Most companies in the market for a search engine optimization firm have some idea about what that firm should do and how to measure candidates. Fewer think about how to be a good SEO client when interacting with their search engine optimization company. Although this may seem like just a different take on being a good business partner or making the most of an investment, it is important to consider the issue and identify specific goals, perspectives, and practices that enable a client to be effective. To ignore this is to risk wasting not only the SEO investment but the opportunity for a lasting business relationship.
First, most important, and most obvious, the client must prioritize clear communication. This takes patience, concentration, a desire to listen as much as speak, and an ability to convey ideas in multiple ways. A company that doesn’t want to spend the time necessary to be sure every important idea is communicated clearly and understood by everyone involved is more likely to experience an SEO campaign that doesn’t match goals or expectations, which can be frustrating and costly.
Another part of communication is prompt responsiveness and accountability. The client must be able to pass ideas between its levels of management and team members efficiently to respond to requests or questions from the vender. This means holding relevant IT employees, the webmaster, and the principal project leader accountable for responding to communication cogently and in a timely manner. Failing these two characteristics, it is unlikely that the search engine optimization firm will be able to deliver the needed services cost-efficiently.
Another core priority of successful SEO clients is understanding. This means understanding that the vender is running a business, that together the two companies form a partnership, and recognizing that effective SEO is a dynamic process that evolves and becomes more effective over time. Every search engine optimization firm values its reputation, maintaining high customer satisfaction, and its ability to execute clients’ projects cost efficiently. So they want to get clear feedback early if they aren’t doing that. Similarly, a client that understands that SEO is dynamic can sculpt a better budget. The project leader will be better at managing expectations and will facilitate creating more reasonable deliverables. As a result, both sides will be more satisfied and interested in continuing the project. These two factors also increase the likelihood that the team members on the client’s end will make more of an effort to concretely understand how SEO works. This decreases the odds of payment problems due to, again, unmet or unarticulated expectations.
Each of these characteristics of a good SEO client helps the client to recognize what its responsibilities are and what is can and should expect from the search engine optimization or search engine marketing firm so that the project is ultimately successful.