You’ve landed a small business or startup client, and began developing your SEO strategy. Despite the potential you see in the client’s site (product or service) to leverage a great SEO campaign, soon you realize nothing is getting done because your client has accidentally turn him or herself into the SEO project’s worse enemy.
Note: This article mentions SEO, but it applies to any digital marketing practice.
15 Symptoms of SEO Enemy :
- Nothing gets approved until the client understands it to the micromanagement level, in that every single thing needs to be explained over and over till the client becomes an expert on that particular task himself.
- You find yourself constantly trying to convince your client with all kinds of persuasive evidence and data of why a certain tool should be used or an SEO component should be implemented.
- Having so many stakeholders they achieve paralysis by committee. For every request there are two degrees, or even more, of separation that requires approval first.
- You are spending the majority of your time training the client instead of moving forward with the SEO plan.
- After tons of work allocated to convince a client, there is still impediment after impediment.
- Your client asks for second opinions to friends, family and other SEOs not working on the project.
- The client has read something online and wants to teach you.
- The Webmaster or Web developer won’t let you implement any changes, and he influences client’s decisions.
- You begin to question if you are in the right career because of the frustration level.
- Your client assigned an Online Operations Officer whose previous career was as a bank teller (true story).
- The client has decided to breakdown key roles among staff members who do not have any experience with online marketing, so now not only do you have to train the client, but the entire staff –if you want anything to get done.
- The staff goes silent; they don’t understand SEO recommendations and go quiet on you because they are afraid to ask for fear of looking incompetent with the boss.
- The client asks for an SEO or Social Media marketing plan, but does not have the human resources or the tools to execute it.
- An over protective client who sabotages any SEO progress or recommendation just because he or she doesn’t understand results and the client is not trusting you, either.
- The client who fails to see the value because has never heard things like “why content is important to SEO, or what is inbound marketing?” — even after you’ve explained it in simple terms, trained about it, and listed to concerns.
What to do?
Not to be fatalist but, realistically, you can only do about two things when “SEO Enemy” emerges:
- Decide if the time spent on training, convincing, explaining, waiting, fixing things, etc are financially worth your time. If the benefits are greater than the downfall then, by all means, go for it.
- If you find that you’re losing more than you’re gaining, it’s time to let go. A client who is draining your time and energy inefficiently, it’s logistically and financially not worth it and a sign of a poor match.
And I leave you with a quote from Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz.com
“… you should be willing to walk away from poor matches, and there are going to be a lot of them. Every consultant I’ve talked to and many, many in-house, unfortunately, marketing folks who do SEO have said, “”Yeah, there were a lot of times where we had to do a ton of work to convince our potential client or a team or a boss to invest in us. Then once we got rolling, there was just impediment after impediment because the belief wasn’t really there. The trust wasn’t there, and the willingness… wasn’t there.”
If those things are lacking, this process is just going to be way harder than going out and pitching someone else. So I might urge you to do that.” –[let it go].
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