How to Improve Your Relationship with Your SEO Consultant
The Internet, let alone SEO, can be a scary thing for a lot of businesses not familiar with the inner workings of it all. Businesses that actually take the first step to invest in SEO may still be second-guessing themselves throughout the process.
As a client, you may have been all pumped up in the beginning, but taking the first step was just the first battle. Maybe you haven’t quite understood the project plan or you’re not seeing the importance of the behind-the-scenes work your consultant is doing.
This is why understanding the SEO landscape, seeking education and trusting the expert are important components in the success of your SEO project.
Education consists of a proactive quest for knowledge by the client through discussions and research, as well as proactive knowledge transfer by the SEO consultant or agency.
We’ve all heard the saying, “you need buy-in” from everyone to make [fill in the blank] successful. And although that is true, not every client seems to be ready to take initiative to understand the process so they can achieve buy-in.
Strong business relationships are built when a client feels comfortable asking questions about the things they’ve learned or by simply voicing concerns or asking why certain recommendations are made.
It’s through this process that clients begin to trust the experts they’ve hired.
- Understand the SEO process
- Search industry education is key
- Trust the SEO experts
- FAQ: How can I enhance my relationship with my SEO consultant for better project outcomes?
It’s important to understand SEO on a high-level so expectations are set ahead of time, and as a client, you’re not left with questions or disappointments.
First, please understand that project plans can and sometimes just have to change. Take any Google Core/Helpful Content/Link Spam algorithm updates, for instance. Some are still trying to get out of the funk these updates kicked them into. Businesses were forced to completely switch their focus and immediate SEO goals.
Some Core updates don’t put websites in a position to quickly recover, and there’s nothing anyone can do to accurately predict or prevent something like that from happening. In this case, everyone – the client and the agency — has to adjust and move on, because algorithmic changes become outdated 6 months down the road when even more updates happen.
Another important point is the concept of time. Sometimes (depending on the project or course of action) projects can take a very long time to see results, and, quite frankly, there is never going to be a quick fix.
The point is, that the more active a client can be during a project, the more likely they are to:
- Get better results in the end.
- Have a good working relationship with their consultant.
- Learn something they didn’t know before.
- Have faith and confidence in their SEO investment.
My advice to clients working with agencies or consultants is to seek education. Get on the Internet and do some research. Find out who the big players are that offer up the insights (Hint: Matt Cutts, Chris Sherman and Danny Sullivan, to name a few).
Sign up for newsletters and blogs to stay on top of the industry headlines. By simply reading Search Engine Land, for instance, you will easily spot reputable websites, blogs and expert consultants you can trust as you become a frequent reader. Yes, it’s time-consuming, but it’s an investment.
Here at Bruce Clay, Inc., we encourage knowledge transfer by inviting our clients to attend our SEO training early in the project. By no means do we expect they will become experts immediately after training, but we want their wheels spinning and we want them to get excited about SEO like we are.
If you’re looking to partner with an agency, see what kind of knowledge transfer they are committed to, so you can continue to see success in-house.
As a client, once you’ve begun to wrap your head around SEO concepts and tactics, you may feel overwhelmed at the depth of expertise needed to make SEO strategies work. This is the pivotal point when clients realize that agencies and consultants are vital resources, and the keys to the success of their SEO strategy.
When it really comes down to it, agencies and SEO consultants make recommendations to help your site become more easily visible to search engines. We may not know your business like you do, but we know search engines.
For many clients, the process can be terribly uncomfortable, but it’s not personal—it’s business. Sure, it’s overwhelming, but it’s a team effort. After all, your consultant’s recommendations are no good if you don’t understand them, or worse, don’t “buy-in” to them.
It’s OK to do something you’ve never done before—that’s how you grow. There’s a saying, “If you want different results, you’ve got to do something different.” Try to get comfortable with new ideas and you just may be surprised.
That said, SEO consultants are typically happy to determine another plan of action if the agency’s recommendations simply cannot be implemented for one reason or another.
Sure, there’s lots of crap with differing opinions on the Web and “experts” you shouldn’t trust, but that’s why you should be putting in the time for research and education. There are many questionable practices that companies still partake in that are now considered Black Hat, but were once considered White Hat, so it’s important to be able to recognize what’s dubbed as spam.
This is important so you can’t claim ignorance when you “accidentally” get hooked up with a fly-by-night company.
As SEO consultants or agencies, we want our clients to trust us, but sometimes it’s a constant battle – and we still have to gain that trust even after the sale has been made. As a client, you need to make the education process a priority between you and your agency; in turn, you’ll begin to trust the expert you’ve hired and learn to let go – just a little bit.
