How Much SEO Knowledge Should A Client Have?

Posted by Mark Thompson - December 30, 2009 - SEO - 5 Comments

In my opinion an educated SEO client is much better than an uneducated client.  An educated client is usually more involved, willing to allocate more budget towards your strategy, and will develop into a longer lasting relationship.

So, what level of SEO knowledge should a client have?

How Websites Are Ranked?

It is important for the client to understand the basics of how search engines rank websites.  This will help a client better understand your SEO strategy and why you are doing the tactics you are doing.  Here are the fundamentals I believe a client should be able to understand.

  • Domain Age/Credibility
  • Basic On-Site Optimization Factors (Title/Meta Tags, Optimized Content, Friendly URLs, etc…)
  • Basic Off-Site Optimization Factors (Link Building Basics)
User-Experience Factors

I always say that generating qualified traffic is only half the battle.  Once that user gets to your site, you need convert that user into a sale or lead.  A client must understand that SEO also involves giving a positive user-experience and increase conversion rates.  These are the elements a client should understand.

  • Well Thought-Out Site Structure
  • Appealing Design and Graphics
  • Calls To Action
  • Valuable & Well Organized Content
  • Way To Track Conversions
Understanding Site Analytics

Certain clients could care less about their site analytics…which is very sad.  You can learn so much by just analyzing your site data.  Even a client not interested in analytics, should still be educated on the basics of web analytics, how it can impact their company and how it relates to your SEO efforts.

  • Daily Traffic
  • Traffic sources that have a High Time On Site and Conversion Rate
  • Keywords Used to Convert,
  • Top Content
  • Goal Data
Client Expectations

With all of the SEO basics being taught to your client, you need to be able to give expectations based on SEO factors and your research.  You should be able to give a time frame as to when a client should be starting to see results.  Web analytics, goal tracking, sales, and even phone tracking can all help justify your efforts.

On the other hand, if there are things the client will have to do to fulfill the SEO strategy, the client must have a good understanding of what they need to do in order to be successful.

What Knowledge Should Be Industry Secrets?

Knowledge and experience is definitely power.  At some point you don’t want to give away industry secrets and tactics that are the reasons people hire you. I am not saying that even “industry secrets” are not readily available on blogs, forums, and industry sites, but it is another thing to actually experience what works and what doesn’t work.  The fact of the matter is that there is a lot of bad information out there, so what clients are willing to pay for is your experience of what works and what doesn’t work. 


About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter
4 comments
Corporate Clothing
Corporate Clothing

Hi i am a SEO guy, after reading your article i found some technical knowledge how to manage a client in a long term basic, Great article thanks a lot for sharing this.

Ball Chair
Ball Chair

I am very impresed to read this post "generating qualified traffic is only half the battle" and "It is important for the client to understand the basics of how search engines rank websites"

Corporate Uniforms
Corporate Uniforms

Hi mark, i am also agree with you "educated SEO client is better than uneducated client".it is better to communicate with him in long term basic.Great article thanks a lot for sharing this.

Biz Collection
Biz Collection

Hi mark, recently reading your post and i found some great technique about how to manage a client properly.Great article thanks a lot for sharing this.

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