“I blame you for a poor SEO strategy”. I never thought I would hear those words in my career (a lack of planning on my side), but it made me think after a client told me this the other day. And in retrospect some of the blame could be placed on my shoulders. So fellow white-hat SEOers this article is for you!
An SEO strategy, as we all know, is nothing more than a website marketing plan. A careful combination of technical changes to a website, a planned method to write great content which is rich with keywords, and a model for taking that content to as many avenues as possible with the hope to bring more people to the content, and have more people linking to it. Pretty straight forward. Often we also put in some aspects of Search Engine Marketing (such as Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, or Blog reviews, etc). So why does something so simple fail for some customers and not others?
Here is my quick list for SEO professionals to help you battle the challenging customers and ensure that your strategy (regardless of what it is) ends up successful. If you are a client (or looking for SEO assistance for someone) please read these and understand why we do/say what we do….
- Stand your ground! This is the hardest thing to do as a service provider in my opinion. You are the expert, and never forget that. Many customers will question, quarel, and challenge what you are telling them. But remember they reached out to you. You know what you are talking about, and likely have a track record of success. So simply let them know that it isn’t questionable or something you will waiver on.
- SEO isn’t a quick fix, and will take time, and everyone involved needs to know that! Make it clear to your customers that you are working for the long term here. You are personally vested in them succeeding (Who wouldn’t understand that as you want to get paid too), but this will take more than 10 minutes a month to accomplish by everyone.
- Remember you can never get away from people thinking that SEO is a way to “game the system.” They will want you to find low cost, low effort ways to make their site better than their competitors. Don’t change your strategy and go down the path of the “dark side” and do things you know are short lived successes.
- Explain to your customers that the BEST SEO strategy is great, engaging content. This in most cases isn’t something you can help them write, but you can show them what good content is. In fact they already know what it is as they are looking at their competitors every day (which is odd because they are helping them succeed in their SEO efforts). They need to write it, they need to manage it, and they need to embed this mentality into their companies DNA.
- Never forget that your business comes first! Picking your customers is just as important to your success as a business as their choosing of you for SEO. If the customer simply won’t get it, or refuses to follow the strategy… cut them loose. Your success relies on having successful sites in your portfolio!
So remember if you are an SEO professional… stick to your guns, do what is right, explain the way the world works, and if they simply won’t follow your guidance… let them go!
If you are working with an SEO professional, listen to them!