You did it! You got a few amazing SEO clients on a 6-month retainer. And then they changed their PayPal and ghosted after 2 months. You’re left wondering where you went wrong.
Here, we tell you where you may have gone wrong with the top 7 ways you can destroy your relationship with SEO clients.
How To Destroy Your SEO Client Relationships
You sent them a proposal. They accepted and sent you the first payment. Suddenly, they won’t respond to your second invoice and have stopped answering your emails.
Here’s where you went wrong.
Be Over Eager and Overwhelm Them With Daily Questions And Updates
The worst thing you can do to a long-term client is making their head explode in the first month. While you know so much, they hired you because they don’t know anything.
Getting too excited can kill the client relationship because you put them into information overload. Have a brief and simple preliminary questionnaire with the bare minimum information you need to get started on their SEO management. Then let the relationship have a chance to breathe.
Don’t send them emails every day with task updates. Work diligently on what was discussed and save all of your questions (that aren’t urgent for the tasks at hand) for the end of month report and wrap up. This way you give them everything that was accomplished, look super professional at the end of month 1 and allow them to answer everything all at once.
This saves everyone time and will get your invoice for month 2 bumped to the top of the accounting priority list because they’re impressed.
Send Them A Glossy 45 Page PDF Of Your Entire SEO Strategy For Their Website
This overwhelmingly long and daunting file is going to freak your client out. They don’t have time to read it, it’s so dense no one in their office can understand it, and they will assume they’re going to get one every month.
The name of the game is maintaining the mystery. This is the reason they hired you to begin with: They don’t know how to do SEO. They may not even really understand what SEO means. That’s why they are giving you money. While this strategy guide may seem to you like you’re providing transparency to them it’s just overwhelming.
The best thing that can result in this delivery is they ghost and stop paying you. The worst thing that happens is they run to your cheaper competitor and say “Do what this guy was gonna do” and send them the PDF.
Not good. No Bueno.
You’re Available 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week And Expect The Same From Them
The worst thing you can do to a new SEO client is to have them come in on Monday morning to 30 emails from you sent over the weekend. They hired you to solve a need for them. Leave them alone. Unless there is something urgently needed, which should be handled with a phone call, save it for a scheduled meeting or the monthly wrap up email.
Your client facing personality needs to hold office hours. Don’t contact the client outside of those hours. Save those 2 AM brainstorming sessions for members of your team overseas.
You’re Guaranteeing Page One Rankings
Stop it! Any good SEO professional knows there is no way to guarantee you can get a client on page one of Google. You can guarantee a boost in rankings, sure, but not page one.
We all know there are too many variables. This promise you make to your client will only come back to bite you when they demand a refund when all of their keywords aren’t on page one. That’s a shot to the heart…well to the bank account.
Portraying SEO As A Short-Term Strategy
Professionals in this industry will tell you that the soonest you could be seeing noticeable results from an SEO campaign will be in 6 months to a year. Does that seem short term to you?
Don’t sell your client false promises to make the sale. Be upfront about the time commitment involved. If you’re not being honest they will want to stop paying you in month three because they can’t see the results yet.
Then you lose their business because you’re backtracking on a promise, or in essence, being caught in a lie.
Giving Your Clients False Hope In A Hopeless Situation
SEO does not guarantee conversions. You could run a seamless campaign. You could get your client on page one for every keyword they wanted. They could still see no increase in sales at all.
The SEO does not make bad products sell or bad websites convert. You need to be clear with the client about this. If you know at the outset that their website is bad, you need to tell them. We discuss the importance of and SEO friendly website in this blog post here. Advise on a restructuring of the website with an eye for on-page SEO before you begin the campaign.
If they don’t want to work on the site, or if they have a product no one wants (shown by keyword research), advise them of that before you take their money. Show them your findings and let them make the decision.
If you don’t take this step they will blame you for the lack of conversions and want their money back.
Not Being Available Enough
There’s a fine line between mystery and a disappearing act. If your client is reaching out to you, be available for them. Be responsive. Respond to their emails. Return their calls. Pick dates for meetings.
Don’t ignore them or be scared to talk to them. Being a responsive and good-natured service provider will keep their business.
Don’t Destroy Your Relationships, Keep Your Clients
The worst thing you can do is tarnish relationships and your name in the industry. This is a tight-knit community and you never know who knows who. Hedge your bets and be the best SEO professional you can be.
This will keep you in the black, on the good side of your clients, and build a good reputation in the industry for yourself and your business.
Looking for more information on how to do SEO well? Check out our blog on the top SEO trends for 2018 here.