If you are in the business of offering a search engine optimization services to the public, you will most likely completely understand where I am coming from as I write this blog post. Before I continue, I want to point out, that I love what I do, working with clients to help build their businesses through SEO and SEM.
At some point the industry veered off course because some clients look at you like you are the enemy right from initial phone call. I view at each client like a partner, I have been hired to grow their business and my only goal is to do just that. I think this is important to discuss because it seems to be getting worse for many other search engine marketing professionals. I know the past 12 to 24 months has been tough for all of us, but there is not excuse! Anyway, I encourage SEO folks, marketers, web developers, web designers and clients to read and contribute your thoughts and experiences to this blog post.
In my opinion, here are a handful of some of the top characteristics that a bad SEO client portrays:
1. Poor Communication: A large bottleneck that quite often occurs is a lack of response or communication from a client. When you set up scheduled meetings and consistently get blown off this will eventually lead to a much larger problem. Search engine optimization often times requires education and reasoning as to why an effort is being done and these meetings are vital for things to keep moving smoothly. In order for no surprises to ever occur, client, service provider communication is essential. A lack of communication from either party usually leads to loss of business.
2. Poor Company Organization: Have you ever worked with a company that couldn’t get out of its own way? Nothing is worse than having to get approval from 6 different people about let’s say, on site optimization recommendations. Often times this leads to numerous unnecessary revisions by company employees that have no business looking at this in the first place. For instance and IT Director and Sales Director really have no need to be involved. There should be one point of contact to allow for things to operate smoothly and efficiently. Too many chefs in the kitchen usually spoils the soup.
3. We are NOT the Enemy: Plain and simple your SEO service provider is NOT the enemy. We have been hired to complete the job of helping you build your business online through a variety of sources and efforts. Some clients approach purchasing SEO services like insurance. Nobody wants to buy insurance but we have to. Yes SEO is intangible but results can be seen from month to month and over time. Treating us like we are against you right from the start is not going to create a smooth relationship. Actually it will be quite the opposite and it will be rocky from the beginning.
4. Disrespect: Never refer to us as an “SEO Geeks” in a conference call. We are marketers who specialize in online branding and building sales and visibility through the search engines and online. We have spent a great deal of time learning the industry and being referred to as a geek during a conference call makes the hair on our neck stand. If you took the time to truly learn and understand the search engine optimization industry you would know that SEO is 80% marketing and 20% technical.
5. Lack of Education: No I don’t mean clients don’t have a college degree! When you hire an SEO service provider you should take the time to learn what it is all about. If you don’t know what it is or how it works how can you tell us we are not doing our job? There are many different goals of SEO but traditionally the first goal is rankings, then generating more visitors from SEO. If people don’t convert on your website (sale, lead, phone call, etc.), it is your service, product or business that needs improvement, which is a whole other discussion. It is not the SEO’s fault. If you’re SEO has increased your website visitors by 60% in 6 months how could they be faulted? Don’t blame buying patterns on your search engine optimization.
6. Wants the World for Free (This one is for potential NEW clients, I liked this one so it made the list) : Would you approach an insurance company or a lawyer and ask for free advice before you are a client or even better, an actual service and not want to pay for it? What if someone walked into your store or business and didn’t want to pay for anything? Whether online or offline hiring someone to do marketing for you requires a great deal of time, knowledge and experience. Why would someone start a business to work for free? It is a different story if you already have a client that you do work for and you offer some added value efforts but when someone calls and wants to pay 80% less than our prices for quadruple the amount of work it is kind of disrespectful. Many SEO professionals could very easily leave their business behind and go work for a large corporation making a significant amount more money but we do this because we enjoy the personable approach between good clients.
We don’t ask for much, just treat us like a partner, give us a heads up if you can’t make a meeting so we can reschedule and give us a little respect for our craft. You hired us because you did not want to either do it yourself or have the time so please let us do our job. Many of us have spent years learning this industry so we bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to the table.
If you have encountered this as an SEO, web designer, web developer of other marketing professional please feel free to share your story. I look forward to seeing your comments!