Techniques for Knowing your SEO Client
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they start out on their first SEO campaign is that they don’t work out exactly what it is they want to achieve from the campaign. Being page 1 on Google is all very well, but if you target the wrong keywords for your site you will actually damage your site in the ‘eyes’ of Google.
You must get to know your client. Make sure you are all ‘on the same page’ in terms of what they hope to achieve from the campaign. Ask them what outcome they hope to get from their SEO campaign. It may be increased sales, increased enquiries, signing up for a newsletter or simply brand reaffirming by placing them first for their company name.
If your client has an eCommerce site it is worthwhile asking them which products have the highest margin, as targeting these directly will make the client the best ROI (Return on Investment). This approach also works well for targeting service providers (e.g. plumbers, electricians etc) as there may be a particular service that brings in more money than other services. For example a new boiler installation for a plumber would be better than fixing leaking taps.
Another thing to consider is regional specific SEO, something that the team here at Creare are particularly expert in. I often ask my clients which area they want to target first, as there are often add-on costs involved for the client if they have to service areas further away. Alternatively, they may know that certain areas have more of their target audience in, and therefore are better to ‘go for’.
The next thing to make sure your client is well aware of is the timescales involved with SEO. SEO is a time consuming process, and the first three months are often fraught with dangers, the client can’t see results because the listing hasn’t yet reached its desired position, and you feel under pressure to get the site performing asap. This is not the time to dip into black hat techniques though! Make sure you are transparent with your client as to what can be achieved in the timescale they are willing to work with. It may be a case of working on ‘easier’ keywords that will get them an ROI first before tackling the ‘tougher’ keywords that take time.
Remember, SEO is all about marketing your client, albeit through a search engine rather than ‘traditional’ means. Therefore, you must make sure that you client makes money. This is your ultimate job. Page 1 listings are fantastic, of course they are, but money in the bank for your client is what really makes the difference.
Use all the tools at your disposal, Google Analytics for example can tell you a lot about which keywords perform well, whether the pages targeted for those keywords are effective and ultimately whether you are going for the right keywords. Watch out for Rebecca’s articles on Google Analytics, and how to get the best from this fabulous tool.
Once you have a good relationship with your client, and this takes time, you will be in a unique position to be able to advise them as to where their online marketing should go next. If you are anything like me, you will genuinely want to help make your client money! I get a massive buzz when my clients report increased sales or enquiries.
If I have done the initial work in ensuring I am targeting the best keywords for their business then I know I will be on the right track once the site starts to perform. This is the key to a successful SEO campaign.