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What Do SEO and Plumbing Have in Common?

Nick Stamoulis

Even though most brands and site owners understand that they need SEO in some shape or another, in order to excel in today’s online marketplace a lot of them still don’t completely “get it.” I’ve dealt with plenty of site owners over the years that think SEO is a one-and-done deal; make some changes to the site, get a couple links, and call it a day. They want to invest the least amount of money and time into their SEO program but still get the maximum return for their efforts, and whenever I’m talking to a prospective SEO client that starts down that train of thought I stop and ask them:

“Have you ever had to call a plumber?”

When I moved into my new house it seemed like we were springing leaks every few days. There was a clog in this drain one day and that drain the next. A cracked pipe on the second floor meant water was leaking into the basement; one day I woke up and there water damage on the first floor ceiling from the bathroom above, and insulation had been put in on the WRONG side of the pipes so our first New England winter meant frozen pipes that we had to melt with a hair dryer (luckily no major pipes burst).

Now, I am no plumber but a clogged drain or two is something I can handle. A leaky faucet, a running toilet—a little research online and I’ll find the information I need to handle the basic plumbing jobs. But a cracked pipe? The washing machine backing up into the sink? These things are way out of my league. In theory, yes, I could take the time to learn how to do those things but how much more damage would I cause along the way if I screwed up? How much of my time and energy would I have to put into teaching myself only to not actual fix anything? Fixing a pipe may not be as complicated as building a rocket, but without the right tools and knowledge it may as well be. SEO is kind of like that.

Here’s what Ruud Hein of Search Engine People had to say;

Plumbing is relatively simple; it’s not rocket science – just like SEO. You can do it yourself. Just like SEO. Often it’s not worth the effort and your cheaper off long run or at the very least more efficient hiring someone to do it. In both cases – plumbing and SEO – there is no mystery sauce. No secret thing to do out of sight of the customer that magically accomplishes something. It’s all very logical.

Now, when you are faced with a major plumbing problem chances are you don’t call your neighbor’s best friend’s cousin who has a couple of tools that might be what you’re looking for. You want an experienced, professional, master plumber who knows exactly what they are doing and is going to do what needs to get done AND get it right the first time. It’s not that he knows any “secrets” to plumbing that the rest of us don’t. But he has the experience and the knowledge to make things happen. The same principles holds true for SEO. You could invest in the cheap, quick-and-dirty SEO tactics that might look good on the surface (the sink stopped leaking!) but in reality it’s nothing more than a temporary patch (because now the shower is).

I’ve been burned by one too many “plumbers” in my time, just like many site owners who have fallen victim to SEO con-men that promise the moon and deliver absolutely nothing. When it comes to SEO (and plumbing), investing in high-quality work now might cost more upfront but it is going to pay for itself time and time again in the long run. There are no secrets to success; no tricks or gimmicks that will make things work. You need the tools, the commitment, and the patience to see it done right.

  Nick Stamoulis is the President of Boston SEO agency Brick Marketing. With over 13 years of industry experience Nick Stamolis shares his SEO knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing Blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 120,000 opt-in subscribers.

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Nick Stamoulis is the President of B2B SEO firm Brick Marketing. With over 13 years of industry experience Nick Stamoulis shares his SEO knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing Blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by 120,000 opt-in subscribers.
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White Rabbit
Interesting view, thanks for sharing
Nice research. Congratulations.
The quality and content is great, and it is very quick and easy to follow along. I really look forward to seeing more. Thank you so much!
Nick is right on target. SEO takes consistent effort over a relatively long period of time. Unfortunately, too few have the required patience to make it really work.

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