SEO

Educating The Client About SEO Is The Best Way To Recover The Reputation Of The SEO Industry

Just the other day I came across a discussion regarding the The SEO Industry’s Reputation Problem on Sphinn.com.

After going through the discussion, I strongly feel that if the reputation of the SEO industry has been tarnished by people who call themselves SEOs despite not having any knowledge or experience in anything search-engines-related, then the responsibility of bringing back the reputation and making the industry more respect worthy is also on the shoulders of the knowledgeable SEOs.

Every industry has fly by night companies cropping up who making a fast buck by fooling some people. The SEO industry is not alone. It seems to be more prominent for our industry though as the clients themselves are unaware about what SEO is and what deliverables they should expect when they sign an SEO contract.

It is this lack of clarity in the minds of people which leads them to become more wary os SEOs as they feel cheated when they do not get the desired results.

We cannot generalize regarding the SEO reputation and say that all SEOs out there are just waiting to cheat their clients. Undoubtedly each and everyone of us, who has a website, wants their resource to be on page one of Google results as the quantum of regular potential business is actually very high if the site is optimized on ethical norms and as per the search engine algorithms. When I say search engines I do not only mean Google but Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com are also to be considered as we are talking about SEO .

10 years back – when SEO was merely about submissions and meta tags, the search options were also limited and the surfers were not net savvy – the SEO scene was very different and the web developers themselves managed SEO at home. Gradually with the search engine algorithms becoming more and more sophisticated and more search options being available and the surfers also becoming more specific with their searches, the SEO projects need to be handled by experts who have been focusing on upgrading their knowledge over the years with adequate experience and knowledge.

On the other side the clients too need to understand that SEO (though being a marketing strategy which in the long run gives you the benefits of stability) is very different from advertising. SEO results are not achieved instantly and the benefit of the SEO efforts can pay off only over a period of time (at least 6 to 12 months).

Educating your clients about SEO is the only key to gain the right reputation for this industry.

This approach can be brought about by the SEOs themselves by educating the client about what optimization is and by revealing and properly describing the on-page and off- page methods the SEO company is going apply. The companies which are secretive about their methods should not be trusted at all and companies which are open and honest about their methodologies usually expect a lot of co-operation from the client. If the client is cooperative enough and the SEO wins the faith and the confidence of the client, the results are surely achieved with a win-win situation for both the parties.

SEO is about putting SEO Is About Putting Your Best Foot Forward on The Web For Your Website and just like you establish your business and goodwill offline by working hard continuously over a period of time, the SEO helps you in establishing your online presence and gradually with the right web approach you start getting the value of added visibility and the high rankings on the search engines.

The optimization process is a specific task which needs the clear understanding o how search engine work and why it is a must to monitor and analyze the site’s performance on a regular basis. Oftentimes companies do not understand this and are not willing to allocate adequate budgets for SEO.

So, the change in attitude and approach has to come from both sides – from the SEOs as well as the companies who want to employ them for a quality web presence. Many times the client himself is SEO’s greatest enemy . If you want quality services, then you need to pay for that and if you need information, ask for it. The gap between the deliverables of an SEO project and the expectations of a client can be bridged only by educating the client about SEO method and processes.

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Bharati Ahuja

+Bharati Ahuja is founder WebPro Technologies India, SEO Trainer and Speaker, Web Entrepreneur, Blog Writer, Internet Marketing Consultant. Follow her on twitter @webprotech
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17 thoughts on “Educating The Client About SEO Is The Best Way To Recover The Reputation Of The SEO Industry

  1. Well… i discussed this thing for like millions of time on different forums that we as a professionals need to change our attitude… we usually come up with like client should change their attitude but i personally think that he is paying (why should he) well being a professional we need to educate the clients…

    i think there should be some list of questions a client should ask before hiring any SEO professional… or may be some thing better but by this the rate of fraud can go down… and the reputation of the industry can be rebuild.

    1. Thanks for posting your views.

      Yes , there should be a list of questions that the client should ask. But, as the awareness levels of people regarding what is SEO in its right perspective are very low , the best option would be the answers should be readily provided by the SEOs at the right stages of the SEO project instead of waiting for the client to come up with the questions.

      This way the client gets the SEO related knowledge and the scope for any misunderstandings and doubts is surely reduced. But again for this the client company should take adequate interest in listening to what the SEO has to say.

      1. Well what I think is the most annoying thing is when client come up with something really funny like: how would you gonna feel if a core real estate agent come to you with a question “Are you sure that the Google analytics code at the bottom of the page is correct?” :) come on now this is no good… let me do my work…

        I think problems create and resolve from the both sides of the table… they should give the professional a circle or space where he/she can work properly.
        Well on the other side the SEO should understand that he is putting his money so he wants a better ROI…

        The best way in my eye is to decide at the starting of the project that this is what I ll gonna do and you can expect this as a result and in most cases this is possible to predict the results (if you are good at your work and research) don’t comment something that you cannot do… that’s what usually happen…

        And on the other hand client should understand that prediction can be wrong and situation change from time to time so react accordingly…

  2. well , i do belive seo is one of the most trusted and known good ways so far , i think trying it is the only way to judge , i have read indeed about how people are not liking it anymmore , but i say all the time it’s about time , getting knowledge is not that easy , i’m not that pro , i know only some points about it and i can talk and give opinion abt seo only after years may be ,when i get almost everything !!! interesting post , this is so on the topic by the way ;)

  3. I think clients can differentiate serious SEO people from those scrupulous ones. Cheap ones are usually the ones who promise heavens but short on actual delivery of work, especially if they will tell you page one result for a short period of time on a very highly competitive keyword.

    1. No, sorry but still many times people do carried away by false promises and tall claims and also by fabricated results offered to them which may have acheived through scrupulous links.

      The main reason for this is that the client himself is not aware of what to expect as the realistic SEO results and in what time frame. Especially in the case of highly competitive specific keywords for which serious SEO needs time.

  4. This is a great perspective on educating potential SEO clients. An SEO agency (or individual running a campaign) should be as transparent as possible when providing information to the client and discussing the deliverables the client should expect. Client should know overall what the agency will be doing, a timeline of when they should see results, and be provided timely and relevant reports that will help prove ROI.

  5. It’s all about education – we need to inform about what works and what doesn’t – which will help those interested in SEO recognize who does ‘good’ work and who doesn’t. Thanks for bringing this forward Bharati :-)

  6. SEO work in the most important work in a website building. The SEO Industry is a big industry, i work in webmarketing field and i think the reputation of SEO work is very important.

    1. Yes, it will be annoying if you go into the technical details of the SEO process. But if you offer information which will make the client have realistic expectations and make him aware about what is SEO then I don’t think it will be annoying.

      As SEO is much more than just rankings in the current search marketing scenario.

    2. Yes, it will be annoying if you go into the technical details of the SEO process. But if you offer information which will make the client have realistic expectations and make him aware about what is SEO then I don’t think it will be annoying.

      As SEO is much more than just rankings in the current search marketing scenario.

  7. I agree the education is critical, but placing yourself in a position that is more likely to be successful is as important. Unfortunately, many are often in a position where they accept any client; even those with unrealistic or distorted expectations. I’m sure that we all have been in the situation where we continually attempt to educate, only to have our lessons fall on deaf ears. This is frustrating and hopefully we learn with experience to avoid these types of situations.

  8. You’re right, it is really appropriate to educate your client what is the world of SEO all about. So that they will understankt better how hard to be an SEO is.

  9. it’s right to get reputation through . . there are many who are doing such practice to make our SEO industry BAD. This article takes an serious action to get them away on those people working wrong