One thing that isn't talked about that much is the other side: to get a successful SEO project going, you need to find the right SEO to do the job for you. But once you've found that great SEO, it's easy to screw up the project.
And I don't mean by the SEO provider, but by you, the client. So below find the rules you have to know before you should allow yourself to be an SEO client.
Being honest toward your SEO is one of the, maybe even the, most important matter when you're hiring one. If you "hide" things the SEO will never be able to make your sites rank.
I've seen many cases of clients who didn't tell their SEOs they had a penalized domain. You have to tell them right at the start if there are any issues with your site.
There are Dumb Questions
There might be a saying "there are no dumb questions." That's true, but only if you're honest (such as in the example above).
If you don't know about SEO, it's better to be as honest as possible and tell the SEO you have no idea what he's talking about. This will help prevent a lot of misunderstandings and issues within the project.
Stay away from questions like:
- When will you be ready?
- When will we be ranking?
- Can't we call Google?
Let Them Take Their Time
The problem with most SEO projects (still) is that many companies decided in a too late stage that they need SEO. Which means they want the SEO job to be done quickly.
"We need to rank next week," and, "Can you get us ranking before the commercial we have bought on TV airs in two weeks?" are sentences you shouldn't have to say.
SEO takes time. If you, as a client, start "pushing" SEO you might see results in the short term, but that won't work for the long term. So this rule is all about giving your SEO the time to make it work for you.
But Don't You Take All the Time
You need to give the SEO the time to do their jobs, but that doesn't mean you can take all the time in the world to do your stuff. If you want to have results you need to deliver yourself.
Does an SEO need content which you are supposed to provide? Give it to him fast, don't tell him it will "be there in two months time."
If you don't deliver your stuff in time, the SEO won't be able to do his job. So it's important that, at the start of a project, you clearly understand what is expected from you as a client and that you make sure you can deliver it.
"Can we make a contract based on keywords and how well they rank?" This question has seriously been asked many times by different clients.
As a client you have to know that there are no guarantees to be given out in SEO. It isn't just about what you and your SEO do, it's also about what your competitors are doing, for example.
Help Him or Her!
Yes, you're the client and your SEO is the one working for you. But thinking you just "throw" your money over the wall and expect to see the results back quickly is a big mistake. That is old school business if you believe that.
The SEO has to do the job for you. You have to help him do the best job possible.
Get the SEO to look at how your business works. Help him understand the market and help him or her out wherever you can. If you help the SEO they will do a better job for you.
Don't be an Ass, Please
The last "rule" has again a lot to do with the previous one. The client-contractor relationship isn't about you being the boss. You're doing this job together.
When doing a job together that means you don't get to boss around your SEO. "Client is king," yes, but that doesn't mean the king can say or demand just about anything to their contractors.
The SEO is trying to get something done for you and you should do everything in your power to make that work. And that means, don't be an ass to your SEO.
Live by these rules and you can become a client that SEOs will accept and respect.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!