Dear SEO Client: Here’s the Truth OR ‘What Every SEO Client Should Know…’

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Editors Note: Once again, I found a really nifty guest post for Sitegeist, which is likely to make you either laugh or frown (depending, I suspect on whether you’re a vendor or a client..) Today’s post is from Chris Walker, a local SEO specialist from St. Louis. Chris has some straightforward advice regarding what every SEO client should know…

Here’s Chris’s post…

This letter goes out to all the clients out there, current and potential. Just to let you know, we sometimes have a love/hate relationship with you.

Please Don’t Expect Results Overnight

Or in 2 weeks after you last spoke with us. Please don’t send me an email asking for a ranking report  and then ask me 2 weeks later how we can speed this thing up. The answer you will get is; increase your budget or just wait for the SERPS to change. You were given a conservative timeline for a reason. Good SEO is a building process and your business may not be the most exciting thing on the planet to write about. If you want overnight results then we will start a PPC campaign for you. But that’s going to cost you too. You’re going to need someone to manage that. So please…

If You Don’t Have the Budget Don’t Come Calling

Not to sound rude, but good SEO costs and so does the time it takes to manage a SEO campaign or a PPC campaign (if you still want those overnight results). SEO consists mostly of content generation and relationship building and thus, time. We know you value yours and we would like you to value ours for the same reason. For example it will probably take you a good 2-3 hours to put together a decent piece of content, and this is if you’re a writer by trade. It will probably take the layperson about 5-6 hours total to get something polished enough to get published without previous webmaster relationships in place. Not to mention, another 2 hours of follow up to get the thing placed. And this is just to get one simple piece of content published. All the while we’re using our trade skills to make sure we’re getting you the best value for your dollar.

Please Don’t Make Changes to the Website without Our Knowledge

No matter how many times I tell the story of that large HVAC company that nearly lost everything because they switched SEO companies (because they thought they were overpaying), to one with a high level of incompetence and a smaller monthly fee. Or how many times I put it in your paperwork about how you shouldn’t make changes to the site without consulting us first; I still get clients that screw up their own SERPS by making changes to their site. It’s frustrating beyond belief… And then I’m left telling them how they lost all their static page content and their rankings because they switched their site to PHP from ASP or HTML or whatever the change was. We agreed that I wouldn’t touch the pages you already had in place as they were already everything you had dreamed they would be, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell me that you hired a programmer to make some serious changes.

Take Our Advice about Website Related Issues

When we tell you that you should switch hosting providers, it’s not because we have a good friend over at so and so. Honestly, I don’t recommend anything I wouldn’t use myself. If your host is always down or if they are going to cause us issues moving over to the new version of your site, we will let you know. Please, please listen when we give out advice. It’s not because we like hearing ourselves speak, it’s because we want the best for our clients and we want them to be able to reap benefits quicker from our work. SEO takes plenty of time as it is, we don’t need anything else in our way, especially a crummy service provider. We need your website to perform optimally in order for you to reap the rewards of our labor. We will only make requests that we feel are necessary, believe me, we hate change as much as you do.

Bottom line is, please take our advice, especially if you ask our opinion. Write it down if you have to. Call us if you think it’s something that could impact our work. Remember when your teacher told you that no question is a stupid question? That actually applies here.

Chris specializes in local search engine optimization (SEO) at RankLocal. There they offer local search marketing services which focus on the promotion of small businesses in local markets throughout the country. These services provide SMBs exposure in their local community by putting their websites at the top of the search results in highly used search engines for niche related and geo-related search queries.