Dumaguing,

Gay Aida

SEO Specialist Social Media Manager Award Winning Blogger

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

9 Common SEO Client Mistakes

9 Common SEO Client Mistakes
As a SEO specialist working for more than 3 years now, I’ve already worked and talked with quite a lot of clients already – not just here in Cebu but also from other countries. They have different niche, different market and some of them can be a direct client or a company who wish to outsource or hire me as one of their specialists in the team.

I’ve noticed a number of mistakes, or we can also say WRONG assumptions to SEO and/or to me, as a SEO provider. It’s hard to work with someone who has these assumptions and kind of thinking, and I’m that type of person who doesn’t want to force them into things they don’t want to accept, so there are some clients that I did not last long in working with.

So, let me share with you a couple of mistakes I’ve noticed so far to the SEO clients who have (at least) contacted, talked, and/or worked with me.

I am a SEO

I’m happy that there are people who have the idea already of what is SEO when they have contacted me. But the problem with others is that they say they are a SEO specialist too, even if they’re not – I can tell.
Please, there’s no shame that you own a business and/or a website and you don’t know at least the basic of SEO. Good that you know what it is, how it can help but you don’t have to pretend and tell us that you know what we know. Because, we then assume that you’re used with these terms, knows what is being presented but the real fact is you don’t.

So most of the clients who are like this, wants to end the service because they don’t understand and ashamed to ask (because they claim they’re one of us) and rather find someone else to work with because of their wrong claim.

Don’t be ashamed to say you don’t know it, most likely SEOs will explain the terms, the tasks and the process if you don’t know. We’re here to help and work with you, NOT to compete or insult you.

She Said, He Said

We’ve got forums, blogs, social media, and other sites that are quite a lot of sources to read and different minds and techniques to understand. But the thing is, when the SEO client read on the forum that “SEO is Dead” and other claims that they say they know, the client believes them instead of me who they hire as a SEO specialist. Who they have read my resume with 3 years of experience, no banned sites, good track record – but then again they believe more this forum user with just a user name.

So why hire someone you don’t trust, when you believe this guy from the forum more?

Trust Issues

Actually, the “She Said, He Said” is connected here. If you don’t trust someone, then why work with them? I totally understand that because I live in the third world country, in the other side of the planet you live in, you might think twice in believing me. I even think twice in purchasing products from the US, why not you, right?

But at least, give us that little trust, that space of trust that we could work on and hopefully build more trust on it. If you don’t trust us that we’re doing our job, we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, then I think it’s much better if you find someone else. It’s hard to work with someone who can’t at least give you a little trust.

Sharing and Reporting

This is in connection with the trust issues, when a client does not trust someone they usually have someone like me do DAILY reporting (and some even want detailed, like on that hour and minutes what did you do), some have some software installed to take screenshots, time you on your work, see what websites you’ve opened, etc.

9 Common SEO Client Mistakes Micromanagement


Honestly, I don’t like working with someone who do micromanagement. I used to work for a company like this and it gave me a REALLY BAD habit. Even if I’m at the mall, eating, out of friends I check my watch every 15 minutes because that is the time the software takes screenshots. And I’m less productive because I’m more conscious of what I am doing other that the quality of my work.

The thing is, what I can report for a day is mainly “content writing” and “link building”, that will be the usual task I will be doing. So that’s why I feel more like spamming your inbox with same tasks every day if I do daily reporting, and I can’t report to you the daily rankings of your keywords because it’s not recommended.

Another thing they want to be reported is the technique that you’re using, please know that the technique, the approach that we use is our BREAD AND BUTTER. If we share it with you, you could totally have it done with someone else and just instruct them how to do it and get it cheaper. This is one of the reasons I don’t include the links to the websites I’ve build links on because some clients make their own version, then later on complain and blame it on us because they followed and change a BIT of what we did.

My Mama and Daddy always told us (my siblings) that our knowledge is our treasure, don’t share it with just anyone because it’s one thing that you could keep forever and make money out of it. We’ll, that’s why we get hired because we know these things, and then we share the strategies with you?

