SEO managers know that you can never get too comfortable. They’re a jumpy sort, hanging on Google’s every word and continuously adapting to ever-updating algorithm changes. It’s a lot of pressure, but in the midst of all the uncertainty, there are three universal truths that every SEO should remember as they continue plowing toward that number one spot in the rankings.
First, Mismanaged Expectations Will Ruin You
The first priority of any decent SEO professional should be to educate their client. There are so many definitions of SEO out there that depending on which one your client subscribes to, they’re either going to be thrilled with your services or deeply dissatisfied—and with the same results!
For example, a client may see increased organic traffic and subsequent leads, but they’re still upset because they expected more based on the amount of money they put into you. In this scenario, you may have succeeded by your estimation, but in the client’s eyes, you failed based on the expectations you failed to clarify. And if the client thinks you failed, you failed.
So how is this frustrating and potentially costly scenario avoided?
- Make sure you evaluate the data closely and set realistic numerical goals. If your client doesn’t have past data to scrutinize, draw on your experience with customers that have a similar profile. This will provide a baseline for your customer to latch onto, which they certainly will do. Remember that they will latch onto whatever estimated number you give them.
- Prepare education material for your customer at every level of the SEO process.
- Determine what’s most important to the client and report on that, and when you provide them with data, it’s absolutely critical that they understand what they’re looking at. That will depend on how well you’ve educated them.
Second, Resource Constraints are the Bane of an SEO’s Existence
Resource constraints can ruin an SEO endeavor, especially as you consider how many different departments factor into completing SEO initiatives: web dev, content, lead gen, social media, and more. If your budgets are limited in any of these, SEO-targeted projects can be road-blocked at multiple stages.
Techniques to avoid resource-related roadblocks:
- Inform yourself of the possible resource constraints ahead of time. Become familiar with the liberties and restrictions your client will have on those necessary departments, and how much access you will have to them too.
- You’re also going to have to make a list of priorities to follow to the letter. You and your client are a part of the creation of this list, discussing budget in relation to their needs and goals will help you determine which item should take priority over the rest and which should be put on hold until resources allow.
- Depending on your own resources, you may have some of the manpower to take much of the delegation aspect of SEO off of your client’s shoulders. In fact, that may be why they chose you as their SEO solution.
Third, Not Being Prepared for the Unexpected Will Hurt—A Lot
This just has to do with personnel changes, which happens frequently in our industry. When you lose clients for any number of reasons, here’s what you can do to salvage benefits from those relationships:
- End on the best note possible. Provide the info they need to transition to their new arrangement and request referrals if possible.
- Stay in touch too. In this highly connected world, there’s no reason not to stay connected over social networks.
- It will be hard not to take it personally when a client departs, but don’t. Learn what you can from the relationship and use what you’ve learned to perfect the next to come.
What have been the biggest roadblocks or lessons that you faced and learned as an SEO manager?
Gillette, Casie. “3 Common Challenges Facing All SEO Managers.” http://searchengineland.com/3-common-challenges-facing-seo-managers-209308?utm_source=marketo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=scap&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRonv6TOZKXonjHpfsX97uwrXaS%2FlMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4ATcdkM6%2BTFAwTG5toziV8R7fHK816y9AQWxXm. (November 26, 2014.)