4. Teach your client
about the time required for initial indexing.
I tell my client not to
expect much site activity right away. I like to prepare them for the time it
takes robots to visit their site for the first time. Once again, this is a
great opportunity to set your client's expectations. If we give them an
expectation of waiting approximately 6 weeks after registration, before
traffic commences, we know that some search engines will probably begin to
visit in 3 to 5 weeks. Indeed a few may occasionally visit within just 48
hours from the time you register. However, creating an expectation of 6 to 8
weeks gives you a better chance of out-performing your goals. If your client
must have results more quickly, discuss paid inclusion and paid placement
options. Offer them the choice.
Success Principle: Teach
your client's the truth and learn to manage their expectations. If you deliver
above average results and communicate well, you will have a client for a
lifetime. Customer loyalty is the key to long-term profitability.
5. Warn about mass search
Have you been telling
your client about how you are going to register them with 250 search engines
for free? This is an old, out dated approach but you may be surprised at how
many competitors will be saying the very same thing. That's because literally
anyone can buy auto submission software and press a button to submit a site.
I take a different
approach. I ask the prospect this question:
"Have you ever
wondered why some web developers may offer to register you with 250 search
engines for free?" The answer is simple...that's exactly what it's worth
-- ZERO. I then go on to teach them how traffic is only realized through
achieving a high ranking on the major search engines. Show them an activity
report to validate it. Then educate them about how you will remain focused on
optimizing their Web site for the major search engines.
By setting realistic
expectations on search engine registration, and telling them the truth about
where most of their traffic will come from, you once again are providing an
education that many others in the business fail to give their clients.
6. Teach your clients about
the risk and annoyance of FFA Links:
FFA Links (which stands
for Free For All links) are NOT search engines. What you may have learned by
now is that FFA sites are often times nothing more than e-mail collection
sites hoping to spam your e-mail address after submission. Over the years I
have tried subscribing to these services at times just to determine if there
may be any benefit. I can determine no benefit in FFA links and I like to
educate my clients so that the many "special offers" do not suck
them in. Educate your clients and save them headaches.
7. Build long-term
relationships with your clients.
Taking the consultancy
approach with SEO offers many opportunities to not only build customer rapport
but also to maintain it on a long term basis. I see my role as teaching my
clients as much as I can about the Internet side of their business. The time
you spend educating your client pays big dividends in terms of customer
loyalty. What happens after a while is that your customers will seek your
advice on issues rather than just being taken advantage of by one of those
e-mail offers that sounds too good to be true. Care for your client's business
as if it were your own!
8. Does your client need
help to write a media release?
This may be a stretch
for some SEO's, but look for opportunities to help your client promote their
Web site in different ways. I like to assist my clients by doing little things
that are easy for me to do, don't really take too much time, and add extra
value to my service. Examples of these services might be to help your client
write a good media release or the creation of little counter top signs that
advertise the clients URL. Do they need a checklist of ways to help them
promote their URL? Think value added!
9. Practice customer
One of the biggest
tragedies in the Internet marketing and SEO business is lack of quality
customer service. Do you return customer calls promptly? Do you keep them
informed about the newest trends?
10. See your customer as a
customer for life.
Care for your customer's
business as much as you can with full attention to detail. Most business
owners are far too busy running their business to look after all of their
"Web presence" issues. This is why they hire you in the first place.
If you remember to deliver "excellence" in both customer service and
communication, you'll have distinct advantages over other competitors. Take
care of your customers, and they will take care of you.
John Alexander is the
Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops with Robin Nobles