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For SEO's: Providing Realistic Client Expectations

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a highly sought after service by business owners and marketers. Businesses seek to optimize their websites for better search engine rankings because higher ranking translates to higher traffic and consequently greater conversion potential.

You stand to offer a lot of marketing potential as an SEO professional because not only are the opportunities in search engine optimization are vast, but the demand is high. It is however, important that you be aware that gone are the days when simply writing great content and building links guaranteed a high ranking in SERPs.

SEO ClientsIt is important that you set realistic client expectations to ensure that your clients are not disillusioned while investing in an SEO campaign. Setting realistic client expectations will better guarantee your services are appreciated, paid for, and later earn referral clients.

New SEO Clients

If you are dealing with a new client, make sure that he/she understands that only sites that are at least several years old get consistent SEO results. There is intense competition and even keywords and keyword phrases that people are not searching for are often difficult to get high ranking with.

Ensure the client understands that it is possible to get a high ranking a few weeks, however only if the competitive nature for those keywords is moderate to low. Ensure your clients understand that an SEO campaign will only be effective if it is done on a long-term basis.

Qualified Leads

Make your clients understand that targeted traffic is more important than a high ranking on SERPs. Focus in the SEO industry is shifting away from having a particular keyword in a particular position in a particular search engine to how the keyword can be used to generate targeted Web traffic. Targeted Web traffic is desirable because people who know what you are offering and who are interested in the same are more likely to buy from you. In other words, quality beats quantity when it comes to online traffic.

It is unfortunate that most website owners who are searching for SEO services only look at the smaller picture and insist that the SEO company guarantees high ranking in search engine results pages (such as a high PageRank or PR on Google). If you ask most website owners what they want from an SEO campaign, most will give you such answers as “a top-4 ranking in Google/Yahoo! for my keywords.” Make sure your clients understand that a good business goal is something like “to bring many people who want the specific product/service I sell to my site”.

Assess the Competition

Although a high ranking in SERPs is desirable, the truth is that a lot of effort, time, and money go into this because of the high competition, especially for ecommerce SEO. Whatever you are selling, note that there are probably thousands, if not millions, of other sites that are offering the same thing or something similar and that use keywords and keyword phrases similar to yours. Even the best SEO company will not magically wave a magic wand or snap its finger for you to have a high ranking in SERPs. A high ranking in SERPs will be of no use if it does not add value to your business.

Does this mean that search engine optimization is dead? The simple answer is that it does not. SEO’s sole focus of attaining the number one ranking in SERPs for the best keywords has changed. Do not expect to do well with such a keyword as “best motorcycle helmet” because there are thousands of outlets, online and offline, selling motorcycle helmets.

Ask your clients to broaden their horizons and to see the bigger picture. Whenever a client tells you to help him/her attain a number one ranking in a particular search engine’s SERP, point out ways of fixing the website for it to attract more target traffic. Focus on improvements that will help the website design will work for users and search engines alike. Point out to your clients that they need not focus on “money phrases” and they need not insist that these phrases appear on all Web pages in their websites. Make them understand that there are other related keywords and keyword phrases that people are typing into their search engines every day.

Content is King

Most website owners create content for the sake of creating new content. They can be forgiven for this because the SEO industry has been insisting on good content for many years now. The word ‘great content’ has been thrown around for so long that few understand what it means today. Content creation services are so numerous that they have created a whole cottage industry.

There are even some content creation services that ‘rent’ content. Ensure that your clients understand that great content does not mean spam pages with the keyword substituted from one Web page to the next and it does not mean describing your products’ history. Ensure your clients understand that great content is content meant for the readers, not for search engines.

So, what makes great web content?

1) Great Web content is unique. The content should have creative ideas that nobody else in your industry has thought of. Being creative means you do not simply copy from your competitors.

2) You must be an industry leader. You must be willing to raise your voice and express your opinions, regardless of what people think of them.

3) You must be willing to pour your soul and heart into the website, not simply looking for quick fixes.

4) Great content takes care of Web users and search engines alike.

5) Great content is content that helps you get targeted Web traffic.

If you explain this to your clients, they will understand that generating quality content is neither easy nor fast, but once done, it will give lasting positive results.

Explain to potential clients that they must first determine their true goals before they call you. Explain to your clients that there are many SEO companies that promise more than they can deliver. A company that tells you it will deliver a number one ranking in a short time is simply after your money.

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