Have you ever been faced with an SEO client who wants instant results? If you are in the SEO business – it is safe to assume that the answer would be an emphatic “YES!” Imagine being able to drastically cut down on the phone calls and emails of panicked clients who (after 3 weeks) have decided they should be on page one for all of their target phrases, wouldn’t that be nice?
Establishing the ground rules upfront can, in many cases, turn even the most feisty, anxious and initially untrusting clients into the best client they can be. In my past five years as an SEO consultant I have put together some rules I follow when giving my initial presentations that are meant to govern client expectations (both initially and throughout the campaigns lifecycle).
Without further adieu let’s take a look at rule # 1.
Rule 1: Get Organized & Educate Your Clients
In my personal experience – 75% or more of clients I have consultations with know very little about Search Engine Optimization. In many cases they have just heard the buzzword and are unaware of what SEO is and what is involved with the SEO process.
This list I bring along with me is meant (more than anything else) to keep ME on track and forces me to cover the key points in educating them about SEO.
It includes discussion points about On Site SEO Factors, Off Site SEO Factors, Some information about search engines and how they work etc. Of course I refine this list monthly to make sure that there are no major changes in algorithms or otherwise that make the list inaccurate.
Some other key points you may want to cover are:
- The importance of backlinks
- Onsite SEO is just the beginning
- Competition Research and why it takes time
- Anchor text and its importance
There are of course many others you can add to the list – but this largely depends on your personal preferences. I personal focus on showing them just how much work goes into SEO and how it IS NOT a “set it and forget it” system. The last thing you want them to think is that SEO is a turnkey, simple, cookie cutter system that any one can easily do for them.
I have done some interesting comparisons, which compare the clients I acquired in the early days (before I was organized with this list) and after. The amount of phone calls and emails I receive from clients in these early stages were as much as 10 times greater than those clients acquired after I created a standardized list. The clients who are properly educated initially are far better clients – trust me! In other words, by spending some extra time with them upfront and making them understand SEO – I cut my calls and emails down by 90%! Imagine what you could get done with that kind of free time!
I invite you to leave comments to this post and if you would like to ask for some advice on what to include on your own list – just let me know and I will answer as quickly as I can!
Coming up next – the all-important rule # 2 – SEO Success is Measured in Months Not Days!
Great article! I agree that in order to make huge success, bringing client pages to number ONE, starts with basic organization. It is important to note how we would start with this process. Craigslist, I heard is a great tool to promote one's product/website.
Jeff, perfect post for today! I have exactly one of these types of clients I'm meeting with today. Doesn't know much about SEO, wants instant results...everything you mentioned....StayOnSearch is my favorite site on SEO/SEM blogs...
Just found your site and must say I'm overwhelmed with the amount of information that you offer here, however I was a little disappointed when I read that you are largely writing for "clients". None the less I'm sure that what you are writing here I can turn around and make it work for me also. I am one of those clients that want to be on page one for all of my target keywords. I know that I could think of several questions to ask of you but I'm going to wait and read more of your posts. Thanks for a great post and a blog that seems to be full of great info. jj My recent post Market Your Blog & Get Traffic
Jeffrey I do the same thing with my clients..I break down everything from the get go..I tell them that 60 to 90 days will be our mark of seeing some type of results..just that simple.. "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off" My recent post How To Steal Content For Your Blog
You have done this from the get go? I am just curious to see if when you changed approaches (if you ever had to) - did you see a big difference in the "frustration calls"? Also - as a prelude to some of my next posts - I have a question for you - what is your view on SEO contracts, do you prefer to take it month by month, 3,6,9,12 month commitments? I am curious to see if you have split tested any payment terms etc. Monthly payments, 3 months upfront?