• http://twitter.com/centpercent Raj GROVER

    Thanks Trond. These are the top 10 most difficult points to convince the clients. You’re right. Clients need ‘quick fix’, ‘instant results’, ‘low hourly rates’ , ‘high ranking on Google’ , ‘way ahead of their competition’. They don’t try to understand their own limitations, rather expect SEO consultants to have a magic stick to change the fortune of their website instantly.

  • http://twitter.com/Yakezie Yakezie

    Do you think the SEO is disappearing since there are so many tools that make SEO easy to implement and google’s changes have continued to debunk SEO efficacy time and time again?

  • http://twitter.com/lukeglassford Luke Glassford

    I get number 2 all the time – very annoying and frustrating to tell a client not to do something ‘spammy’ while their competitors continue to rank high and don’t get penalised!

  • keaner

    ha no. because the tools “make it easy” does not mean they do it right. Its often people who know nothing of SEO that use these “Easy Tools”.

    Please explain this :”google’s changes have continued to debunk SEO efficacy time and time again?”

  • Randy Stuck

    #2 Is definitely not restricted to Norway. Here in the US it’s just as big of a deal. It’s quite frustrating to have to say, “I don’t want to risk your brand for the purpose of shady tactics,” over and over again… Google, stop making good SEO’s look bad.

  • http://kercommunications.com/ Nick Ker

    I guess we all have our different peeves due to different types of clients. Many of my clients seem to think 12 months is way too long. No matter how well they say they understand long term goals, the time it takes, etc – I still get that call after a week asking why they aren’t #1 for everything. I often have to pitch my services as if it was a new client on a monthly basis – even when it is an amazingly good month.

    I’d like to add “helpful” clients who decide to buy links on fiverr, add lots more keywords to the carefully crafted page titles, make all the meta descriptions the same as the home page “for consistency”, or just plain do the opposite of what I recommend because of something they read somewhere… Really, if you hire a consultant, are you paying for knowledge and guidance, or are you paying for someone to argue with?

  • http://twitter.com/MandyModGirl Mandy McEwen

    Completely agree with those! I have definitely learned to say “No” more than I say “yes” – I feel like many companies don’t understand how much work it really is. It’s not like we command our fees b/c we are taking advantage of them. SEO is an ever-changing field and if you want an SEO consultant that actually keeps up with the times and engages in best practices, not spammy link-building, then you need to invest a decent amount of money and not just 1 time. Bottom line – you get what you pay for an nowhere is this more accurate than in the SEO world.
    Thanks for the article!

  • http://www.facebook.com/andreakoz Andrea Koz

    Also, on-page is seen as easy compared to comprehensive SEO that includes both page and technical. The back end can get so complicated that there’s still solid career options for SEOs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andreakoz Andrea Koz

    You had me at “low quality KPIs.”

  • http://twitter.com/CheapFitness Steve Blackburn

    story of my life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sergey.lucktinov Sergey Lucktinov

    No tool will replace good SEO professional.

  • http://twitter.com/amalsilva Amal Silva

    Me too get number 2 most of the time and I have to do lot of work no number 5 as well.
    Thanks for the article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.xiao.39 Bob Xiao

    The best SEO consultants story I’ve ever read(not “one of”)

  • seonaresh

    I am absolutely delighted with the way the author has presented the
    problems faced by SEO professional. Atleast, from now onwards the
    service seeker should respect the limitations of the field and allow
    full freedom to the professional they hired.

  • Devanur Rafi

    Excellent article and very true. We SEO consultants unfortunately face clients with unrealistic expectations. ‘Educating the client’ has become a part of life for most of us.

  • Guest

    Learning to say no is an important skill to have. You know that nagging feeling you get when you feel like the client may not be the best fit for your business? Listen to it. There are many good reasons to say no. The easiest way to find out if a client is the right fit for you is to ask a lot of questions and communicate reasonable expectations for the results of your work. Thanks for the article Trond. I suspect that you’ve hit a chord with many SEO professionals, regardless of whether they’ve left a comment or not.

  • Mansoor Shaikh

    Yes..That is so true. One of my client who have eCommerce website want to drive traffic for his website. He knows that his niche is high competitive and still want to get ranking for his keywords in low time frame. I very well know in SEO we can predict ranking but we can not predict time frame for what time exactly the keywords will be in ranking. They need to understand that SEO is not a hurry job if we do it wrong way the whole campaign will be nothing but waste of time and money. When they say your competitors are offering much lower than you that means he must be tasting you as if you lower your bid amount with same time frame and result.

