SEO is a term which has had its scope dramatically widened over the past 10 years. As more and more companies understand that marketing and profitability are strongly dependent upon the company’s digital presence, SEO management has become a top dollar business. Yet, all is not always easy when dealing with SEO clients. Many times a client will have unreasonable expectations for their SEO, want to be constantly instructed and/or tutored in maintaining their SEO, want to implement outdated SEO techniques, or an array of other issues will arise. The question then becomes “How do you maintain a positive relationship with your SEO clients without negatively effecting productivity?”
Here are 5 tips to help you…
Explain how SEO works dispelling myths and misconceptions
While SEO is great, it is not a miracle drug to fix other marketing problems. You should explain to your client what SEO can and cannot accomplish. Focus should be given in on the complexity of SEO integration. Do not try to confuse your client, but ensure that he or she understands that SEO is more than just dropping some key words in a blog and making a Facebook business page.
Many times a client’s understanding of SEO will come from Google, Bing, or Yahoo searches. The amount of misinformation floating about the internet is infinite. Unfortunately, many clients hone in on techniques which are outdated or simply do not work. For example: A client may want you to change and add to the title tags of a webpage. Another client may want you to focus on the page ranking. As explaining SEO to a client could invoke a number of questions, consider making a PDF, PowerPoint, or a simple brochure which explains (generally) how SEO functions and what it can do for their site.
Never over promise
If you state that you can meet certain leads and rankings on a search engine, than your client will hold you to those promises. Ensure that you can complete what you have stated and that you can do so in a timely fashion. Clients want to see results quickly and so you need to ensure that the SEO services which you promise to deliver can be without allocating too much time to the company and away from other clients.
Determine your target points together
Marketing has shifted from the funnel marketing techniques to a broader scope. Your client may still be stuck in using the Funnel Metaphor for marketing when the digital age requires the Consumer Decision journey. In most situations, the SEO and marketing work together your SEO is a completely different animal from the marketing department. Still, understanding how a company is marketing their brand and targeting customers is paramount to the SEO. By working with the company to establish realistic target points, you will save yourself a ton of frustration when conducting your SEO for the client.
Charge by the hour not by the task
SEO is time consuming and clients may tend to forget that time is money. One way to ensure that you get paid for your services is to offer your services on an hourly basis instead of on a fixed price, especially if your services include maintaining the SEO. Where you could put an hourly cap on the allotted amount of time for each customer, the price should not be set in stone.
An hourly rate does two things. First, you discourage frivolous interactions with clients that want SEO but do not want to put forth any effort into being a part of the SEO process. If a CEO understands that they are being charged for every minute you spend working with them, they are going to be less apt to have an endless list of questions. Secondly, you ensure that you can work on the SEO and get paid what you are deserved.
Get to know the client
SEO is most successful when you know the brand from top to bottom, inside and out. The more you know about a company, its staff, its marketing ideas, etc. the more successful your SEO will be for that company. If you can set up the SEO effectively the first time by understanding fully the company’s visions for their brand, then maintaining the SEO will be a lot easier and the relationship between you and the SEO client will be smoother.
These are but a few examples of what you can do to ensure that your relationship with your SEO client remains smooth. Remember that relationships are built upon trust, collaborations, compromises, and professionalism. Practicing all of these things will lead to a clientele list which is loyal to your services for years to come.