Search Engine Optimization Services; What Clients Need To Know
Over the course of nearly 8 years, I thought I’ve seen every type of client personality you can when it comes to clients purchasing search engine optimization services. Well, long story short, I was wrong. Both client and SEO relationships can be strained for a variety of different reasons. You name it, any SEO or client that has been around the block knows these relationships. If this is your first time purchasing search engine optimization services, take the time to read this article. This will better prepare you before you step into the world known as SEO. And if you’re a new SEO or freelancer, there’s some great resources here to prepare you for the trip.
Search Engine Optimization Takes Time
If you’re looking for search engine optimization services that will bring you overnight success, forget about it. There’s no such thing. Sure, you can go with a black hat SEO and likely see quicker success from SEO efforts, but why risk your business that you’ve dedicated your time and efforts to? SEO takes time. Not a few days, not a few weeks, not even a month or two. SEO takes months and years. If you’re told different, good luck.
Here’s the thing, every SEO project is unique but different. There’s hundreds of factors that can determine the success and failure of search engine optimization. Start-up websites and young domains will always be at an disadvantage. Due to this, it’s going to take time to see first page rankings on Google. While some niches do have less competition, many are highly competitive and first page results are dominated by authority websites with high domain ages. Not to mention thousands of brands that are now getting a ranking boost thanks to Google’s last update.
Everyone considering SEO services should plan for long-term SEO, you have to be in it for the long run. There’s nothing easy about ranking a website among the world’s best. It’s a process that takes time and carefully strategies. While there’s a ton of bad SEOs out there, there’s also a lot of great ones. Competition is more fierce than ever. I guarantee every major brand out there has a SEO or marketing team in place, likely 100 times more than your current budget. If you’re in it for the long run, you can make up ground. The time it takes depends on many things.
Be Involved With Your SEO Expert
This is the best advice I can give you as a client. Make sure you’re involved with your SEO. I don’t mean emails every hour on the hour, but you should be in touch a few times a week. At the least, an email would do. Don’t expect to pay for your SEO and leave them to figure everything out. While some SEOs may prefer this, I want to take the time to learn the business. Anyone that has been a SEO for years knows that SEO alone is not enough to run a successful business. Search engine optimization is part of the equation, but not the total solution. It doesn’t matter how well you do SEO, if you’re not bringing in the bacon, your time is limited. Bottom line.
I always tell my clients, “anything you can share with me about the business, please do so.” I want to know everything. It takes time to build chemistry with a client, same for you with your SEO. SEO experts are technical gurus, not business majors. While we may have experience in niches, very few SEOs can be brought on to take over all online operations. Even less can do it successfully, but SEO is just one factor in online business. This is why I learn daily, I study daily, I don’t want my clients running off. Neither should you, so take the extra time needed to learn the business.
Think about that from a client perspective, if you think SEO is going to solve everything, it likely won’t. Especially if you have limited resources and funds. Ranking on the top of the first page is just part of the battle. Most people think they have it won then, but what if traffic isn’t converting? What if you have low CTR? Many clients come to us for SEO and we end up doing something else. Consider an evaluation to determine exactly what your business needs. At the least, get a consult.
I don’t even think I consider myself as a SEO anymore, I don’t even know what the proper term would be. I call it Web Development, but technically that is the wrong term to use. Bottom line, it’s all about sales, revenue and growth. That determines your job. You either sell a product or a service.
Back to clients, you should be willing to take the time to help your SEO in any way possible. Yes, you are paying for SEO services, but you should want your expert to know the business and what you expect. We can’t do this without you. If you want it done your way, give your SEO the proper information and intel to do so.
The Rise And Fall Of Your SEO Rankings
Keywords will rise, keywords will fall and everything between. Was you hoping to pay for 3 months of SEO and rank for the next 2 years? I wish it worked like this, but it doesn’t. Search engine optimization is a never ending battle. You’ll always have a need for SEO, especially for those of you that are competing against mid-level and major brands. Just because you hit the first page doesn’t mean that you will stay there.
