Too often, it seems that SEO’s and those interested in hiring them alike get caught up with the numbers and the costs. It is true, Search Engine Optimization is a business, but this doesn’t mean that it must be approached with the utmost hesitation to engage in personal relationships. A lot of times, the interaction between a firm and a client will be the difference between success and failure, so it would only make sense that we should all consider these relationships to be as valuable as all the analytics in the world.
The first step to a healthy manager-client relationship is trust. It makes me a bit angry every time I see an SEO website with empty promises and bad practices they are sold with bells and whistles. It doesn’t help that much of the on-site copy for firms are not always an indication. Every firm should be proud of their services and know what they are capable of, so while an experienced firm will present their methods in a way that makes sense to the potential client and put forth a legitimate sales-pitch, the firm that potential clients should avoid are capable of writing the same sort of copy. This is why it is crucial to talk with a firm, ask questions, and be honest. There are people you’ll meet that are up front regardless of how feelings are affected, and as much as the initial reaction to such people may force us to dislike them, once we can see that they are upfront for the benefit of the other person, we have to admire them. This is how a firm should be with their clients. It’s important to know how to optimize a site, and it’s important to have the tools and knowledge to collect the necessary data in order to do so, but even more important is setting up a relationship with the client in which they are free to ask questions, express concerns, and are confident that the firm is doing everything it can to maximize their ROI.
Once a client can trust their SEO firm, the lines of communication must be strong and clear. Along with that trust comes the ability to continually interact under the same circumstances. It does no good to the firm or the client to sell an idea and then take the campaign in a direction that makes the client nervous or uncomfortable. Sure, a lot of this concern could be based on performance but even when a campaign is doing well, if the communication is not there, the client will have cause for concern. Every client should find a firm with which they can get in touch with easily and feel comfortable discussing their relationship, as well as the progress of the campaign itself. Healthy communication is just as important as a well optimized site.
Another aspect of any relationship is each member’s desire to see the other succeed. A firm should always rejoice in the success of their clients and personally deal with failures. While none of us would like to admit that some campaigns just don’t work out, there will be times when failure will occur, and even though the campaign is coming to an end, the relationship shouldn’t. Many times, the reason an SEO effort doesn’t succeed is due to poor timing. Many campaigns have a window of opportunity that might be missed at no fault of the client or the firm. SEO is part science and part experiment. The secrets of the Internet Universe are unobtainable to everyone, and no firm is an exception to that rule.
So firms, your clients’ websites are your own, and their succeess is yours! Clients, your firm wants you to succeed, and we know that you want us to succeed because that means that you are succeeding! The relationship between a firm and a client is a very important one, and it should never be overlooked.
For those interested in a relationship with an Internet marketing firm like Reciprocal Consulting, please, don’t be shy.