Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

This post illustrates a bad SEO scenario, what can you do when your client refuses to take your advice, but pays their bills? Definitely needs good discussion!
Comments12 Comments  

Comments

Avatar
from monitis 1993 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Not taking advice means not understanding the purpose.  Finally they’ll stop paying.  

Avatar
from losangelesinternetmarketing 1993 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I dunno. Some of these clients just end up paying the bills. If they’re not happy later on, then deal with it then. I wish I had a better solution other than, either take them or don’t take them. These guys just don’t change :(I mean, if you want to be picky, just put in the original contract that one of the things required is FTP access, and timely responses to all SEO suggestions. This way, it sets the expectation

Avatar
from footinmouthdisease 1993 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I understand this frustration! I had a client who I had badgered for 4 months to get content for his site, then he cancelled because he said "I hadn’t done anything." I nearly lost it! It’s hard because even if you manage their expectations, many business owners just don’t assign it enough gravitas to make an effort. If that’s the case, then they deserve to fail. (Maybe harsh but it’s marketing darwinism...if they won’t defend themselves, then they will get eaten by their competition)

Avatar
from mediafortemarketing 1993 Days ago #
Votes: 1

It’s up to us to create expectations up front when we create an engagement and to continue to do so quarterly. Getting sign off on a search marketing plan as you go and achieving goals gives everyone something to aspire to and helps us to provide and reach quantifiable results. It’s difficult though when you say, "we can’t win without this strategy" and they won’t engage, maybe that’s the time to rein in expectations. If business owners understand what happens with and without the strategy that can help them get off the fence. I think sometimes as search marketers we say, "trust me, we need to do this, it works" and it just isn’t enough to persuade.

Avatar
from bbcarter 1991 Days ago #
Votes: 1

That’s why we do the SEO implementation and try to avoid situations where we’re relying on the client or a third party for execution.  Leads to inefficiency, customer dissatisfaction, losing clients, and it’s not as satisfying for us either.

Avatar
from JohnHGohde 1991 Days ago #
Votes: -2

Clients did have the SEO implement it in order to save money.The same clients don’t implement the SEO’s advice either to save money OR mostly because their big boss is too dense and set in their way of doing business to comprehend the advice.The SEO Company got their money so that these same clients can document that they actually attempted to improve their positions in the SERPS, but the world was just against them.

Avatar
from gzlatin 1990 Days ago #
Votes: 0

What about calling the client up on the phone and asking them why they don’t implement the things that you have recommended? It’s a lot easier not to reply to an email but if you ask them directly they might give you somewhat of a decent answer.  If that scares them off, oh well, they would have probably left soon anyway.

Avatar
from yetanotherben 1990 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@bbcarter with you on that one: "That’s why we do the SEO implementation and try to avoid situations where we’re relying on the client or a third party for execution", that is the ideal situation you’re right, but there are clients who are quite coy about contracting out the copywriting for instance, and then when it comes to moderating aspects of the content, barriers come up...the lack of integration of SEO efforts can really cause problems sometimes...

Avatar
from Gab 1990 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@ Todd Mintz - Drop the client now while the relationship is still salvageable. Have your team build out sites that you can use for link building later on with new/other clients. Or any of a million other more productive uses of their time.

Avatar
from FromTheHip 1989 Days ago #
Votes: 0

You’ll be sending them along to this story, I trust...Maybe that will get the message across.It is a really tough one - when you know that if they just did what they were told, they’d do better.  What can be even more irritating is when you do part company, send them along to someone else, and they then implement what you suggested all along.  Either they have confidence in you or not, or it takes a while to really understand and trust someone.Who knows...

Avatar
from StepIntoTheLight 1988 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Not an unusual problem.  They are setting you and ultimately themselves, up for failure.  My experience with similar clients seems to only have two resolutions... you wait things out and hopefully the person you’re dealing with moves on or up, or you can get to his/her boss and convince them or you walk away.Personally, I would go on record with a formal letter voicing your opinions in a professional manner (so you’ll have defendable proof of your position and their lack of action), then collect checks and prepare to kick them to the curb or be kicked at the appropriate time.  The end result is they eventually are going to be unhappy with your work, you’ll be unhappy with the results, you might become a scapegoat for the person/department when results are disappointing and you won’t be able to add them to the success/case study/reference column.  But if they want to waste their money, by all means do your best and earn it while you can.

Avatar
from hfbadvertising 1988 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I give advice all the time to our clients they can take it or leave it. You can’t make them listen. Just give it to them. Because if you don’t say anything then the will hear from an associate and the will come back and say you never told us and we are leaving you. Just do your job and everything will be good.Advice FromHFB Advertising Agency

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: