I wrote a blog a little over a year ago stating that SEO might not be useful because it can result in more bad leads that ultimately take up time and go nowhere. After a recent experience I'm inclined to take it a step further and posit that good SEO could now be a detriment altogether by ranking your site too high.
We were recently hired by the Clinton Global Initiative which was a great opportunity to work with a high profile organization. Since we had no connections with them we asked how they found us. Our client said that she searched Google for "Chicago Video Production." I know for a fact that we wouldn't rank in the top 2 pages because we specifically don't write for SEO and don't buy Ad Words.
Her response was that she typically skips over the first few pages knowing that often the results are companies that spend more effort gaming the search engines than being good at the service they offer. Also, many companies that rent equipment or do other things not specific to her actual search come up.
To her, the fact that we ranked high enough to be legit (probably page 3 or 4) but not at the top, gave more confidence that we might fit the needs. She still had to visit our site and judge us based on the work we've done in the past, but maybe she would have glossed us over if we were ranked higher.
I know a lot of people that would probably want to storm my castle, torch in hand, for even suggesting that SEO is not the most important thing to ever happen to a keyboard, but when it comes to smaller businesses that don't subsist on high volume isn't this true?
Are people getting hip to the SEO thing now? Is being ranked too high a sign that maybe your priorities are in the wrong place? Or was this an anomaly where we lucked out? Any other similar experiences out there?
You can see some of the work we did with CGI here.