It is said that no two people view the same object exactly the same way. The same statement can be applied to organizations and how they view and define SEO success. Typically an organization’s perspective on SEO is largely based on their level of knowledge and education around the SEO space.
In my role as Director of Client Development here at BlueGlass, I work to educate prospective and current clients in order to manage their expectations from the beginning of the sales process all the way to after-sale support. It seems simple, but it is important to remember that before setting goals and diving into a new SEO relationship, there needs to be a significant amount of communication between agency and client.
The objective of these initial conversations is to ensure there is unified understanding of the initiative and expectations. Having open discussions from the beginning can prove extremely helpful when educating clients as to why and how we develop appropriate strategies to reach their goals.
Some examples of conversation starters might be “What are your key goals for determining success of your SEO program?” or “What are your expectations for this project and working with BlueGlass?”
Sometimes the biggest obstacle is selling the need to undergo a full review of our clients who have either been running SEO campaigns with other agencies and don’t want to believe that an overhaul is needed to move forward or those that are new to SEO and require a baseline understanding of their marketplace and opportunities.
This can be a sensitive discussion, especially if the client has invested a lot of their own time working with a previous agency in developing their SEO program.
The easiest way to sell this is by giving clients clear examples of issues they may be facing and what we need to do in order to identify and resolve them. If you stick to your guns and prioritize the foundation first, your clients will thank you in the end. Below you will find some tactics to help ensure a successful relationship:
- Prioritize and Plan as Partners: Partner with your clients to identify 3, 6 & 12 month initiatives and work to prioritize goals against their business priorities and your SEO priorities.
- Sell Your Wins: When you start seeing gains in performance merchandise your successes to your direct contacts and give them reports and information that they can share internally with their bosses. Once clients understand these wins, they will trust your expertise and recommendations.
- Encourage Transparency: The more open you are with your clients about the status of the current account, issues on your team, etc. the more they are willing to trust you to make the decisions that they don’t have time or don’t really want to make.
The bottom line is that you can only develop a proper strategy and achieve mutual goals when agencies and clients take the time to communicate and solidify a common goal. Communication is the key to understanding and part of the ongoing education process. The more our clients understand about SEO and the tactics we employ, the better the long term relationship.