Give them the facts and if they don't like it, tough. Let them to fail elsewhere or be someone else's nuisance.
htdwag unrealistic expectations from a customer is what pushes a bunch of good webmaster over the edge and then you begin doing anything to shut them up and or get a referral.
As one said don't give or lead to any false hope. What a good thing to do is take maybe a 100 or 2 of the money they are paying you get them some long tail searches set up in google, yahoo or msn in ppc.
This will do a couple things. Mke them feel better and give you a little time to get the job done.
You could get 300 to 500 hits or more for some 3 term searches and 200 would last quite a while. At least this way they could show some friends and most people still don't know the difference between natural or ppc...
Course higher paying clients would require more but that is business...
The hosting company I freelance for landed an SEO account last year. I started working on their site in April, and by June I had increased their traffic 35% over the prior year. By the end of the year they had more traffic than they'd ever had before.
The owner of the company, though, was a real piece of work. She'd complain to the owner of the hosting company about everything. She told him she didn't think I was doing any work, to which he tried to explain that SEO work is usually not visible.
Last February she dumped us, and went with another company. I've heard through a designer who works with the new company that they're also pulling their hair out because of the owner.
Some clients just aren't worth the aggravation.
Learn to say 'no' and it will all fall into place
I've begun addressing it up front pre-contract. The contract specifically states what will be done, and that results are absolutely not guaranteed.
Focusing on rankings to begin with is a recipe for disaster. You should attempt to steer your clients away from the whole "ranking" factor. All of that will come naturally based on the content they have available. Without the content, there won't be any rankings.
Client calls me up a couple of weeks ago, "Hey Edward, we dropped from #8 to #11 for our primary single keyword phrase, what should we do?"
"Nothing. Check again in a week or so. And then check again a week later. Do that until you can definitely confirm with me that there has been a significant drop."
"Meanwhile, back at the ranch, did you realize that there were over 45,000 search phrases used this month to find the site? Did you realize that orders are off the charts right now? Did you realize that your bursting at the seams with new business and you're freakin ridin me about a slip of a few positions for a single term? I oughta fire you right now... ;)"
Definitely focus their attention elsewhere like the bottom line. Have their profits increased? If not, then something is wrong somewhere in the process. It may not be because you are not ranking either. The client may have a failed business model for the web, its that simple and we surely can't change that. :)
its good to be realistic and be specific to the client about what you do, not like those advertisers that say we guarantee #1 positions and bla bla and then make up an excuse why it didn't happen, from the clients point of view i can understand if some do that they just want to see where their money is going.
One of my problems in this area is explaining to clients they need to do one of two things. One write the content and I will post it for them or two pay me to write the content and I will still post it for them.
Most of the bad clients will simply do neither and then complain that I am not helping them. Meanwhile they let another huckster come in and promise the moon for less or the same money. Now I know I could simply let them go find out the hard way about the huckster with his snake oil, but the objective for me is to actually keep clients and cash flow coming in. Therefore, I get angry when I lose clients to others that simply lie to clients. Most of the these clients will never do better, but in most cases they will never come back to me when solution number 2 or 5 fails.
Now mind you this was all caused by the client not listening to my first set of recommendations, but at the end of the day if my bank account takes a hit, then watching their rankings slide into the toilet is really not much of a comfort.
For one widget I have a moron who can not get off google.fr to see the .com results which after a while is not funny, as each time my google class is about going to the main .FR page and switching to .COM ---
[edited by: FlexAjaxSEO at 12:30 am (utc) on Oct. 24, 2007]
I had a client that wanted me to redesign his site and said he was number 3 for a certain keyword and that he wanted to be number 1. That was a bit of a shock, you would think being number 3 was good enough. I did get him to #1 with no problem but it is a very very niche area. Still couldn't believe he asked.
|being number 3 was good enough |
good enough for what?
Well I have never thought that number one is the best spot. It's not like people are looking for something, go to one web site and then stop. So they will almost always go to number one, leave and go to another site. Number one will indeed get the most clicks, but not the most sales. I look at 3 or 4 sites, find the info I need, see the prices are all the same, probably not going back to number one to make the purchase.
need to be handled from the beginning. With SEO you cannot promise any results; just describe what you intend to do and why you intend to do it.
Wrong: We're going to get you more links to increase your rankings.
Better: Incoming links are known as one important factor in search rankings. We're going to get you more incoming links.
Wrong: We are going to put keywords in your titles because that will make you show up for your chosen keywords
Better: Keywords which are clearly identifiable in the title can help search engines determine your page topic, so we are going to carefully rewrite titles to make sure they keyworsd are in them.
Wrong: We will add lots of content so that you get more hits, the more content you pay for the more hits you will get.
Better: Unique and interesting content is favoured by search engines which perceive it as adding value; in addition it helps to add additional keyword groups to the traffic. We will help prepare more content for your website, ensuring it is unique, and aiming to be interesting.
Wrong: We will get you in the number one spot.
Better: Search engine optimisation uses methods designed to increase website rankings. We will use best-in-class SEO techniques throughout your website.
Thank you for the feedback people! I know there is no guarantee in our line of work but the bottom line is that you try to do your best to rank you client for relative keywords for their products & services(within reason and timeframe). what about money issues like "i paid you this much $$$ and I cant find my site for keyword phrase" sometimes its easy to rank them sometimes its next to impossible for certain phrases. just thinking about how to explain to them the why, when & how of what we do just makes my head hurt.
Honestly people in our industry should first set rules, and be confident enough with themselves. If the customer exceeds his rights, well, you should know well enough to stop a project, of course this is a worst case scenario