When SEO Doesn’t Make Sense

I am always flabbergasted with clients who pay good money for us to develop SEO strategy for them as well as manage their marketing campaigns and yet they do absolutely nothing with it. They ignore requests for web site modifications and enhancements, as well as other marketing suggestions. I liken this to those who pay hard earned money to see the doctor but then completely ignore the doctor’s advice and/or remedies.

It is in these scenarios where SEO does not make sense.

I could tell many stories of clients ignoring good advice. One such case was with a large telecom company. They hired us in 2000 (if I remember correctly) to help them increase their visibility in the organic search results for about 10 choice keyword phrases.

Initially they would not allow us to touch their site but rather wanted us to create brand new pages (what I consider doorway pages) to target the key phrases. This should have been a warning sign of what was to come. However, being still relatively new in the business and naive at the same time, I assumed that after we developed the initial strategy, they would later give in and allow us to optimize their web site. I was wrong.

For an entire year, they paid good money for advice that they never implemented. It was easy money as each month we simply regurgitated what had been suggested the previous month (can’t get to step B until you completed step A). The downfall is that I knew the relationship wouldn’t last long-term. I was correct in my assumption and after a year they fired us.

This is why I love clients who are very pro-active with their SEO efforts. Sure they can be a pain in the arse at times but it is a good pain to have. These types of clients will keep you on your toes and will find value in what you offer. Best of all they remain loyal to you for a long time.

I especially love clients that give us access to their web sites. In that way we can implement changes right away and let them know about it after the fact. There’s a trust there that is invaluable.

I also appreciate when clients give you a decent size budget to build links, allowing freedom to build them the best way you see fit. One of the scenarios that can hurt a link building effort is where you have to get the client’s approval for each and every link. Often times by the time they give you the go ahead, the link opportunity is no longer available.

Finally I like it when clients allow you liberty in the social space – setting up social media profiles, building followers, socializing their content, etc.

The bottom line really comes down to trust. Clients of SEO – do you trust your vendors? If not, throw your money away some other way, like PPC for example. Otherwise make sure you are getting value out of the relationship.

Here is a short checklist of items to consider prior to engaging in a SEO campaign:

  • Will legal red tape or multiple layers in the approval process limit your ability to implement marketing strategy in a timely fashion?
  • Do you have or are you able to provide FTP access to your site?
  • Does your CEO care if you simply throw money away (some don’t)?

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like 10 Steps To a Successful SEO Relationship.

David Wallace

David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of SearchRank, is a recognized expert in the industry of search and social media marketing. Since 1997, David has been involved in developing successful search engine and social media marketing campaigns for large and small businesses. Follow +David Wallace on Google + as well as Twitter.

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