How-To: Understanding Your Clients

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We decided to dive into three questions/concerns that SEO agencies and clients have when trying to communicate SEO with each other. As an SEO agency with offices in both San Diego and Orange County, we come across two major areas where businesses are competing with one another and they need an extra leg up. The mention of SEO will somehow come up within their company and discuss if it’s a marketing outlet that could bolster their sales, but the problem is, many don’t understand or can see the value in SEO.

Frustration can build on both sides because SEO agencies want to communicate how their specific set of skills can lead to more calls, more sales, more business, but the client doesn’t see how and doesn’t see specific evidence in which SEO actually does help.

We’re hoping that by approaching these three main concerns we’re able to alleviate the disconnect between SEOs and clients.

  1. My client doesn’t understand the value of SEO and it’s difficult to prove ROI.
  2. My client doesn’t understand how SEO works and I always have to justify my actions.
  3. My client and I disagree about whether link building is the right answer.

Now, we realize these three may not be the most concerns for your agency or it has never came up for your business when speaking with an SEO agency, but we’ve see these three concerns come up in various forums, comments, and in our own inbox and comments.

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  1. My client doesn’t understand the value of SEO and it’s difficult to prove ROI

    The value of SEO is its influence on organic search, which in this day and age with people doing nearly everything online, is extremely valuable. In 2018 alone, SEO is more important than it has ever been. Young adults spend a little over 27 hours online in one week. That’s nearly 4 hours a day! The average adult spends a little over 20 hours a week, which includes time spent on the internet at work. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone!

    Want one more interesting fact that could play a role in convincing you that a strong online presence is important? 81 percent of the U.S. population had a social networking profile and it’s expected to grow to 2.95 billion total users by 2020.

    How does this pertain to SEO?

    Organic search brings in the most qualified visitors (consistently) than any other digital marketing channel. In the most basic form of saying it: More people are searching for things than ever before and are searching for specific things. This gives us the potential to increase our organic traffic by making our sites discoverable by google and clearly answering user queries with great relevant content.

    SmartInsights shows us that search engines heavily favored Google throughout 2017 – 74.54% of searches to be exact. What’s more interesting is that Google dominates mobile device searches by holding more than 90% market share. Don’t ignore other search engines like Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, etc. because they hold an average between 5 – 10%.

    Using the data from Internet live stats, we can see the number of daily searches on Google – 3.5 billion, which equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.

    All this information aside, what does an SEO agency plan to with this information and what can a client expect? Forecast modeling is questionable at best,especially with such a volatile industry like SEO. Think about seasonality, overall trends, and the fact that few brands exist in a vacuum. What are your competitors doing and how will that affect you?

  2. My client doesn’t understand how SEO works and I always have to justify my actions

    Ask yourself: Does the client actually not now how SEO works? Or, could it be that you don’t understand what they need from you? Here’s a great place to start.

    • What are the things my client is concerned about?
    • What is my client being graded on by their boss?
    • Is my client under pressure?

    If you can find the answers to these questions then you should be able to find some clarity as to what your solution might be. Have you taken these into consideration?

    • You might know more about SEO than your client, but they know more about their company.
    • They may be able to see the bigger picture between investment, activities, etc.
    • SEO might not be the only thing your client needs to think about – a VP has 5 to 10 different
      channels to worry about.

    You’ll need to figure out how to align what you’re doing to match what your client is focused on.

  3. My client doesn’t understand the value of SEO and it’s difficult to prove ROI

    Link building is one of the most debated topics in SEO because different agencies value this skillset more than others.

    Links tie success to a metric we have no control over – meaning it can give us an excuse as to why an account may not have been a success. Please don’t allow it to be an excuse.

    We can see links reduce an extremely complicated situation into a single variable – meaning we don’t try to find other reasons why something isn’t working and we blame link building.

    We’ve heard that links is a topic related to brand and perhaps more of the focus should be building your brand rather than building your links.

We Want To Hear From You!

Here at The Ad Firm, we’d love to hear more on your thoughts. We want to hear from both clients and other SEO experts.

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