The SEO expert and the butcher

Sometime ago, I was on a cocktail party with a rather mixed audience in our local town hall. Lawyers, craftsmen, marketing folks and everything that makes up the diversity of a small village. On a certain moment I was standing behind my local butcher who was talking to an SEO consultant. And this is what I picked up from the conversation :

SEO : Hi there, my name is John.

Butcher : Hello, me it’s Harvey. I run the local butcher shop

S: hey, that’s great! I’m into SEO and I could help you to get more customers and more sales!

B: SEO? What is SEO?

S: I’m into Search Engine Optimization . So by optimizing the search engines I optimize your traffic

B: Hmm, interesting. But the only engine I have, is sitting in my car. And I don’t have to search for it, because I know exactly where it is. In front, under the hood. And it doesn’t need to be optimized. Runs already for 20 years without any problem. And if you want to optimize traffic near my place, well that’s not going to be obvious because my shop is sitting in a dead end.

S: No, you don’t understand. If you have a site, I can tune it so that you get thousands of customers a month more.

B: Well, my “site” as you call it, is about 500 square feet and when I have 5 customers, the place is stuffed. If you send me 1000 customers, the whole street will be filled up.

S: No, I’m talking about your website!

B: I don’t have a website. Why would I need one?

S: Man, you’re missing the internet highway, the path to growth, the opportunity to build a butcher imperium!

B: Well, the only highway I take is the interstate and the path to my shop is large enough for 2 cars to cross and 10 to park. And why would I need to create an imperium? I have enough regular customers to assure a nice regular income.  And you?

S: Ehhh, well. I lately optimized my site again. Went from nr 300 to the first page on Google. I got thousands of hits.

B: Oh I’m sorry. And did it take long time to recover?

S: No man, you don’t get it. I got thousands of leads to my business. You know, potential customers.

B: I have only real customers. Never seen a “potential” customer in my place. I mean, it’s pretty simple : Customer walks in, buys a piece of meat, pays and walks out of the door.

S: But suppose you had all these hundreds of new potential buyers that would visit your shop, wouldn’t that be great!

B: So I would need to hire someone to explain to all these potential customers that they are in a butcher shop where we sell the best meat in town? That’s going to cost me a bundle. And anyway, if someone walks into my shop I don’t think they are getting in for a hair cut, do they? And what if no one buys my meat.

S: Ahhh, now we’re talking. If that happens you have a bad conversion rate.

B: I only get paid cash. In dollars. I don’t take yen or euros or whatever. So I don’t need a conversion rate.

S: Well, maybe we have to sit together one day to see if we can do business. Here’s my business card.

B: Ok. Thanks. I’ll think about it. And sorry, I don’t have a business card. But just ask for Harvey’s butcher shop and anybody can tell you where I’m located.  Have a nice day.






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