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July 25, 2010

SEO Client Relationships: Tips

Communication between client and service provider is a vital part in the success of any campaign, or indeed any business relationship at all. Due to the nature of SEO, many clients will have quite a lot of questions and these should be dealt with right at the early stages, before a campaign has even begun. It is really important that clients are made aware of the fact that it can take a long time to see results, especially for new domains. It is also highly advisable to discuss suitable measurements of a campaigns success, for example traffic numbers, search engine results and so on. These will all have to be tailored to the work in question and every job will have its own individual needs and challenges. This article aims to point out five common questions, and how you can deal with them effectively.

1. Why Don’t I Have More Traffic ?

Many clients simply don’t know what they can expect with regards to traffic numbers. This is no fault of their own, but sometimes they can be disappointed by the traffic they receive from seemingly good search engine positions. Traffic estimates should be based on search volume and it’s important to clearly explain the huge difference in click through rate between a number one position and a number four position.

2. Why Don’t I Appear for This Keyword?

When clients first engage in SEO activities, it must be clearly explained that in order to even begin to rank well for certain keywords, each page must effectively target its own keyword. If you try to focus a page on too many different keywords, it will dilute the message and leave the search engines confused as to what the page in question is talking about. Therefore, unless you have a large website, there is a limit to how many keywords you can expect to rank well for.

3. My Local Directory Listing Is Outranking Me, Why Is This?

This is particularly troublesome for new and small websites. Quite often when a search is carried out for a chosen keyword, not only will you see your website come up, you will also see your directory listings appear. Sometimes the directory listings will actually outrank you. This is due to the fact that the directory probably has a lot more authority than you, and work will have to be done to boost the importance of your website above that of your page on the said directory. You could also try changing your directory listing to reduce its competitiveness.

4. How Long Do I Have To Wait?

Probably the biggest question of all, how long will it take and how long will I have to pay you for? It’s vital to make this clear right from the start. You have to explain that it will take time for your work to bear results. Honesty really is the best policy here. I would recommend preparing a client for anywhere between at least six to twelve months with a thorough check of progress being carried out every three months.

5. How Will Doing More Help?

This is a big one, especially if you are not getting the results as quickly as you may have expected. You may be going back to client several months down the line and suggesting yet more site improvements or link building efforts. Marketing a website should be approached with a long term view. If results aren’t going so well it may mean you have to revisit some of the website structure and address any technical issues that may be causing issues. Explain the from the offset and you should avoid digging yourself into any unnecessary holes.

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11 Responses to “SEO Client Relationships: Tips

    avatar Ortis says:

    The very first step you should take is to submit the URL of your website to the many search engines and search directories on the web.

    avatar Zastio says:

    Therefore, unless you have a large website, there is a limit to how many keywords you can expect to rank well for

    When an SEO campaign is undertaken by an SEO service, most of the attention is focused on the website itself. Keep up the good work. All the best.

    avatar Wade Pupek says:

    Your article is right on. Setting correct expectations is the most important thing when working with clients. Even though I try and educate them on the process they often still come back 3 months later upset they are not ranking for certain words. Often it is someone higher up in the organization who is not informed then asks these questions during the campaign. Be honest and up front but people need to realize what SEO really means.

    avatar Squidoo Lens Crafters | says:

    […] SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources » Blog Archive » SEO … […]

    avatar Service Desk says:

    I agree with Ortis, directory submission and social bookmarking will surely help. Anyway thanks for posting this because these are what are the usual questions clients ask. Sometimes these clients have no idea about SEO, that is why they hired you. So are also expected to deliver and explain.

    avatar seofreetool says:

    I also agree with Ortis. The directory submission and social bookmarking is helpful. We should also optimize our site such as meta keyword and description, page name. And especially we need to keep content fresh. Thanks for all for sharing.

    Excellent points however, I would like to add a little to each:

    #1 Even with the best positions, the client needs to understand how much is their product or service in demand? Is it something that people my just want if they have extra money for it? Or is it something that they must do or buy to solve an problem they are having today,right now?

    #2 They need to understand that the main keywords which they may have in mind account for probably only 20% of their niches search volume and to not get to hung up on those. 80% will come from long-tail searches!

    #3 Local listings will almost always beat out national listings if done correctly, unless it is not being marketed to the local community.

    #4 Again another reason for long-tail keywords, they can be ranked for very quickly while you are are at the same time working on the more competitive keywords which may take longer to rank for.

    #5 They need to understand that the game has changed and that it is now about universal search.

    It always amazes me how these same people will have no problem with spending a substantial amount of money each month for a Yellow Page ad which is ineffective, limited space, costly and cannot be changed for an entire year but, expect to see major results by only doing ongoing search engine optimization for a few months. It just doesn’t work that way!

    Sometimes your website can disappear for a term at random. Not sure what causes this but you often reappear later on.

    avatar Web Development says:

    Nice post. The biggest challenge for a SEO provider is to make a client understand SEO, who don’t have any idea about the amount of work required. There are a number of clients we have faced where the only motto of the client is to be on top and that also in no amount of time. To such clients SEO appears to be a one-day match and nothing else. Dealing with these people needs some extra-ordinary communication qualities. If you have any suggestion then please suggest.

    The very first step you should take is to submit the URL of your website to the many search engines and search directories on the web. Citations can be very important, especially since there is only a 3 pack and not ten like the good old days!

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