Everyone wants to be the next big brand, the next big company. We all do. To get there takes hard work, dedication and a budget. I know some companies that pay $10,000 a month on SEO alone. How much is your monthly SEO budget? What are you looking for? I guarantee others are paying even more. The value of ranking first page for organic traffic is huge.
Ranking for some keywords will take time. This can be due to many SEO ranking factors. If you have a new website, no backlinks or no site content, this can be the reasoning behind not ranking. Keywords can be difficult because the level of competition or missing certain web metrics. Both content and links are two of the most important web metrics for keyword rankings. If you’re looking to hire a SEO, having content planned for your website can be a big benefit.
Make An Effort To Learn SEO
Every webmaster and anyone operating a website should have a basic understanding how search engine optimization works. Basic SEO is easy to learn, such as building internal links or learning how to optimize your content for SEO. You need to learn these basic functions which will save you time and money. While basic SEO may not be enough to have you competing against larger brands, it can be enough to have a foundation.
At Hale Associations, we do provide SEO training for our clients. I tell clients about our website and more established domains on search engine optimization. Some SEO experts will take the time to explain the SEO process. If they don’t, ask them. Most of them will be willing to help. If for some reason they don’t, perhaps you should look elsewhere for services.
Research Before You Hire A SEO
If I had to estimate, I would say that 60 percent of our clients have reported a bad experience with prior SEO services. I hear a lot. In nearly all cases, we can evaluate the situation and determine why a website isn’t ranking. Even for SEOs, sometimes changes are out of our control, but it happens. In other situations, clients get scammed. It happens. Everywhere I turn, I see someone offering SEO. As a client looking for SEO services, it’s your responsibility to know who you hire.
Make the time to review your SEO. If a SEO expert is legit, they have nothing to worry about. Take the time to research for reviews. Read those reviews but also make sure it’s a trusted review website. While on-site testimonials can be true, you shouldn’t believe them. Many people use this as a marketing tactic. Look for a long proven track record of success. Remember though, everyone gets bad reviews from time to time. You can’t make everyone happy and that is just a fact of life.
SEO And Client Relationships
Business relationships can be difficult. After all is said and done, your relationship is about business. This doesn’t mean that you can’t become friends, it just means business comes first. My oldest client has been with us for over 5 years. Over this course of time, we’ve seen our ups and downs. Even the best business relationships are tried from time to time. Both parties should always be respectful.
Anytime you pay for a service, you want to see results. You want to see the ROI from your investment. You need to make sure that you’ll be getting important reports and analysis from your SEO. We offer weekly reporting for our clients. At the very least, you should ask for a bi-weekly or monthly report to track data. Our reports include site audits, link metrics, keyword rankings, social signals, traffic and other important data.
Proper planning is a crucial step in the SEO process. Ask for a detailed plan and approach to the job. As I said earlier, every SEO project is unique and different. While projects may be similar via paperwork, every case is different. I know many freelance SEOs that give all their clients the same 6 month plan. How can a plan work if it’s not based on your website’s needs? It can’t. You should ask for a detailed plan based on what your website needs via SEO.
Communication is the key in successful SEO and client relationships. You don’t want to harass your SEO with daily emails. Remember, a lot of time can be spent explaining everything through email. I had one client that did this and it would cost us 3 hours a week just to keep them informed. It takes away from the time needed to help your website grow, so be respectful of that fact.
In closing, I want to briefly discuss SEO budgets. I know how hard it is to build a business with limited resources. However, SEO services are not free. If you don’t have the proper budget for SEO, you may want to wait until you get the proper funding. Again, if you think you’ll be able to control the first page in a few weeks, you’re wrong. It takes time and in some cases, it can take months and years. If your budget only allows for a few hours a week, don’t expect a miracle. A lot of time is spent researching and you’ll likely be charged for it.
Building a good relationship with your SEO is only going to benefit you and your business in the end.