Fitting the SEO to the Client
All your clients are different, so you simply can’t use the same approach with all of them. They have different motivations, audiences, products and resources, so there’s no off-the-peg SEO campaign. You need to be able to devise a customised approach.
You’d learn all you can about your new client; their problems, their previous SEO campaigns, their hopes and ambitions, as well as how they reach out to their markets. Is it a new website? How big is the enterprise?
A newer site, for example, might just need a lot of new, optimised content laying down to boost its ratings, whereas an older site might have a lot of technical faults and dead-ends. Find all this out and then get to work.
Show the client you can be trusted
People don’t trust SEO if they don’t really understand it. The best thing you can do to build trust is to show your client how you’ve really listened to them and how you can match solutions to their aims and issues. Show them how you have skin in the game – it’s not just about their Google ranking for you, it’s also your professional reputation.
Find out as much as you can about the business, the rivals, the history, the failed campaigns, the budget (time and money) and the aims. Take some time before coming back with a full solution if you need to; it’s better to spend time getting it right.
Understand their business priorities
What can you use? What definitely won’t work? What will the client absolutely not agree to? You must amend your practices to the client’s priorities or you may lose them.
Join onto an active campaign
Is there a new seasonal campaign underway? If something’s already moving, hitch a ride and bring your expertise along, especially if the business is already reasonably successful.
Look at the competition
Who are the rivals? Can your client compete? If they can’t compete directly, can you go quirky? The competition will help you to decide on your approach.
Look at what’s worked (and what hasn’t) in the past
If you can find out what flopped, then you can either do it better or abandon it altogether. If you find out what did work, you can do that better, too.
Use data – all the data
How is your client monitoring performance? Are they monitoring performance? If they are, what are they using and is it enough? If they’re not using anything, then you’ll need to include analytics in your campaign proposal.
You’ll need to look at organic search engine traffic, broken down into URL structure, date, country, source and referrers and traffic by page type.
You could also bring in user testing and focus groups. Real-life visitors can point out things that are missing, or features or content that they really like, that you wouldn’t, as an SEO, have deemed a priority in your campaign. By including these “overlooked” components, you’re improving conversion rates and lowering bounce rates – a win-win for everyone involved.