Tackling Unrealistic Client Expectations in SEO

Always expect the unexpected.

There aren’t very many catchy one-liners that can describe the SEO industry, but this world famous quote comes very close when it comes to some aspects of Search Engine Optimization.

Unrealistic Expectations in SEO of Clients

No, we are not talking about Google. They make so many frequent changes to their algorithm, SEOs actually get nervous when they don’t see an update in two weeks! What we are talking about here is unrealistic client expectations.

Clients pay good money for SEO. They expect good results. However most of them don’t have any knowledge of SEO. Many, quite frankly, don’t care as long as they get the results.

As SEOs, our job is to work with the clients to identify what constitutes good results and how we go about achieving them for the client. Unrealistic expectations can get in the way of that and hence today’s post will talk about how to tackle such situations in an effort to guide both SEO’s and companies on what should they be focusing on.

When A Client Talk Expectations, You Talk Goals

Goals In SEO

Expectations and goals are two completely different things. As such, whenever a client starts talking about expectations, change the subject to campaign goals. Would you rather be ranked no. 1 for a few keywords or would you rather see your online business grow by 10%? My guess is that they would chose the 2nd option and rightfully so.

Ranking high for a keyword or a particular set of keywords is definitely nice; It’s a great traffic generator but it doesn’t lead to sales and sales is what clients should be focusing on, not keyword rankings.

This is very important because clients are often misled into thinking they are paying money for rankings. No they are not. They are paying for improved web presence and online visibility; a very important goal and a much reasonable, rational and achievable expectation.

When a Client Says ASAP, Immediately Lay Down a Time Frame

SEO Clients Requests Asap

If there is one thing that SEO is not, that would be an ASAP solution to any given problem. This is somewhat difficult for clients to accept but it’s the truth. SEO needs time to work, provided it’s backed by a sound SEO strategy. In a way, it’s just like increasing muscle mass. You need a realistic workout plan and you need time. SEO is no different. Nothing will happen overnight.

You have to give it time. And it is only with consistent SEO work month after month that a website starts ranking for the desired keywords, the online traffic starts flowing in from different domains and the PPC conversions start rolling in. So whenever the word ASAP pops up, be upfront with the clients about the limitations of SEO. It is part of your job. Clients will be more than inclined to make adjustments provide they are given the complete picture.

Explain The SEO Reports To The Clients

One thing about unrealistic expectations is that they can come unexpected! Sometimes halfway through a SEO campaign. Keeping the client informed about the work progress will ensure this doesn’t happen. Keep in mind that firing off an email to the client with the monthly report attached DOES NOT mean you have informed the client and this is only half the job.

You need to explain the results of the report to the client, schedule a meeting either in person or via Skype and break it down into pieces. Outline the areas that have shown improvement, highlight the progress and identify areas where work is needed.

What are the competitors doing? How Google is evolving its algo that might affect the client rankings in the coming months. These are things that the client needs to be made aware of. It will prevent clients from making unreasonable expectations during the SEO campaign.

What are your thoughts about this article, How do you tackle client expectations. Do you have any ideas to deal with clients expectations in SEO.  As SEO is very much changed in 2013. 

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About Rhys Davies

Rhys Davies works for i3MEDIA who are committed to providing quality SEO work backed by great service to their clients. It is this attitude that has made i3 a competent and reliable SEO agency in Peterborough. For more information on this topic or for a complete website audit absolutely free, contact our Search Specialists.

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