Defending Your SEO Services
July 29, 2013
If you are an SEO professional you will know that occasionally you will have to be able to defend your work from outside sources, like competing SEO services. It’s a common tactic to plant the seed of doubt that the SEO services a company is receiving are sub-par. What do you do when a client begins to question the work you are doing, the choices you are making and whether they could be receiving better work from another company?
1) Do good work.
Probably the most important piece of advice I can give is to ensure that you are actually providing top-notch service to your clients. Unfortunately, sometimes when one SEO firm claims that the SEO services being provided are bad, it is because they are. However, if you have this point covered, it is much harder for that seed of doubt to be planted in the first place.
By this, I don’t necessarily mean that I expect their campaign is always going fantastically well (although that really doesn’t hurt). What I mean is, make sure your communication is always open and you are always able to tell the client what you have been doing for them and what that work will ultimately mean for their campaign. Always answer their questions and address their concerns. Actively monitor their campaign and be proactive with your strategies to ensure long-term, continued success. If you always do this, they will always know that they are getting good work.
2) Be an authority.
Always keep updated on search engine news, Google updates and other industry related topics, and be able to explain how these things can impact your client.
This ties in with “do good work” because if your techniques are outdated then you are no longer doing good work. Also, it is important to be prepared to really show the client why your SEO service included a specific activity or tactic. I have been known to seek outside sources, like other SEO blogs and well-researched articles, including once providing a quote by Matt Cutts, to show clients that they could be confident in my methodology.
There may not ultimately be only one way to achieve rankings, but at least I can show that my tactics have been thoughtfully considered, which can really help when a competing SEO service is trying to undermine your authority.
3) Offer full SEO services
This is something that I actually thought could go unsaid until recently. In my career providing SEO services, I have had to explain to a number of clients that “unless I specifically say otherwise, everything I offer to do for you and your campaign is included in our fees.” This includes things like writing new content or press releases, optimization, reviewing analytics and setting up advanced functions, correcting errors and implementing site improvements suggested by Google Webmasters Tools and other sources, etc. etc. etc. I could actually go on and on.
I thought that I had to go over this because clients thought that maybe we were “too good to be true” and the hidden fees or extras would be where we “got them.” Either that, or they are used to things being tacked on in other industries, so assumed that we would do the same. Apparently, there was a third option that I never even considered… some SEO services actually charge extra for these activities. Honestly? This shocks me. I mean, every single one of these things are activities I need to do my job well and I just cannot imagine seeing them as “optional extras.” At least half of these are vital components to a successful SEO campaign, and the rest are utilized on an “as needed” basis… “as needed” not “as would be nice.” I could not do my job without these resources, and I am at a loss as to how any SEO service could claim otherwise.
4) Be honest
This one doesn’t really need to be expanded on. Don’t lie to your clients. Ever.
5) Don’t fret
My last point isn’t so much SEO advice as it is speaking from personal experience: don’t be afraid of your client’s concerns. If you do good work, are an authority and offer full SEO services, you have nothing to worry about. Take the time to address their concerns fully, with as much verifiable data as you can. Talk to them for as long as they need to feel confident in you and your SEO firm.