    By the way I want to read this article my client. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/VNiranjan Niranjan VibhanDik

    Now I don’t to put lots of efforts to convince my client. I will just tell him have look up on your point of “IT consultant can fix everything”. Thank you Trond.

  • http://twitter.com/NurraizanA nurraizan azal

    Hi Trond Lyngbø Thanks for the insights. I guess clients have high expectations of the SEO result because they don’t really know how SEO works. Hence I agree with you, that every client, should be reminded that SEO effect is not immediate. And that the SEO effort needs to be documented, so if the client is doing other forms of SEO that the SEO agency doesn’t know about, it will not be detrimental to the total result.

  • http://www.facebook.com/seoexpert2 Yosh Anown

    aw, that’s a big yes!
    having these kind of problems too.
    Especially when they think they are right.

  • http://twitter.com/perSEO_perse Jorge Alonso

    It seems to me that sometimes the unique way to make understandable and credible what Trond is greatly explaining here (and I completely agree) is that the person listening to it is another SEO consultant that, at the same time, is part of the client in-house staff or a colleague. SEO is not an act of faith but it is (or should be) a work based on experience, extensive knowledge and comprehension about search engines, online-offline market and users behavior. Also, every opinion is valid but to contract an SEO professional and then constantly doubt about every single advice and recommendation given is like go to the doctor and disagree its opinion and take other medication rather than the prescribed one (or just not to take any).

    PS. On the other hand, we must admit that SEO usually changes so fast, that some kind of external (and internal) skepticism is almost a need.

  • http://www.merlinox.com Merlinox

    May I add the “keyword rank obsession”? Clients that watchs only one/two keyword rank and are uncare about conversion-organic traffic-quality-… ;)

  • Nicola Brown

    Thanks for the post – it made me laugh (slightly despairingly) with recognition at many of these. So pleased to hear we’re not the only ones banging our head on the desk at some clients behaviour. I love the clients who let us get on with what we know best and this is when we can get fantastic results. The others who like to think they (or their friend
    down the pub) know best seem to like wasting their money on good advice only to throw it all away with a few of their own mis-judged changes to their seo campaigns. Guess who gets the call a few weeks later to ask why their rankings have changed! From experience, client education is an ongoing process within any campaign. As well as the
    ability to quickly spot a client’s diy attempt at seo before they become seo disasters.

  • http://twitter.com/an_in_di_ta Anindita Debnath

    Did I say amen? :)

  • Chris R

    LOL, I totally understand. I have heard similar things

  • Jim Teresinski

    One thing I find interesting in regards to articles you find about SEO on sites like Search Engine Land and many other SEO providers sites even, about link building, is that almost always they feature an advertisement for – yep, some link building company. Here apparently, Page One Power is even one of Search Engine Lands sponsors for gosh sakes. Seems pretty hypocritical to advise us to not have anything to do with a product/service you’re promoting yourselves

  • http://twitter.com/recovreputation Steven W. Giovinco

    Oh, yes, thanks for the post! Saying “no” is important, and I’ve paid for not doing so (I’m on the reputation management side, where it might be even more important to stay clear of difficult clients). Number 1–the quick fix–is also, well, number one request for clients too.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    “Their competitors have been using tricky techniques for years, and yet nobody stops them or penalizes them for such actions.”

    It seems like I am constantly fighting that battle as well. Yes, your competition is doing it and yes, they are getting away with it–but no, you can’t do that. I know it’s so frustrating to play by the rules and feel like the cheaters are pulling ahead but you just have to stick to your guns.

  • http://optimizefuquayvarina.com/ Stephen Peacock

    I agree with your whole list but am totally feeling “Content is Easy” with a current project. Thanks for venting for us all!

  • Clay

    Great post! I have the perfect client to share this with!!!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Can I use it on my blog?

  • http://twitter.com/1weekSEO Nina Greaves

    My favourite is age old but I still get is asked weekly: How long before I get to Page 1 of Google and how much will it cost?

  • Dino Maiolo

    One that I’ve heard a lot from prospects lately, “I heard SEO is dead.” Usually from clients who have had experience with #2 on your list.

  • http://twitter.com/HeatherMktg Heather Curtis

    #8 – just had to deal with this yesterday

  • Matt McGee

    We don’t allow our articles to be reprinted elksewhere, Clay. Sorry. Feel free to write about the article if you wish, of course.

  • robthespy

    A few things I tell our clients ( & prospective clients):

    -You’re hiring a consulting service….

