SEO, even after all these years, is largely misunderstood by the very clients who hire professionals to do the job for them. There is a stark mismatch between how the SEO team looks at deliverables and how clients perceive them. Look at this example to understand the point better. Suppose you, as a SEO professional, tell the client that when a primary keyword of the business ranks among the top 3 on Google’s SERP, there will be a 50% jump in the number of unique visitors coming to the client’s website. After a couple of weeks, the client comes back and asks you why the number of unique visitors has not jumped 50%, completely forgetful of the first condition, that is to rank a primary keyword among the top 3!
The Time Factor
This is usually the case in the SEO domain. Every SEO professional has to deal with client’s expectations, especially when it comes to time frames. SEO is not done in a matter of days, or weeks, even months. To hit the top ranks in a cluttered business domain, it takes years of hard work and then continued work over the years to occupy that rank, to ward off competitions. In this post on tips to deal with client’s expectations in the field of SEO, the first one is to pencil the time it will take for each single step of the process. Use the metrics like Audit, Fixing Bugs, Content Management, Social Media Engagement and map them out against time. When you achieve each micro goal, the client feels vindicated that you are moving in the right direction.
The Changing Times
The next bone of contention is how SEO is conducted and done in the modern times. Clients often pick up bits of information about the SEO process from sundry sources and when they meet SEO professionals to hire them, they bring those bits to the table. Some of them feel outdated and many may be downright illegal today! Here are some SEO processes that are not done anymore:
- Content Farming: Writing and publishing one article after another and innumerable blogs is passé. No SEO team does that anymore, at least not the ones that are serious about ranking on Google! Content farming has been replaced by writing quality content and then promoting and sharing them on online platforms.
- Link Buying: Buying or selling web links through dubious means is also a thing of the past. Modern SEO has no room for paid link building methods and your website can be heavily penalized if you are caught doing so.
- Get Ranks: Pushing for SEO ranks is another trick that is missing from the online marketer’s notebook. Today, it is about doing the right things in the SEO perspective and waiting for the sophisticated Google crawlers to come and get you.
- Dormant Websites: Websites are not about creating, publishing and forgetting. You have to be dynamic and not dormant about websites. Update and modify content as per requirement to keep the web pages fresh for the crawlers.
What We Do Today
Now that we have outlined for SEO clients what SEO professionals don’t do, let us look at what they do in a nutshell:
- We audit the website that clients bring in. That includes looking the user experience on the website, the content on the web pages, the branding, the keyword strategy, the PR value of the website and finally, the competition analysis
- We outline a blueprint to jot down the possible avenues that the client’s SEO requires and what kind of return on investment each of them will bring
- We bring all the different teams like web designing, web development, content writing and SEO together to build up a consensus on our plan of action and the way forward
- We wait for months on end and track the progress of each keyword, across all the platforms. We prepare and pore over reports culled from Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools.
- We test new possibilities and how they will fare for the client’s websites and requirements
Read more about the brief steps to do digital marketing the right way
The Final Word
Now that the expectations are set up for the clients, you will ask yourself: which are the clients SEO professionals are looking for? These are people who understand that SEO is not an exact, precise science or that SEO is not hard-selling. They will realize the power of SEO and understand that it comes with some patience and conditions.
Clients and SEO professionals, pour in your comments, experiences and anecdotes here!