Thinking and Communicating like an SEO, Marketer and a Client
Several viewpoints of thought are essential for Internet marketers. All areas need to think like the other to coexist and to execute a successful SEO campaign. Before I began diving into the sales world, I never thought of SEO from a sales perspective. Likewise, if I hadn’t worked in SEO prior to sales, I wouldn’t full understand why it is so important to integrate the two.
During the sales process, it is very easy for the lines of realistic outcomes to become blurred. Once this happens, a client’s campaign is fast tracking towards disaster. Managing client expectations is a phrase that is constantly being thrown around the office. Managing expectations is the first step in the right direction for an SEO campaign.
Expose the Realistic Possibilities
It is important that the client understands that SEO’s do not control Google, although we would all like to. We have control over the work we do and the deliverables at the end of the month. Promising specific ranking results or outcomes in place of reporting on tested research, link building efforts, and other deliverables is just asking for an unhappy client. Realistic goals should be discussed at the beginning of the relationship, and if the client has unrealistic expectations, it is the sale’s persons and SEO’s job to define a realistic path for their campaign.
Communication is Key
One of the most surefire ways to avoid these mishaps is communication. Communication between the sales team and the people carrying out the work is essential. While a marketer might think ranking #1 for “trees” in month 1 is feasible, an SEO specialist will tell you “no way, no how.”
Actually, they probably won’t even say anything– they will just laugh and think you are joking with them. Taking a couple minutes to speak with your SEO team about a client’s campaign could save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
Skip the Tactics, Strategize Like a Marketer
On the flip side, it is crucial that SEO’s think like marketers. If a campaign isn’t working for the client, it is the SEO’s job to identify it and bring it to the sale’s team’s attention. This way, a different approach can be recommended for the client. If a client starts a campaign and wants 15 blog posts written a month, but you discover that they really should be producing an awesome piece of content as link bait, it is your job to convince the client of it’s worth. Taking on this mindset will deliver better results for the client, help out the sales people, and keep your company very happy with you.
Put Yourself in the Client’s Shoes
Lastly, the most important person to think like is the client. No one knows the client’s campaign better than the SEO working on it. That being said, when it comes time to talk to the client, we, as SEO specialists, tend to rattle on about metrics, SERPs, link bait, etc. without realizing that the client has NO idea what we are talking about. Instead of rambling on about the technical aspects, explain what it is and what it means to them. Not only will this help them understand, but also if the client understands what it is and how it will benefit them, they are much more likely to approve your suggestion.
As an SEO or an old-school marketer, if you can master these different perspectives, you will be paving a path for success for yourself and your clients.