The problem of being an SEO consultant: it’s always your fault
This publication contains tips on how to perform SEO, either within your company or for a client, instead of practical tips on SEO.
I thought it might bother a group of people, in particular SEO Consultants! However, the reaction has been excellent and, as a result, I wanted to write a follow up for you, which contains more a list of action items, instead of just having a rant.
Also in this post I wanted to take a different viewpoint. My previous post talked more about how to know everything about SEO does not matter if you really do not make sure that SEO is done. In this publication, I want to address some of the excuses that SEO Consultants use when tasks are not done, specifically, why it is always your fault if these tasks are not done.
I could probably generalize this a bit and say that things that are not done is a common problem among consultants in many industries. We are often paid to consult and give expert advice, not necessarily do things. In my opinion, however, when it comes to SEO, if the SEO you recommend is not done, it’s your fault.
Yes it is. It’s not the fault of
The first time I heard this in a training session I went to a few months after I joined Distilled, I was ready to discuss. Something like this was going through my head before as well
“But if the client does not do what I tell them, it’s their fault”
“But if the developers have no idea what a title tag is and can not change it, it’s their fault”
It was my fault, I should not be pointing a finger and blaming someone else.
Because it’s my fault?
Because the client is paying me to make a difference in their business and give them an ROI. They are not paying me to tell them things and leave them to them. While many consultants in other industries work like this, I do not think SEO Consultants should do it. SEO continues to evolve and is still a relatively new concept for many people and they need a little more help to do it. The best SEO consultancy in the world does not mean anything if it is not done.
To try to explain this more thoroughly, I have some examples below of scenarios that are quite common in the world of SEO consulting, which also apply to both internal SEO. Each of these is a case where you think you’ve done your job, but in reality, you have not.
You submit a report and think that your work is done
I made this mistake. I have spent hours and hours producing a report for a client. At that time, I did not realize it was a report, I thought it was a strategy. Here are some examples of the types of reports:
Technical audits of the site.
Analysis of the competition
Link building strategies
Within these reports there was a lot of information, SEO advice and recommendations for the client. I was absolutely sure that all the things I recommended would give customers a long-term website for the benefit of SEO. Sometimes these would be 30 pages! Wow – tons of information!
Did the client read it? Do not
They did not want a 30-page report from me, all they wanted to know was what they had to do. What would have been better, would be to give them a small and actionable list of items that, if they are made, will do x, y, z for their business. It can be as simple as …
Submit your website to the local business directories in the attached spreadsheet
Add a call to action on your website for people to leave comments on their Google Places account
Create an XML sitemap and send it to Google Webmaster Tools
All these things are tasks that can go to the list of pending tasks of the clients. Simplicity makes it much more likely to be done. This is much better than writing a long paragraph that explains how having more revisions in your Google Places account can help your rankings and how you should add a call to action to get them.
I also give a document that details each of the actions, this is still necessary to give a context to what you are saying. This can include things like links to help files on Google about how to do things like XML site maps, etc. But the list of pending tasks is the objective and what becomes the delivery, it is your job to make this list of jobs.
Do not deliver a report document, give a strategy along with a list of tasks that can be done, then make sure they are done
Addressing the following reason why it is your fault, this type of advice would work for most clients, but not for everyone. It depends on the type of client they are and how well they know them.
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