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Will You Make A Good Seo Client? (part 1)


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#1 Andy_Seo

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 03:32 AM

I wanted to get a discussion going on expectation management of client if reference to Jill's article on 'Will you make a good SEO client?'. I thought the article was informative and I generally agreed with most of it - except for point 13 but that is a different issue (and that doesn't mean i'm a rude jerk!). One thing that I always have an issue with is expectation levels with regards to the implementation of recommendations. If a client does not implement recommendations on a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly basis, as advised, it is very hard to try and manage expectations as to what can be achieved.

Of course education comes into play and looking at point 9 (You think SEO is about meta keywords and therefore don't understand why it should cost more than a few bucks) - some non-SEOs do not understand the hard work, determination, strategic planning and experience that goes into this type of work. There isn't a magic formula that shoots a website up rankings - which then can result in traffic growth.

You could argue that expectation management is a result of the service being sold by the salesmen in order to win the account - and I agree - i've heard Jill say one that the key is to undersell and over deliver. That isn't always so easy - especially when someone doesn't understand the work that goes into an SEO service by a good ethical SEO. So I think the issues are:
  • Recommendations implemented months after delivery
  • Expectation management of SEO service is too high for short term plan

Don't get me wrong - a good SEO usually surpasses expectations but when the recommendation delivery is hindered and progress stagnates - there is an issue. But then you do get clients that believe they should be top of the listings within a month for an extremely competitive keyword even though they are competing against established authoritative brands with a website that is less than a year old, generic title tags, inaccessible navigation and a non-existent off page strategy.

Anyhow just wanted to get your thoughts on this and additional thoughts/points on the article?

#2 Jill

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:19 AM

Andy, managing expectations is so key, and also the point of that article. While many people took offense to it and felt it was arrogant and/or mean, the whole point of it was that we can only help those who wish to help themselves. It's not that we don't like to work with those types of people because we're lazy or want to make things easier for ourselves. It's that every website we review or work on we treat it like it's our own. We want to do what's best for it and what's best for the client's business as a whole. Unfortuantely, this isn't necessarily what the client wants--mostly because they don't know better.

The key, of course, is to educate the client on what they really do need, not what they think they need. But not all potential clients want to hear that. They have something in their head and they want what they want. While we could provide them with that, to me that would be unethical if I didn't feel it was what they really needed. So they end up going with someone who will give them what they want, rather than what they need.

With our clients we will always meet their expectations because we make sure they are in line with what we can know we can provide. We won't blow smoke, we won't promise what we can't deliver. It avoids so many problems down the line when you are able to choose your clients.

#3 Andy_Seo

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:30 AM

Totally agree Jill - I do think it is a slightly controversial article, but I think it is a very fair argument and I don't understand the 'arrogant criticism'. The cohesion between the sales team and SEO is key in order to clearly demonstrate what to expect in the first three months, six months, year, five years. Poor SEOs work in isolation - ignoring the bigger picture of improving the authority of the website whilst tapping into relevant audiences via social media. Of course the old on page recommendations are still there - and important - whilst off page marketing has gotten even more competitive.

I think the problem is people are always looking for a quick fix - rather than understanding the true value and nature of what goes into SEO. I see that Danny Sullivan has been having a pop at some anti-SEOs (via his Twitter and also on SEL) and i'm with him on a number of his articles/points. Any clown that offers META keywords optimisation or 'submission to 1000' directories - isn't even an SEO.

#4 JVRudnick

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 07:23 AM

QUOTE(Andy_Seo @ Oct 15 2009, 09:30 AM) View Post
Totally agree Jill - I do think it is a slightly controversial article, but I think it is a very fair argument and I don't understand the 'arrogant criticism'. The cohesion between the sales team and SEO is key in order to clearly demonstrate what to expect in the first three months, six months, year, five years. Poor SEOs work in isolation - ignoring the bigger picture of improving the authority of the website whilst tapping into relevant audiences via social media. Of course the old on page recommendations are still there - and important - whilst off page marketing has gotten even more competitive.

I think the problem is people are always looking for a quick fix - rather than understanding the true value and nature of what goes into SEO. I see that Danny Sullivan has been having a pop at some anti-SEOs (via his Twitter and also on SEL) and i'm with him on a number of his articles/points. Any clown that offers META keywords optimisation or 'submission to 1000' directories - isn't even an SEO.


Further to your point, Andy, on supposed SEO practitioners who counsel use of META keywords, if you ever go to LinkedIN and just about any of their several SEO groups...the vast majority there ALL counsel using same....talk about how they use the "best" META keywords to drive you to the top of the serps...sigh. I am so so so surprised at that counsel actually being made in todays SEO marketplace!

Oh, and do I comment on same? Yes, I used to respond right away with 'bad advice' and was dunned by almost all these posers as knowing nothing about SEO....so now I dont even bother much anymore. LinkedIN may well be the 'best' place for business social networking BUT not for SEO advice for sure!!!

:-(

Jim







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