We spend so much time talking about what your SEO provider should and shouldn’t do, what strategies and tactics the SEO provider may or may not employ on your SEO campaign, what makes a great SEO provider, and so forth. Let’s talk about the other side of the equation: What should the client do? If this were the 1960s, I might say, Ask not what your SEO provider can do for you; ask what you can do for your SEO provider! Okay, cheesiness aside, the question is this:
What traits make a great SEO client?
There are several things that make a great SEO client. The one I’m going to start with in this post is commitment.
What I Mean by ‘Commitment’
In short, if you want to succeed with an SEO campaign, a PPC campaign, a social media marketing campaign, you name it … you must be fully involved in the entire process. That process goes from
A) planning, to
B) developing a strategy, to
C) implementing tactics, to
D) measuring what worked and what didn’t, to
E) repeating steps B, C, D, and E.
No shortcuts. No sitting out one of those steps. No deciding you’ll let the SEO company worry about measuring results because you don’t have time. That’s what I mean by commitment.
What if I’m a sole proprietor?
In my previous job, the best clients I had were sole proprietors — one man or one woman flying solo. What made them great? They already knew the value of commitment because they couldn’t get a business off the ground without it! Once we established a solid working relationship based on trust, it was never difficult to complete those five steps above, no matter how busy and overworked the client was.
What if it’s not just me running the business?
Several years ago, I worked with a pair of very smart guys — partners in a business they were passionate about and excelled at. But they couldn’t agree on anything where their web site and search marketing was concerned. One dropped out of the picture every now and then and was hard to reach. The other would submit change requests without his partner knowing. The project as a whole stalled — “failed” as far as I was concerned — because they were not equally committed.
Problems crop up as companies get bigger.
The Product Development team might be the ones pushing the idea of a search marketing campaign.
But the Owner/President might see it as a waste of time. Result: Project failure.
The Marketing gal — she’s more interested in print and television, not this SEO stuff. Result: Project failure.
Maybe the Tech/Web site guy isn’t interested in fixing those crawlability issues you have. Result: Project failure.
In both my current and previous jobs, the best clients were the ones who showed the greatest commitment. It’s not a coincidence that theirs were also the most successful projects.
It only takes one person in a company to undermine a search marketing campaign. Commitment is your first job; it’s the first trait of a great client.