The term “SEO” gets thrown around a lot these days in the online business world. But what does it actually mean? This week, we’ll dive into some questions, complaints, and requests from small business owners frustrated with their local SEO providers.
If you’re a client of a local SEO provider who is frustrating you with the below practices, know you’re not alone, and rest assured they are not best practices. Good SEO companies won’t expect you to be placated. If you’re a local SEO service provider, read up to double check you’re not guilty of any cardinal sins!
1. Marketing lingo
Never assume a client knows industry jargon. It’s uncomfortable for the client to admit if they don’t know a term. Often, they will avoid asking for clarification out of fear of looking uneducated. Not only is this bad business, but lack of transparency often leads to misinformation. A company that doesn’t understand their client cannot possibly provide them with the best service. Before an SEO provider can help a client attract local customers, the company must understand the target audience their client is seeking. Start by defining all lingo — “landing page”, “CTR”, “bounce rate”, “exit page”, “meta titles”, etc. Ensure there are plenty of opportunities for clients to ask questions, and encourage them to speak up when confusion arises.
2. Drowning in data
The mark of a well-executed SEO campaign is in tangible results (sales dollars), not amassing useless data. Clients pay SEO companies, in part, to handle data collection and analysis, so they don’t have to. SEO providers: do not burden your clients with all the raw data in lieu of providing in-depth analysis of the few categories that matter most.
3. What is the client paying for?
SEO services are not cheap. However, as every good businessperson knows, it’s not in the cost of a service, but in the value. A high price tag that is justified by a higher return on investment is money better spent than a few dollars on a poorly executed campaign that does nothing to increase traffic or sales.
4. Don’t send cookie cutter Google Analytics reports
Google Analytics is a great feature if you know how to use it and parse the data. As stated above, the name of the game is showing clients what their investment dollars are buying them. Considering Google Analytics is a free tool, and generating automated reports is a free service, this is not a good way to show value. Small and midsize business (SMB – see how we took our own advice defining that term?) owners aren’t likely to have a full marketing team familiar with all the data. An accredited SEO service provider will have a Google Analytics certification. Put that certificate to good use, and break down the monthly results into bite-sized pieces of information your client can easily digest.
Highlight the areas where your SEO services are making the biggest impact. And, as unflattering as it may be, be transparent with your clients. Tell them where your SEO efforts are still coming up short. Explain that it takes time to make a real, lasting, organic impact in traffic and conversions. Let them know what you will be doing to bring up these numbers in future progress reports. Each month’s report should be customized for each client.
The proof is in the (sold) pudding
Your (client’s) website could have the lowest bounce rate and thousands of daily visitors who spend hours on your site. Unfortunately, if you’re running an e-commerce site, none of those phenomenal statistics pay the bills. Conversions are king. If you’re a local SEO company, focus on increasing your clients conversion numbers. If you’re a SEO client, ask any SEO company how they plan to increase your revenue before hiring them. Their process should be systemic at a high level, and individually tailored to your company’s specific needs on the ground level.
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business.