    -If you decide to implement our suggestions, we will be all over your marketing, development, management and IT staff to get them done. Even if we have to come into your office every week to make sure people are doing what they’re supposed to be. And remember, you’re paying us by the hour.

    -We don’t guarantee rankings, sales or ROI. We do guarantee measurable results…after establishing goals and clear lines of reporting.

    -Here’s an example of what we expect from our clients over a six month period. Is that something your organization can handle? If not, please call us when you can.

  • Sabeeh ul Hassan

    100% agreed. I just hate that moment when clients ask Pay for Performance.

  • Guest


  • Derek Abbring

    I think this article is quite self satisfying to the seo who knows it takes countless hours of dedicated work thats built from a solid knowledge & understanding of what it takes to rank a site for the terms we are after. With that being said, I would also like to make #11…social focus over search traffic. With the grounds being that too many business are allocating way to many resources to try and build (and hopefully retain) a large social following that migrates toward the website for conversions. Yet, social traffic seems to be across the board, the least valuable traffic.. specially when compared to the targeted search engine traffic any decent seo’er can obtain.

  • http://m1c.com/ Ali Almoosawi

    You are reading my mind, as a web consultant! Mandy, i agree with you too, if they don’t want to invest, then i will not waste my time with such clients. Loved the article..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Timcanfixitnow/100001341338122 Tim Timcanfixitnow

    Excellent, except I was was expecting the number 1 answer to the title ”

    10 Things Most SEO Consultants Hate” would be not to be noticed for helping others GET noticed.

  • http://www.interneta-vietnes.lv Una

    I’m from Baltic states and here people still don’t understand that you should pay for services like this. I had one potential client who said at the end that he is going to do everything by himself. Not to mention that previously he didn’t even know what Internet Marketing is. I have spent hours and hours talking with him, researching, but at the end he paid me 0 and didn’t even thank me.

  • Steve Palmer

    And if it was easy everyone would be doing it … actually, everyone IS doing it! They just aren’t doing it correctly. It’s good too know others are having the same experiences in our line of work.

  • Gui

    Hei Una, I’m also working in the Baltic States (Estonia) and even in that very IT-skilled-oriented country, it looks like SEO (and in general webmarketing) is quite a new thing. I had a very similar example a few months ago but that was for a job offer. I had a first meeting with the CEO of a small SMS Gateway to talk marketing strategy/SEO .. it went well and after the meeting he promised he’ll send me an offer soon (I never received it of course) but he would like me to write down a full SEO strategy for him !? Obviously I replied I could not do that as I was already employed and that’s something I would do as my first task at my new position.. never heard from that guy ever again !

  • Gui

    Unfortunately all this is true.. it’s so hard to find people who really understand SEO and do not ask you every day, ‘so where are we with our SEO?’

  • http://kercommunications.com/ Nick Ker

    Not sure what ad network(s) SEL is using, but a lot of ads you see are based on things the individual user has searched or visited and are not usually hand picked by the site’s editorial staff. I think that is what is happening here. I don’t see any link building ads, just Google Engage for Agencies – probably because I’ve recently been searching for some PPC info. So if you keep seeing ads for Page One Power everywhere, you have probably visited that site or searched something their ad campaign is targeting.

    That said, I guess they could block certain advertisers that have a clear conflict of interest with the messaging of SEL.

  • http://twitter.com/MrMazharShah Mazhar Shah

    Well, I enjoyed reading useful post about to the SEO consultancy! Special i like the people response about to their justification about getting result or not. :)

  • Tarun Bharadwaj

    sir, completely agree with 1st and 2nd one….clients need results so quickly.

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  • Bryan Gauthier

    I probably agree to those 10 most challenging situations that SEO consultants really hate. The very first thing I hate the most is that the quick fixes. Yes, I know that it is really our aim to top rank easily but in doing such thing is very hard. There are some techniques that could help you to top rank easily but it will not long last since you have a lot of competitors in this industry and also Google algorithms keeps on updating so we are not really sure that we could stick to be on top at all times and as fast as you wanted. It is said that patience is a virtue.

  • http://twitter.com/paticalamaro Patricia Del Cerro G

    Point number 2! OMG. Finally sndy said it. Here in Argentina happens the same as in Norway. I see a lot of times sitess using black hat and I cant believe they rank so well!
    But I think this same thing happens in Latin American sites too. Sometimes (well, often) I think Google only cares about US and UK (England) and that they are only strict with them.