For SEO professionals, how familiar is this scenario? After the company completes and adds all work to a client’s website, including tags, content, and links, it starts to see traffic and ranks increase slowly but steadily. Then, after a few months, ranks and traffic hit a plateau. Why isn’t the search engine more responsive? Could something be wrong with the website? Is a Google update going on? Or, is it just another incarnation of the “sandbox effect?” So, your SEO professionals check out to find that, lo and behold, your metadata is gone or, worse, has been changed. What gives?
So, you contact the client, and they say something along the lines of, “But my site wasn’t moving as fast as I wanted.” And, you explain that the search engines are not a NASCAR race. If a website has such movement, spam or black hat tactics were employed in some form. A steady climb produces more reliable results. But, such assertions frequently fall on deaf ears.
To top it off, the client never contacted your company to discuss the SEO strategy. They just went ahead and did it themselves. Much like the whole “Ecce Home” debacle in Spain last week, a client’s ranks and traffic begin to drop.
SEO and internet marketing skills are an art, and much like amateur restoration painter Cecilia Gimenez botched the fresco in the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Borja, Spain, a client’s ranks and traffic start to see a downward slope once ill-informed or dated SEO tactics are applied. It’s just a bunch of keywords, right? Wrong. Keyword density, content quality, and links are never the same, and when it comes down to what’s good for a website, an SEO professional’s knowledge trumps an amateur’s.
This is why communication between a client and SEO company is crucial. So, for a client, rather than changing metadata without explanation, consider these points:
Set Expectations from the Get-Go
Clients, what are your expectations for the SEO contract? How much of a traffic increase are you looking for? What keywords do you want to move? At the start and periodically through a contract, contact and speak with an SEO professional about your goals. An SEO professional, in turn, can discuss whether or not these are reasonable and can brainstorm strategies for achieving these milestones.
Don’t Play Mind Games
Relationships, from friendships to dating, work out better when both individuals have clear and open communication lines. Playing mind games along the lines of “Guess my thoughts” irritates one or both parties: one individual doesn’t get his or her needs met, and the other becomes sick of guessing and postulating.
The continuum between an SEO company and its client follows such a pattern. Don’t say what you want? You won’t get what you want. Go behind someone’s back? The other grows suspicious and questions fidelity and motivations.
Much like mind games are the downfall of any relationship, responsiveness is equally crucial. When an SEO company sends you an update, don’t just delete it. Instead, read through it to understand, fully, what is being done and going on. Your SEO company took time to put together a list, analysis, and assessment, and the least a client can do is read and follow-up with a response, be it a simple acknowledgement or questions.
Ranks fluctuate regardless of who makes the changes and who does the work. When a client meddles with metadata, the search engines do not think, “Well, they’re trying – let’s give them a few bonus points!” Instead, all changes are considered on an equal plane: is the tag or content keyword stuffed? Are the links relevant? Understand that your changes have as much effect as a professional’s, and no learning curve is considered when it comes to traffic and rank fluctuations.