website they've been to simply because there's not enough value for them and/or it's not top of mind, i.e. they forget because they're super busy (heck, we all are!).
SEO-based websites are still hard for the prospect - This is true even for companies running Google ads, facebook ads, and retargeting campaigns. It's true even for people with $50,000 SEO marketing agency budgets. Even if your prospect finds you and clicks on your google entry they rarely if ever book an appointment. Most websites average one calendar appointment per year.
P.S. None of the above are getting independent professionals the one thing they want from their website: high-value calendar appointments
But the biggest reason SEO-based websites are really do-nothing websites is this highly ironical, extremely unfortunate statement:
They're impossible to find!
And here's why:
Your competition is now every other website in your field. No matter how far you niche-down, you're relegated to the same rules and search terms that people understand your business to be - even if it offers something completely different or especially if it offers something different or better precisely because your prospect doesn't know to look for that.
I speak with an average of 5 prospects per week. On average they spend $30,000 per year on SEO and book ON AVERAGE 2 appointments per year from their website. That's $15,000 per lead and that assumes those leads lead to closed sales. Even if your numbers are much better than this, you're probably maxing out at $5,000 per lead - unacceptable for most solo practices.
But what are your alternatives?
1. Cold Calls - A non-starter for just about everyone
2. Pour good money after bad with more Google ads
3. Post on LinkedIn regularly - This isn't all that much better than #2. It's a blast furnace approach that people respond to in the least intimate, least invested way possible with either a "like" or a quick comment.
Yay, 7-second websites!
The good news is, these aren’t the only options you have available for booking more calls. 7-second websites to the rescue! By the end of this series, you’ll have a clear picture of how to begin the transition away from search-based to 7-second websites. 7-second websites allow you to take action to generate more high-value inquiries from your prospect that are worthy of your time.
If you're starting from a bare calendar, it allows you to get the reps. If you're starting from a full calendar of tire kickers and time-wasters, it allows you to spend your time with much higher-value prospects who like you for what you do and appreciate the value you offer. You'll also start your relationships off on the right foot so that your ideal prospects ultimately become ideal clients.
To be continued...