5 things the best SEO clients understand

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Just like there are good and bad SEO firms, there are also good and bad SEO clients.

When a prospective client comes running to us complaining about their current or former SEO firm, we always make sure to ask the right questions to determine whether it actually was the SEO firm’s fault that the SEO program wasn’t working or if it in fact might have been the client that was the culprit all along.

The SEO client tends to think that they can never be the one to blame, since after all they are the ones that are paying for the service. However, there are many moving parts to an SEO campaign and if the SEO client doesn’t understand or isn’t involved as much as they should be, there’s a greater chance that they will claim that the SEO campaign isn’t working and that it’s time to jump ship.

If you want to be a good SEO client, you need to understand these 5 things:

1) SEO is an ongoing process

What frustrates SEO clients the most about SEO is that it is long term. Once you get started with an SEO campaign you might not see that much of an improvement in search position or website visitors for the first few months and some clients hate the thought of spending money on something that isn’t generating results.

What needs to be understood about SEO is that the results will be there, but it’s just going to take some time. An important component of the search algorithm is how trusted a website is, and it takes time to establish your website and earn that trust.

2) Content is necessary

If you want to be successful with SEO today it’s about much more than optimizing existing site pages. The key to SEO is to create optimized content on an ongoing basis, specifically informational content that will help target audience members with their decision making.

Each additional page of content in the form of a blog post, video, white paper, etc. is an additional page that can rank in the search engines for related keyword terms. Content is also what generates natural inbound links that point back to your site when the content gets shared and referenced.

3) Social media is necessary

Social media marketing shouldn’t be operated in a silo. Social media activity is tied to an SEO campaign because the search engines consider social signals as a part of the search algorithm.

The majority of businesses still aren’t nearly as active in social media as they should be. The SEO clients that understand the importance of social media and spend time each day sharing content and interacting with target audience members will reap the benefits of doing so.

4) Quality is more important than quantity

The number of SEO clients that still ask questions like “How many links can you get me?” and “How many blog posts do I need to write to improve my ranking?” is shocking. SEO doesn’t work like that, at least it doesn’t anymore.

Quality trumps quantity every time. 10 quality links built over a period of a few months is better than 500 links that have little value. In fact, there’s a good chance that those 500 links could come back to haunt you given the recent Penguin algorithm updates.

5) Target audience members are the top priority

Yes, SEO is all about the search engines. However, what the search engines want the most today is for website owners to provide their target audience members and website visitors with a good experience.

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