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An Open Letter To The SEO Client

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If you work in an agency or run your own consulting business, I know you’ve been frustrated.  So put your tongue in your cheek, and have fun venting with me.  

By the way, this post was admittedly written with a few past clients in mind, in a previous life.  I’ve since put myself in a position to only work with clients that match with my ideals.  In consulting, that’s how it should be.  I highly recommend happy relationships.  It makes SEO fun.

Dear client,

Chill out.  You hired us to improve your natural search traffic, your brand recognition, and your reputation.  You did your homework and made us prove our value.  The proposal and RFP was brutal. But we passed. Now have faith, and listen.  That’s right.  Listen.  Learn.  We’re trying to help you.  We picked you as a client, just like you picked us as a vendor.

In over a decade of SEO, I’ve had many different kinds of clients.  The big brands you’d see in a mall or shopping center, to small shops that serve the most niche audience.  From hands-on CMOs to passive, uninterested specialists.  I’ve done my best to teach all of you the ways of Google, and to do right by you.  Admittedly, I’ve made mistakes – but I learned.  I’ve also learned a lot while studying your industry, but that took time.  I never told you SEO would give you instant results. You need patience, and you need to give us some space.  I had nothing to do with you setting unreal expectations with your boss – I was very open with you in the beginning.

I also said that to achieve your goals, we would need the full support of your organization.  You need to help us help you.  If you’re the bottleneck, then we’re both going to have pains in the morning.  We’ll both start dreading our SEO calls.  And we’ll start getting snippy with each other.

Granted, we’re in an agency, and ultimately we have to give you what you ask for.  But if you give us a little slack, we’ll keep you from having to worry about SEO.  

Hmm…

I just re-read what I wrote.  Maybe I’ve been a little snarky.  I really do love you, and I really want to make this relationship work.  So maybe we can we try again?  Everything will be great – as long as you never pull this shit again.

Sincerely,

Bill

 

PS: Oh, and a few extra personal notes:

Don’t ever ask me again what your ROI is from a title tag.  I don’t care how big an apparel brand you are.  You’re obviously not listening.

Don’t ever ask me why you’re not getting traffic when you don’t take my deliverables and implement them.  I don’t care how big a television network you are.  You’re not taking this seriously.

And please stop asking me for giant analysis deliverables if you don’t have any use for the data.  I think it’s time we end this relationship… but we can stay friends.

 



    Comments

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    1. Wil Reynolds
      November 27, 2011

      Funny post, but more importantly it outlines some serious issues with setting expectations and trying to calm down those high pressure situations.

      Reply


    2. Wil Reynolds
      November 27, 2011

      Funny post, but more importantly it outlines some serious issues with setting expectations and trying to calm down those high pressure situations.

      Reply