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June 19, 2017

3 Major Reasons Why Clients Are Not Buying Your SEO Services

For many of us working in digital marketing, things like SEO, social media marketing, UI/UX are so commonplace, we often forget that the layman hasn’t spent as much time and effort understanding them.

Despite the amount of time the average person spends on their digital devices — 11 hours a day, according to a Nielsen survey in 2014 — most of the finer points of the digital world are so subtle that they’re easily overlooked. We often experience this disconnect when interacting with our clients, where this issue is particularly evident is in the world of SEO. Unlike social, where the impact can be measured in terms of likes, shares, and clicks, SEO’s effects are not particularly visible in the short-term and, thus, are easily ignored.

Here are some other reasons why your clients are not buying your SEO services, especially if they’re small business owners without a dedicated digital marketing manager.

They don’t understand its importance

What does it even do? Many have not jumped on board with SEO practices because they don’t understand how it works and what it’s for. Many still have an archaic notion of simply setting up a website and expecting visitors to stream in, unaware that Google has an algorithm that rewards some sites over others in its all-important rankings. Take the time and effort to explain and illustrate the importance of SEO — and keep it as basic as possible. You do not have to reveal your strategy or trade secrets. Make it relatable to their experience of searching the Internet, and connecting it to their personal frame of reference.

They want results fast

Clients often give up too soon, failing to understand that SEO should be part of a long-term strategy, or might underestimate the time it takes for SEO to work. While a minimum of three to six months is usually the norm for results to start showing, help clients understand that it may vary according to where their website starts out at and what industry they’re in. It helps to set their expectations right from the start, by managing their expectations of the time frame necessary. If clients aren’t able to budget for at least six to 12 months of SEO, suggest other options for them to spend their marketing budget on — it would be more of a waste to start at all and then stop too soon.

They don’t have a digital strategy

Perhaps their digital strategy might still be limited to simply setting up a Facebook page. Without a clear digital strategy, they will not see where SEO fits into the big picture for them. It helps to zoom out and show them the big picture of what digital marketing does, including relevant elements like having a content and social strategy, and how it all ties together with SEO. A good SEO campaign is usually accompanied by a content and social strategy as well and your client needs to understand that. This would help them to determine if SEO is an important part of their strategy and whether spending that budget on it is justified for their business.

Final Thoughts

With these reasons in mind, it’s much easier to chart out a plan of attack to win over your clients, start by understanding how much they understand about SEO. Next, you must take steps to educate them on the value that your services can bring to their website. After all, SEO, unlike other forms of marketing, can continue to bring value long after the campaign is completed. Lastly, be sure to set the expectations to be as realistic as possible. Many of the best marketing firms never promise first page Google rankings and you do not have to either.


Vladislav Vagner is an international writer and owner of Article Blizzard. He has had publications in several online magazines including NSICS and Cracked. Currently, he spends most of his days experimenting with SEO strategies and helping his clients stay ahead of the curve. Be sure to get his eBook ‘The Ultimate Guide to Customer Value Optimization.’