Search engine optimization (SEO) is still as important as ever to the success of online marketing. Although the strategies change and adapt to the ongoing updates made to search algorithms, the results they seek to achieve have not.
But the promises of SEO results aren’t always kept in perspective . One of the biggest problems in the industry involves making unrealistic promises to clients. This raises their level of expectation and puts SEO consultants at risk when they don’t achieve the results they expected.
Unfortunately, many business owners take this as a sign that SEO as a whole isn’t an effective strategy. This hurts businesses and tarnishes the perception of SEO.
Knowing how to communicate the realities of SEO to clients will prevent the confusion, disappointment, and frustration that many businesses can face.
The Trouble With SEO
As the nature of search changes, so does SEO. In the past, SEO consultants could provide clients with fast results in boosting rankings. They could target keywords, optimize link profiles, and change the site’s structure for improved rankings.
But these days, results require a little more time. This must be clearly explained to clients who might be expecting a quick fix.
There are many elements that affect one’s search rankings. Therefore, as an SEO consultant, you often need to go beyond the parameters of SEO and address all of these factors as part of your comprehensive audit.
SEO results can be affected by the content provided to audiences, as well as the experience users have with a given brand.
Competitive research will also improve the results of your SEO campaign. Most businesses are unaware of these factors, and it’s your job as the SEO expert to outline them for your clients.
Creating unrealistic expectations among clients hurts the industry. When they fail to get the results they’ve been promised, they see SEO as a waste of valuable resources.
Many clients dismiss SEO when one particular strategy (or consultant) fails them. This not only hurts you, but it impacts the business and their entire marketing.
You’ll need to educate your client on the power of SEO to dramatically grow their business. But this can only be done through a realistic plan that is clear to them.
You can demonstrate its ability to increase their revenue and grow their audience. Once they know what results to expect, they’ll be more willing to invest in your services.
Setting a Realistic Plan
The biggest challenge to setting the expectations of your client is the time factor. People in general want quick fixes. Instead, provide them with a schedule that defines how quickly (or not) they should see the results they’re looking for.
Having your timeline set up in phases will define their expectations. If your focus needs to begin at content creation, then your client will know that a time investment will need to be made before seeing significant rankings increases.
Once you’ve achieved content goals, you can then move on to the next stage of your plan. This protects you as the consultant by not leading you to overpromise and underdeliver.
Set smaller goals throughout your plan. Small wins are more motivating to clients than the inability to achieve one big win.
SEO requires a new perspective among consultants and their clients. The results that can be achieved are still as important as ever. But the time required to achieve these results—and the factors that impact them—must be kept in perspective.
Creating a realistic plan that outlines a timeline of small wins will ensure that you and your client get the results you both need for long-term success.