Related blog posts:
- Self-Help for SEO Agency-Client Relationships
- How to Make the SEO Services Agency-Client Relationship a Success
Ready to unlock the potential of SEO for your business? Partner with us to navigate the SEO landscape, gain expert insights, and drive meaningful results.
An SEO consultant can be an invaluable ally in increasing online visibility and driving more visitors to your site. Your consultant’s expertise, combined with collaborative effort on both sides, are critical components to any successful SEO project. Fostering a healthy and productive relationship with your SEO consultant is essential to achieve better project outcomes. Here, we will delve into the key strategies and insights to enhance your relationship with your SEO consultant for optimal results.
Understanding Your SEO Consultant’s Role
First and foremost, it’s crucial to clearly understand what your SEO consultant is responsible for. SEO consultants are tasked with optimizing your website’s search engine rankings, improving organic traffic, and enhancing your online visibility. Recognizing the scope of their responsibilities will help set realistic expectations.
Open and transparent communication is the cornerstone of a successful partnership. Maintain regular communication with your SEO consultant. Share your business goals, target audience, and any specific concerns. Providing your consultant with all the necessary details empowers them to make informed decisions and tailor their strategies to your unique needs.
Define Clear Goals and Metrics
Setting clear, measurable goals is essential. Clearly define what success looks like for your SEO project. Whether it’s increasing organic traffic, boosting conversion rates, or expanding your keyword rankings, having specific metrics in mind will help your consultant focus their efforts effectively.
Collaborative Strategy Development
Collaboration is key to a fruitful SEO partnership. Instead of telling your consultant how you should proceed with their strategy, collaborate on creating a tailored plan suited to your business goals through collaboration. Doing this fosters ownership and commitment from both sides.
Regular Progress Reviews
Regularly review the progress of your SEO project. Evaluate the results and discuss any necessary adjustments. Your SEO consultant should provide detailed reports and insights on the impact of their work. These reviews help you stay informed and make data-driven decisions.
Maximizing Your SEO Consultant Relationship
Enhancing your relationship with your SEO consultant is a strategic move towards better project outcomes. Successful partnerships require understanding the consultant’s role and cultivating effective communication. Setting clear goals, developing strategy collaboratively, and regularly reviewing progress are all integral elements.
Step-by-Step Procedure: Enhancing Your Relationship with Your SEO Consultant
- Understand the Role: Begin by clearly understanding your SEO consultant’s role, responsibilities, and scope of their work.
- Open Communication: Establish open and transparent communication with your consultant. Share your business goals, concerns, and target audience.
- Define Clear Goals: Set specific, measurable goals for your SEO project. Determine what success looks like regarding organic traffic, conversions, or keyword rankings.
- Collaborative Strategy: Collaborate with your consultant to develop a customized SEO strategy that aligns with your business objectives.
- Regular Reviews: Conduct regular progress reviews to evaluate the results and discuss any necessary adjustments.
- Data-Driven Decisions: Make informed, data-driven decisions based on the insights provided by your SEO consultant.
- Iterate and Improve: Continuously iterate and improve your SEO strategies based on the results and feedback from both parties.
- Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date about the latest SEO trends and technologies to have meaningful discussions with your consultant.
- Provide Feedback: Offer constructive feedback to your consultant to improve the quality of their work.
- Respect Their Expertise: Respect your consultant’s expertise and trust their recommendations.
- Monitor Progress: Keep a close eye on the progress of your SEO project to ensure it aligns with your business objectives.
- Adapt to Changes: Be willing to adapt to changes and updates in SEO algorithms and best practices.
- Long-Term Perspective: Approach your SEO project with a long-term perspective, understanding that results may take time.
- Review Reports: Review detailed reports provided by your consultant and seek clarification if needed.
- Collaborate on Content: Collaborate with your consultant on content development and optimization strategies.
- Stay Committed: Show commitment to the partnership and actively participate in the SEO project.
- Avoid Micromanagement: While staying involved is crucial, avoid micromanaging your consultant, as it may hinder their work.
- Address Concerns Promptly: Address any concerns or issues promptly to prevent them from escalating.
- Celebrate Achievements: Celebrate the milestones and achievements of your SEO project together.
- Strengthen Your SEO Partnership: Establishing and nurturing a long-term partnership with an SEO consultant will enable you to strengthen your online presence.
This article was updated on November 20, 2023.