It doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in: you need to please your clients. A big part of digital marketing and SEO is delivering to your client, and sometimes they can be a challenge to deal with.
Obviously, you know your client better than I do. But here’s my tips on how to maintain a successful relationship with your clients.
Keeping tabs on KPIS
It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but know what your client does. Know what they sell, know their history, who they are – be as passionate about their company as they are.
Document everything that you do, and every conversation you have with a client. You might be dealing with multiple clients in your job position, and it looks very very bad if you can’t differentiate between what each client needs.
Always provide client reports, offering up proof of the links you’ve built, the progress of ranking keywords, search metrics, PR campaigns – show them where their budget is going. What are the results of your campaigns? What improvements have there been?
Keeping in touch
You’ll probably have a main contact for the client. Don’t ever go over the head of this contact to try and get in touch with the company head, for example – it looks rude and can really annoy your contact.
Whenever possible, get together with your client for meetings regarding progress and what the client expects from you. At the start of each month, organise a meeting and find out the client’s goals.
Do they want to drive more conversions, increase brand awareness, or do they want to simply come higher up in search rankings?
In the early days of client relationships, it’s important to meet them face to face as many times as you can.
Problem: My client doesn’t know what SEO is.
I actually had a client come to me to write content for their site, which had been utterly battered by Panda. My brief was to ‘SEO the whole site’. It wasn’t well received when I pointed out that SEO is about a lot more than just filling pages with words. And SEO isn’t a verb.
Solution: Give them the basics of SEO.
At the end of the day, it’s not your client’s job to get their rankings up – they’ve employed you to do it. You’re the one who needs to know what SEO is, not them.
But in order to keep them up to date on the stuff that you’re going to be doing to the site, always offer up a quick explanation before making your changes. Tell them what you will be doing, and why you will be doing it. They don’t need to know the details of how you’re going to do it, they need to see the results.
Problem: My client’s rankings have dropped significantly
Eeek. It’s never great to have to pass this news on – but it can’t always be good news, can it. As always, it’s time to explain.
Solution: Tell them why it’s happened, and how you’re going to fix it
Always come to a meeting with your client with solutions to the problems which you have found. If there’s been a drop in rankings, try to find out exactly why it has happened and relay this to your client.
Problem: My client is angry that I didn’t spot a problem…
Part of human psychology is that it’s very easy to reel off an angry email – much easier than it is to have a chat about things. If your client is angry, act quickly.
Solution: Arrange a face-to-face meeting
It’s much easier to come to resolutions face to face. If it’s possible, arrange a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible, or a video conference with your client. If this is not an option, get on the phone now.
Don’t feel too proud about offering an apology – if you’ve made a mistake, apologise. Tell them how you made this mistake, and how you’re going to fix it. If the results your agency’s work has completed aren’t what you expected, say so to the client. You’re working together here.
Problem: I have an impatient client
Some clients want results yesterday. We’re all like that sometimes – I want to be able to drive right now, but it’s a long-term investment that there simply isn’t a magic bullet for. Which is a pain because I’m fed up of having to get up at 6.30am for the bus.
Solution: Explain the benefits of a long-term organic SEO campaign, or suggest PPC
PPC isn’t exactly a magic bullet, but if your client wants to see results RIGHT NOW then suggest it. The money they spend and money they make can be correlated right away.
I’d recommend sticking to your guns for as long as you can with the long-term SEO campaigns though…it’s your job to get them ranking for natural searches, so try a bit of persuading.
Like with any working relationship, remain professional at all times, informative, don’t leave your client in the dark, and be friendly and easy to talk to. You want to be your client’s first port of call for any questions they have.