Take This Post Tongue In Cheek
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a very complicated topic of discussion. SEO in and of itself is a very complicated and ever changing discipline. Hiring a good SEO consultant is never an easy task either.
Taken from the other perspective, that is from a good SEO consultant point of view, it’s challenging working with clients on their website optimization because, not surprisingly, many clients and website owners have little to no experience with SEO, hiring a SEO consultant, or where to begin looking for Local SEO services.
What makes things more challenging for any SEO consultant is that, most times, the clients have unrealistic expectations with regards to the SEO strategies performance, are not considering the fact that SEO these days goes way beyond keywords and on-page optimization factors, and some clients make the SEO consulting service job even harder by implementing bizarre and nonsensical restrictions and requirements.
There has been at least one engagement where I wanted to say; “Hey wait a minute, we’re trying to help your search engine rankings, you need to help us help you!” Search Engine Journal published an amazing article today that speaks to 8 Topics Guaranteed to Drive Every Good SEO Consultant Mad.
Some Client’s Be Like
“Sentences like “Your competitors are much cheaper!” or “We will pay as soon as all our keywords are in position 1.” make many a SEO consultant send hurried prayers to heaven. After a while on the job, everyone experiences situations that push you to your limit.
An SEO consultant’s everyday work is constantly changing and full of new challenges, but to often we are confronted with clients who have little experience with SEO. More often than not, these clients have utopian ideas concerning performance or ridiculous requirements that make even the most patient SEO consultant pull their hair.”
I bet any good SEO consultant reading this right now is yelling “Preach Brother!” at the screen and pounding their fist on their desk. Ok, maybe that was just me when I read the article, but I’m certain many of my peers would agree.
SEJ says that they have intended their post “to amuse (former) SEO consultants and perhaps open up a dialogue. Maybe this list is the perfect occasion to revisit topics and explain them once more in order to make the collaboration more effective and efficient.”
I like that. Let’s do it. I’ll list a few of the topics that drive all good SEO consultants mental and you can read the rest on here.
Statements That Frustrate Any Good SEO Consultant
1. Content is only relevant for search engines…
Content is for users and of course search engines. You should never, ever optimize for search engines. Always optimize for the user by publishing relevant and useful content regularly.
“For some clients, however, content is secondary and they don’t realize the importance of captivating text. Some even want to hide the text near the footer, to avoid decreasing conversion rates. It can be a real challenge to convince clients that content offers unexpected opportunities. Instead of hiding content, clients need to understand how essential it is to give the user a reason to share, like, tweet and – above all – to return to the site.”
2. Performance-Based Compensation
While this may seem fair, from both the client and the SEO side, it’s actually not. Why? Because it’s not an accurate form of compensation for SEO. It’s pretty much impossible to use performance-based compensation in SEO. Increasing your website rankings and traffic depends on many different factors that are our of the hands of a SEO Consultant.
“The delayed impact of SEO is another factor that makes performance-based compensation unthinkable. SEO is a long-term, online marketing channel. The effects of the optimization can’t be seen instantly.”
3. Why haven’t my sales improved?
This is a fair question but it’s based on unrealistic expectations of your SEO consultant. The goals of SEO is to boost search engine rankings in organic search results to ultimately drive more qualified traffic to the client’s website.
Once the client is on the website, the SEO consultant’s job is essentially successful. Your website marketing has more to do with website conversions that does your SEO.
“How a site converts visitors into customers is the supreme discipline of conversion optimization. Without interaction with conversion optimization, SEO alone can’t make sales rise if the usability of the website, the service, or even the product itself are unsatisfying.”
4. Our competitors do it differently….
I’m sure they do. Is there strategy the same as yours? Are they optimizing for short tail keywords or do they have a good mix of optimizing for short tail and long tail keywords? Your focus should be on your company’s specific goals and needs.
Business can’t compare apples and oranges. Your competitor could be using a bigger marketing budget this year and trying new forms of SEO that goes beyond keywords and on-page tactics. They could be investing heavy in content creation, curation, optimization, and blog management.
“For the SEO consultant whose customer only has an eye for the competition, try providing examples of websites from different competitive fields which are well-optimized from an SEO perspective. In the end, the consultant has to argue from a best-practice point of view rather than following the herd. Since you want to be better than the competition, it doesn’t make sense to use the same approach.”
I’m hope that SEO’s and SMB’s both got a good laugh out of these scenarios. These are real and do happen almost every day to and SEO consultant or SEO company.
I hope these ‘issues’ have shown how important it is for SEO’s and project managers to work with each other, together, and massage and tweak the SEO strategy.
This topic should be fuel for discussions between all of us SEO’s as well as good debate for businesses and their SEO consultant.
Please start the conversation and share your thoughts in the comments.