The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows." - Aristotle

This happened to me once so far, the client don’t like me because I didn’t share the strategies, so far he’s the one asking for it so I’m not quite sure of other SEOs share their strategies too. But then again, it’s my bread and butter and I’d rather end the service than get that knowledge stolen from me.

Magical SEO

No matter how many times we say that “we don’t work for Google” or “it’s not an overnight thing”, sadly some clients assume that tomorrow, a week later, and most likely a month later they’ll be on the #1 spot on all keywords.

Is it their fault? Maybe, maybe not. Some SEOs out there still promise these stuffs, promising instant results, instant ranking. And honestly, it can be done and you could try that if you want. But that’s if you give LOW value to YOUR business and website. But I will not wonder why in the next couple of months or Google update you’ll get penalized and worse banned.

Black Magic SEO

Sadly, there are clients (and some are SEO agencies from other countries) who use black hat SEO. I’m a white hat person, I invest more for long term and I do know what black hat is, how it works but never practice it.

I’ve tasted the long term result of using white hat, and quite a number of clients of mine have been satisfied with it even if we’ve ended my service for months and they’re still ranking because of the quality of work I’ve done.

Yes, I DON’T use black hat because any time, you may get a really bad results from it.

SEO Results 

In connection to the use of SEO techniques (black hat and white hat), the reporting issues, we’ve come to the results. Again, some clients still thinks that by the next day, next week they’ll be #1. If they don’t get the result they expected, then they stop – and even that’s if you’ve just worked with them for a week.

9 Common SEO Client Mistake SEO Results


There are also times that you may rank down, the “Wheel of Fortune” is also applicable here. We’re not always at the top. Search engines always update their search algorithm to ensure that users get the best and most accurate results when they search for something and they do look for improvements on their results, and with that you may rank down due to the changes – possibly because the search engine finds other sites more accurate to rank than yours. So what you need to do is improve the site, build more quality links to convince the search engines that you have more quality and the content that the users need.

The SEASON is also applicable here, when we send you the list of keywords there are these search volumes that we provide you along with it. And that is called the AVERAGE monthly search volume, so there may be months that people are not looking for that during the season, and some people may. Will they be looking for a pair of sandals during winter season? No, right? Unless they’re from a tropical country. There are seasons for each business, and that is also applicable online, so don’t expect that all traffic and conversions will be maintained, but there’s an average traffic that you get in a month.

As for how long it will take for you to rank? Basing on my experience, usually you’ll start ranking AFTER the first month but you’re not #1, depending on your competition, keyword, website structure and the SEO package you have avail it may take 6 months to 1 year for you to rank ON THE FIRST PAGE – I am not saying #1, no one can promise #1.

SEO Cost

Rand Fishkin of Moz.com has actually discussed the cost of having the SEO service. I only offer the monthly retainer (based on the infographic) which is in the common pricing of $250 to $500 a month. I am open to any mode of payments, if you want to pay it by the end of the month or every 15 days – whichever you like.

So with this, I think you have an idea on how much your budget will be for the month. Then think about how long it will take for you to rank and get the full benefit of what you’ve invested. So at least give the SEO specialist you’re working with about 3 months to show you that what he/she’s doing is good, and 6 months to get to see and compare the results before and after you have the service, go for a year and see how much you’ve gained and be able to appreciate what SEO have helped you.

Wrong Investment

I only have encountered a few of SEO clients with this problem, once I have accepted it and then after that I’ve rejected the job opportunity but explained to them why, because they’ve simply invested on the wrong product/service or with a wrong website.

Make sure that you’ve invested to something that you can get money from, unless you’re rich and can afford the SEO services and just want to be found online, then why not.

Like for example, have a business website optimized other than a website just for affiliate marketing – e.g. ads. You can get more money and more worth of it to make your business website to rank, other than a website that you can only get money if someone purchase and that is with lots of competitors (fellow affiliates) offering the same product, same discount, same benefits.

I think that’s so far the list of common SEO client mistakes, maybe I’ll update the list if you have something that you can remind me of or if I encounter a client mistake that we could include in the list. But I hope that with this list of mistakes will help SEO clients to understand our side of the story and avoid these mistakes and build a better work relationship with their SEO provider.



Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Gay Aida Dumaguing
+63-915-884-7979
Cebu, Philippines

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