What is the Right Solution for Client SEO? Avoid a sad ending.

I’ve had several clients recently hire SEO firms that give them great promises. I always caution client when choosing an SEO firm to “push them to the top” for many reasons.

1. Their methods could give results – temporarily and then get you blacklisted due to their shady practices.

2. The rankings only last as long as you continue with the SEO firm at their inflated rates.

3. ANY competitor can come in a bash another for their lack of SEO skill.  That’s easy. We do it with another’s web design, programming language, lemon drop martini execution.  If we feel we are good at something, we will defend it to the death.

When it comes to SEO a client can really be duped. It’s always easy for another SEO firm to come in a check the SEO work of a website and make all kinds of claims about the lack of proper SEO on a site even if the site is “completely perfect” from an SEO perspective. These are cheap shots that cost many companies a lot of money.

I bet you’re wondering, “what’s perfect SEO?” Well, that’s the point, there is no perfect SEO. Nothing much in the SEO world is truly provable. Even when you’ve done the greatest job and have even covered all your basic SEO bases, another SEO firm could step in and claim you’ve done it all wrong – and even prove it. This is where it gets sticky with the client. You are backtracking to stand by your decisions to do it as you have. This is where the personal relationship comes into play with the client.

One client recently hired an SEO firm telling them they would only make recommendations and would not be hired to do any of the work. He paid for their evaluation and gave me the hit list to review, debunk, implement – depending.  This way, SEO firm got paid for showing off their knowledge and the client took it to his trusted advisor to accept, deny or modify their recommendations.  No threat involved. If you are truly doing right by your client, there is no ego involved. Hear that programmers and designers? NO EGO. Your job is to use your experience and expertise to help them make their businesses more successful through the services you provide.

So what’s the problem? It’s just competition right? Well no, it’s not. The client gets taken down the wrong, expensive path many time and loses. Of course there are many times when another SEO firm could take over and do it right, increase rankings and increase traffic but that doesn’t negate the fact that a slew of the times the client loses everything they have, on a risk that they’ll ‘save a little money’ – but then they don’t. 

The saddest part of this is when a company had respectable rankings and then was lured with the golden ring of “top 3” in results. They can find themselves blacklisted to the point that even email marketing ceases to work because the domain is completely black listed.

I’m still awaiting the day SEO can be regulated or a true accountability and SEO certification can be obtained from an institute. Canada could lead the way – fraud is fraud especially if it can be proven and if you’re an SEO taking away legitimate business from the tried, tested and proven SEO firms, to line your pockets when you have no idea what you’re talking about, well, I think you should be held accountable.

Legitimate SEO and REPUTATIONs are built on true content, time and interactivity.  You need to build community, links with other reputable companies, get published on other sites to build your credibility and rankings. In other words, you need to behave well and work hard.  There are exceptions. Some companies have done GREAT in SEO by being bad – I mean REALLY bad with customer service, complaints, etc. Every time someone mentions the bad company, they use it to their advantage and their ranking increases.  Do you really want to be known as THAT type of company?

Connect with your marketing and web teams.  They need to work together to do what they each do best.  Make sure they are on top of current trends, without jumping to them too quickly. Make sure they aren’t servicing you through methods they’ve done for years because they haven’t learned anything new lately.  Challenge them to keep doing great for you.

It is critical that you pick a TRUSTED person to advise you; one that won’t shirk from admitting when they need to learn more or it’s not their area of expertise. They have to be willing to pull back the covers and willing to learn some new techniques and technologies on your behalf.