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When clients don't use your optmization
How can they expect results?
Eljaybe




msg:3509835
 3:30 pm on Nov 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hello. I have a question for SEOs with clients...

Let's say you provide complete optimization for a client's website.
They review it, and then make the changes to the site themselves (via CMS).
However, they left out or changed some optimized content you provided (such as changing keywords you used), and did not implement many of the other suggestions you provided.

What do you do? Tell them they are wrong? Or do you let it go and hope for the best? My own opinion would be that I tell them these pages will not be as effective without using most or all my recommendations, so they may not get the results they desired.

This is very frustrating, and not the first time a client has disregarded my hard work of optimizing their site. In the end, it makes me look bad that the campaign was not as successful as it could be.

If anyone has dealt with a similar situation, I am curious how you handled the situation? Thank you.

 

pageoneresults




msg:3509848
 3:49 pm on Nov 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

If anyone has dealt with a similar situation, I am curious how you handled the situation?

You need to let them know in advance that it is a "all or nothing" and not an "a la carte" proposition.

But, in the type of work you are talking about, I would imagine this is common place and there really isn't much you can do after the fact. It is their choice to follow all of the suggestions or just a few of them. As long as they know in advance that choosing the "a la carte" option will not produce the results they are expecting.

Put this one in writing!

buckworks




msg:3509858
 4:04 pm on Nov 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't have an answer, but I can sympathize.

Someone asked me for SEO advice not long ago and so far not one of the changes I recommended has been implemented. One of them was to make sure that his home page has a <TITLE>!

I suspect (but can't prove) that the problem is resistance from his webmaster ... hurt feelings, maybe?

caveman




msg:3510136
 9:23 pm on Nov 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

What do you do? Tell them they are wrong? Or do you let it go and hope for the best?

Certainly not the latter. Clients fail to follow through on recommendations for all sorts of reasons.

Just a sampling of reasons include:
- They are not persuaded by their consultant.
- They are not persuaded that the need justifies the time and expense to implement the changes.
- They feel they cannot afford to make all of the changes.
- They were not given a priority for the needed changes, and get bogged down or confused about what is important and what isn't.
- Personnel changes.
- Those who hired you did not have the support of management.

And so on.

This is very frustrating, and not the first time a client has disregarded my hard work of optimizing their site. In the end, it makes me look bad that the campaign was not as successful as it could be.

Forgive me, and please take no offense, but this is not about you. If you are a consultant, then it is about assisting them. They are paying you, and they need your help. It is incumbant upon you to either find ways to create excitement and passion about the work that needs to be done, or if that turns out to be impossible (it happens), then find better clients.

Consider building into your pricing the time needed to follow up and ensure they are doing what they need to do. It's easy to let things fall through the cracks; help them stay on top of things. Show them why it's important.

Also, do you explain WHY your recommendations are important, or just tell them to do things? Much of what needs to be done in SEO has a rather arcane aspect to it and the benefits are not obvious. I cannot recall for example how many times I've had to answer the question, "Why can't the search engines figure out that the non-www verison of the site is the same site. Surely they're smarter than that!" One client recently had a devil of a time comprehending at first why they needed to close off parts of a site via robots.txt, and do some programming work to prevent their ASP platform from creating hundreds of dup versions of pages on the site. :/

If you succeed in helping clients, THEN they will succeed, and then you will look good. And the better you get at it, the greater your choices will be in terms of what clients you get to work with.

Consultants who cannot find ways to lead their clients in good directions (either by force of will, creating trust, providing illustrative examples, cajolling, or even at times being very direct and to the point), are probably better off running their own sites. ;-)

DamonHD




msg:3510155
 9:55 pm on Nov 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Excellent points caveman!

Rgds

Damon

Eljaybe




msg:3527798
 3:50 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all your advice.

I certainly care about my clients, and not my own gains.
I want what is best for their site, to ensure they are successful in acheiving their online goals, and make sure they are getting the most out of the money they are spending with us to do this work. Nothing makes me feel worse in this business than seeing a client spend money with us and not get a good ROI simply because they neglected to use (at least most) of our recommendations.

Please don't misinterpret my message. I am not in this for myself. I have great relationships with my cleints.

You make good points, and they are things I have certainly done. I'm just trying to see how others here have had similar situations and how they handled it. I work for a full-service ad agency/pr firm, so most of our work is integrated. I can't just let a client go.

ZydoSEO




msg:3528853
 8:59 am on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am an inhouse SEO for 3 major websites... I have the same problem only my clients are internal.

What I have found that works best is educating my clients... I basically have to teach them at least the basics of SEO so that things start to click... Every opportunity I get I'm teaching people on the business side how SEO works. One really doesn't have to be a programmer to understand a lot of this stuff. Once they start understanding at least the basics, they don't feel I'm blowing smoke up their @$$, and are much more likely to take my suggestions seriously.

Finding which person at the client site is the decision maker and winning their respect and backing is also a big help. Having someone on the inside to help you fight the battle to get things done is invaluable.

Eljaybe




msg:3529515
 3:26 pm on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good points, ZydoSEO.

I think I do a good job of educating clients, as I always feel I'm educating them (and myself).
I think part of the problem is having someone else here internally to back me up. Our account people are not very good at that, and the account person for this particular client does not seem to want to be educated. She pretty much says it's greek to her. She stays out of it. So, I'm on my own. Thankfully, the client has some understanding of SEO, and the client knows it's important. And that's why it makes no sense to me why work was left undone.
I am meeting with the client this week, so I am going to go through the site with them to hopefully make things clearer.

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