SEO Class in Chicago, IL
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Why Should Customer Renew?
Posted 23 August 2004 - 07:32 AM
Which got me thinking. Since I try and wear a "white hat" all the seo related work is done directly on the client’s web site. If he doesn't renew, all that work is still in place. Before we started working with the client, he made 2-3 sales a month. Now he makes 60+. If the client does nothing, the web site will still generate 30-50 sales a month for the foreseeable future.
So how do you handle the renewal question?
Posted 23 August 2004 - 07:56 AM
I would tell him of your client who did a similar thing who suddenly lost all his positions because its difficult to keep the good positions without proper management and now his orders have gone back to the previous levels, sow the seeds of doubt in his mind.
Posted 23 August 2004 - 07:56 AM
I'm interested in seeing how people answer this question, because I've personally never seen a reason to enter into a long-term contractual relationship with any of my clients. I charge by the hour for most tasks, so I do the work, charge them, and that's normally the end of the relationship. If they feel that they need me to do more for them later, they come back to me.
This means that my income is less predictable, but I'd have a hard time justifying doing some work on a site, waiting two or three months to see how my work affects their ROI, and charging them in the meantime. Obviously, if there's work to do during that time, I'll do it, but I'll just continue charging them by the hour.
Posted 23 August 2004 - 08:06 AM
But will he really Thomas? I have clients that have retained first page rankings for 2-3 years with no updating (although they were phrases that are not that competitive).
Posted 23 August 2004 - 09:00 AM
You mean lie to him?
Posted 23 August 2004 - 09:13 AM
If a client wants to cancel the retainer, then they can do so. but they will of course run the risk of me contacting their competition and using their site as an example of what we can do. Is it a threat? yes of course it is. but this is business, and if I am not being paid by someone, they are no longer a client, and the only thing that stays in place, is the confidentiality.
OK they have got to where they want to be, but what about the ongoing keyword research? what about the market researh for new markets as a result of that keyword reasearch? What about the new links being added monthly (assuming you do that). All of this comes down to one quaestion. Are they happy to allow you to go to their competition, because as long as I am with them, I will not do that.
I turn down clients often as I see them as causing a conflict of interests. with no agreement in place, there is no need to turn anyone away. If you have proved to this client that you are worth your money, who are they going to find to go up against you if you get approached by a competitor of theirs?
I have said this before, 'busines is all about risk' risk to reward. They are going to risk the possibility of you working for a competitor, for the reward of saving the monthly retainer fee. Ask them that question?
Posted 23 August 2004 - 09:24 AM
As to lying I don't know if you’re familiar with the story
A man approaches another man sitting on a park bench and say's to him does your dog bite, the man on the bench replies no my dog does not bite, the second man strokes the dog and the dog bites him, the man in pain say's I thought you said your dog does not bite and the man on the bench says that’s not my dog
Posted 23 August 2004 - 09:44 AM
One reason they may need to keep you on retainer might be if they are constantly creating new content which they would need you to optimize.
However, if it's a site that doesn't change much, I would honestly tell them that most likely they should be perfectly fine without you. Their rankings aren't going to suddenly up and disappear if they don't change anything. I would tell them that some clients like to see a monthly ranking report just to make them feel better, and that you can do that for them if they want, but it that you don't anticipate any reason why their rankings should suddenly go down just because they're not paying you any more.
Trying to scare them into thinking they NEED to continue using you (if you know deep down they really don't) doesn't really seem like a good business practice to me.
I have many clients who prefer to keep paying me, even though I tell them they don't need to, that all I'm doing is running a monthly report for them. They simply like to have the piece of mind, plus they like being able to call or email me with questions and know that they're not bothering me.
But I stress to them that they really don't need to, and that their rankings aren't going to go anywhere.
Posted 23 August 2004 - 09:54 AM
Charging them a monthly fee for... nothing... just doesn't sit right with me.
Posted 23 August 2004 - 09:55 AM
Posted 23 August 2004 - 10:02 AM
At any rate it is true that if you do a great job and the industry is not super super competitive, your SEO work should stand even after they cancel. I still see old clients that rank well in the SERPs even long after we have finished our engagement with them. I think the clients that continue ongoing campaigns simply like the peace of mind they get. They have good positioning, they see lots of conversions and they do not want to mess with that. They are happy to pay some kind of monthly fee to keep that going so long as you are providing value to them.
Posted 23 August 2004 - 10:08 AM
I guess maybe it is a little different for me as I am more of a marketing man than anything, and often advise on all sorts of marketing.
Posted 23 August 2004 - 10:13 AM
We had a large telephone company who installed all the initial optimization elements (with restrictions) and after that did not implement or put into place one single piece of advice for the entire year of the contract.
On the other hand I have had clients that did this same thing and then after several months of trying to get them to implement some suggestions you have made, they finally do it and it works like a charm.
Posted 23 August 2004 - 03:08 PM
To my mind, it suits me better if they DON'T opt for the retainer, because then I can do SEO work for a competitor, if I want to! I always promise clients exclusivity for 6 months from initial order, even if they don't opt for a retainer.
Posted 23 August 2004 - 06:12 PM
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