Expectations –Everybody has them. We’re often guided by our desires, subjectively assuming those around us are on the same page, understand our motivation or mirror it exactly, sealing up a harmonious working relationship. If only it were that simple.
Managing expectations seems to be a constant struggle between push and capitulation, giving in when necessary or rational and putting the proverbial foot down when things get too crazy. Unrealistic expectations, especially when left to fester, are the downfall of many SEO specialists, causing the client to become disillusioned with the process and online marketing in its entirety. As professionals and SEO lovers, we don’t want that
Similar to happy wife, happy life, the content SEO client will sing your praises high into the hill-tops if you are willing to communicate honestly, openly and with educational wit. So, how do we ensure our sceptical clients become SEO converts? Read on.
The Evolution of Research
Internet marketing requires specialists to be on the pulse, all the time, meaning research and competitor analysis is a never ending cycle of figures, estimates and strategy tests. This time burning activity is essential to continued relationships, as it communicates the data the client needs to hear, in terms of conversion, costs, visits and other indicators you have agreed upon as markers of success. On the subject of success, every business owner and client will have different ideas of what this means in the online environment, and like competitor analysis, it is constantly changing. Make sure you keep up-to-date with their expectations, so you aren’t caught unaware and unprepared.
Do You Like A Challenge?
Don’t pretend your campaign has not met even the slightest brick wall. SEO is fraught with challenges, and it’s how we represent these niggles that will determine how our clients feel about us. Don’t spin the situation positively when it is a possible learning experience. State, I did this, this happened, the challenge now is this. Do this at every meeting; highlight the great, the good, the bad and learning points so the client walks away with peace of mind and detailed picture of where their money and brand name is going. Don’t put a price on honesty, but follow it up with a detailed explanation.
They Do Need An Education
We realise some clients have a tendency to say, I don’t care how you do it, just get me results. We need to nip this attitude in the bud, a least to the point where they understand the basics of what we’re doing. Why? If a client or business owner has no idea what we do all day in front of the computer, they won’t appreciate the magnitude of the challenges SEO presents, the possible triumphs that may crop up and the lasting impact on reputation. They need us, let them know why. Dig into their past experiences, preconceptions, theories and fears about SEO. Context is important. The most important thing of all? Communicate. Even if it’s a quick email every Monday morning, checking in on how they’re feeling, any noticeable trends or figures; follow up with a monthly meeting, complemented by a comprehensive report. Run through it with them, step by step. Make them feel valued.
SEO is more than maintaining page rank, measuring competitor activity, identifying keyword trends or over-hauling webpages – It is also all about people. Relationships. Managing expectations in any relationship can be tricky, so always make sure you under-promise and over-deliver; they’ll keep coming back on the results alone.