• http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    That’s absolutely right, Mandy. I often tell my
    consulting clients, “You’re not getting a few hours of my time, you’re
    getting many years of my experience!” The biggest mistake is to position
    yourself as an SEO consultant (or be perceived by your clients) as an “$X
    per hour” service provider. The real cost of being (and continuing to be)
    a top SEO specialist is the hours and dollars spent in keeping up with
    ever-changing trends, staying on top of changes, knowing what really works
    through extensive testing, and dealing with several issues across various
    niches and industries. That’s the real expertise we are paid for, not just
    optimizing on-site content or building quality links back to a client website. Thanks
    for sharing that perspective, Mandy.

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    This made me laugh out loud, Nick… “or are
    you paying for someone to argue with?” I’m sure every SEO consultant will be able to relate to this experience!

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    That can be a real challenge, and one I still face and overcome in my practice, though it’s getting better. Like any service, the benefits of what you offer must be your selling point – and buyers may not always see the true value in what you can do for them. It’s often easier when they’ve had a bad experience earlier, or have tried the “do it yourself” way, and it didn’t work out well. That’s when they are more willing to listen to an “expert”.

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Ah, Nina, if only the answer to that evergreen question were simple and straightforward! How easy life would become for SEO consultants pitching their offer to a potential client. :-)

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Nicola, I agree with your point of education being an ongoing need in an SEO consultant’s engagement with a client. Many firms make a compelling “education-marketing” pitch at the beginning, but then seem to trail off, hoping the client will just leave them to do their work.

    It rarely works that way. Most clients want some amount of hand-holding and an explanation of the rationale behind what you’re doing while you do it. It doesn’t help that SEO results are not usually “instant” or even “quick”, which only makes the role of ongoing education ever more important.

    With that said, it is important to select and work with clients who will then avoid interfering in your work, and support you by co-ordinating your SEO efforts with their other departments. There are a few who want you to explain everything clearly, and then will continue to interfere and step on your toes. That’s when it’s time to say “No” – firmly and clearly.

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    It is difficult, but important – both for yourself and your client. Once you take on a “difficult” client, it becomes harder to later let go and walk away – especially if you’re being paid well for your services. That’s when it’s a tough choice to keep the money, and go down the route of constant arguing, lack of support, and increasing frustration… or walk away. Far better to do it right in the beginning, if you feel there isn’t a good match between yourself and your prospective client. That’s my personal opinion, based on more than a fair share of difficult experiences in the past!

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Derek, I think with regard to social search, we are still in a phase of evolution, with not many people quite sure about the impact it could have in the future, not just on traffic that comes from social sites, but how such a social presence will impact organic search results and rankings also.

    I look on it as a kind of “defense play” to safeguard one’s ranking and position against an unclear future. Even if the traffic is less valuable today, it’s affordable enough to secure a social rank – but that might change in the future, especially if the value of social marketing peaks suddenly.

    Think about how easy (and powerful) it once was to get a listing in Yahoo’s directory back in the 1990′s and how valuable that became over the next decade. Maybe “social” is the new “Yahoo!” :-)

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    It’s one of my favorite peeves, Stephen. I work with clients who need a huge volume of content created, and hearing that “it’s easy” really gets me riled up! It’s not. At least, not the right kind of content for SEO purposes.

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Randy, I sure hope someone at the Big G is listening to you… and me! :-)

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Yes, Luke, that’s what makes it difficult to convince a client. They just pull up search results and see the top ranked sites doing exactly what we are advising them AGAINST doing… and then the conversation gets difficult! Taking the long view and trying to explain how this kind of behavior could lead to penalties which make any benefit short-lived might help change their perspective. The trouble is that when one junk site is removed from the SERPs, another one replaces it. Sigh! :-)

  • http://kercommunications.com/ Nick Ker

    Brings to mind Monty Python’s “Argument Clinic” sketch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

  • http://www.dekh.com/members/profile/13 Harsh Bawa

    “You’re not getting a few hours of my time, you’re getting many years of my experience!”
    the line sums it all.

    It is indeed funny how even after a couple of meetings, clients still ask the same questions again and again. Most of the clients ask for multiple seo proposals from different consultants and end up confusing themselves which one is right or wrong.

    A couple of my clients also had issues with Microsoft office and windows and I had to convince them that this is something I know but I am not an expert in troubleshooting windows.

    We might be at different ends of the world but we face almost the same issues.

    Cheers!!!

  • http://anthonygoodley.com/SEO Anthony Goodley

    I hate that Google blocks access to keyword referral data unless your willing to pony up mega bucks. Lack of access to this vital keyword data makes it really difficult to track what is working and what isn’t. Google do no evil my ….. In the SEO world it doesn’t get more evil than this in my opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/mjancosek Matthew Jancosek

    YES! YES! YES! These are the same problems I encounter all the time. I just lost a job because the owner would not listen to my advice about natural rankings and still went with a company from India that did nothing but link spam. When Google had the Penguin update, several sites went away. Because the sites were not listing anymore became my fault. My lesson from that is to stand up be heard and if they do not take advise = time to move on rather than have your reputation ripped apart by poor judgement.

  • http://www.pimediaservices.com/ Henry Smith

    Being a SEO professional I too always think for my clients only. It is often tough to make them realize that SEO strategies keep on changing. And I also think that there can’t be anything called perfect SEO. What are your thoughts?

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Matthew, I feel your pain, and have been in a similar situation often in the past. It does indeed seem at times as if the client wants an SEO consultant only to argue with, and are more interested in challenging their advise (by not taking it!) than in profiting from the consultant’s experience and expertise. And it’s worse when one is held to account for the poor results after the advise was willfully not followed!

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Patricia, from some other comments, it appears as if the situation is the same even in those countries! It’s like bad parents telling their kids not to smoke, while puffing on their own cigarettes or cigars!

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Right, Bryan. It’s nice to be #1 on Google SERPs. But it’s nicer to be there for a long, long time :-)

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Jarv, that’s exactly what I mean. It would seem impossible for an algorithm to miss something like that, but apparently it does – which leaves SEO consultants struggling to explain to an irate business owner why he or she shouldn’t do the same thing to get higher ranking pages.

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Good one, Tim. Though I guess we do get noticed eventually by our target audience when our clients get ranked well (sometimes we catch the eye of their biggest competitors!) :-)

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    I’ve wasted hours of precious time on this earlier, but have started preparing some informative material that gets used as “education-marketing” content. I share it with new clients to help them understand the role of SEO in their business. In the short time I’ve used this approach, I’ve found it easier to close a sale, and save a lot of time in answering repetitive questions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/henry.smith.96387189 Henry Smith

    Problems faced by SEO consultants

    I completely agree Trond! It becomes increasingly difficult to convince a client when he/she fails to understand that the entire process is lengthy! All they want is overnight results, which is practically impossible. Then they blame us citing that they are not getting the desired results. I so wish I could tell them that the fault is in your product, and we SEO consultants cannot take care of that! But the job is my bread earner, and I cannot afford to lose a client. So, what’s the solution? How to make them understand that it’s not a week long process?