Yes I know you want to grow your business and land as many new clients as possible, but be careful what you wish for. Taking on a new client shouldn’t be a decision made on a wimp, extensive research and qualifying is essential to running a successful SEO campaign. Below is a check list to see if that new client is right for you.
What are the clients goals and expectations?
SEO is foreign language to most business owners and decision makers, they just know they want to see their site on the front page, period. If the potential client is trying to compete in a niche that is highly competitive and their current link profile and site aren’t up to snuff, that’s a gloomy beginning. Avoiding this type of issue can be done with an effective quoting formula. Taking the average page rank and link profiles of the top ten results for a given search phrase against the potential client’s current site profile is generally a good measure to see if their goals are actually attainable in your current business model.
Expectations are everything in SEO. I consult daily with at least one of our 150 clients to discuss progress and current campaign details. Being able to handle a large workload is all relative to how scalable your link building methods are. Often I have found that my link building methods have been most effective when dealing with multiple sites that shared similar characteristics. For example, if you attempt to take on one type of niche client, Fortune 500 companies who generally have a page rank 5+ site, with thousands links, their large ranking goals might be a bit more practical for you to accomplish.
Have a solid plan with benchmarks
In the beginning of a link building campaign it is important to make sure your client’s site is in ideal condition. Provide them with a in depth onpage report detailing everything from duplicate title tags to 301 redirects. It is your job to translate to the client’s development team how the site should structured. Tying these loose ends in the beginning with help you avoid finding out your building links to a redirect half way through the campaign. (No wonder I wasn’t seeing any progress)
Analyze the competition and attack
Alongside keyword research one of the most important nitty gritty tasks in campaign preparation is performing a competitive link analysis. In case you have been living under a rock, tools like SEOMOZ’s OSE and Yahoo’s Site Explorer will provide you will a profile of your competitor’s links. Review these links, see if you can get them, if you can’t, get links on websites that share similar characteristics. Link building is checkers not chess.
Under promise and over deliver
This goes back to setting practical expectations with your client. If you walk in the door flexing and fall just short, client not so happy. If your honest and transparent, set the tone rationally and knock it out of the park, client very happy.
Further reading: When to Say Goodbye to a SEO Client