The Client Roles in SEO Success

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The success (or failure) of a SEO project is very often entirely attributed to the SEO consultant or agency, however the client itself has a critical role to play in the outcome of a SEO project.

SEO Results: A Shared Responsability between the Agency and the Client

Over the years, I have heard of projects stalling or not delivering the expected results partly because the client did not communicate correctly with the agency, did not play its expected role in the implementation or simply because it did not expect to have anything to do with the project.

Do not get me wrong, I strongly believe that the SEO agency or consultant is the main warrant of a SEO project's success. The consultant has an expertise and that is why is being hired. The consultant needs to have skills, experience as he is the one, who do the researches, analysis and recommendations.
The consultant should also be a specialist in communicating effectively with the client whatever the client's personality. The consultant should be able to deal with client's request while pointing out the main priorities and tasks of the project to deliver the appropriate results.

What I am trying to say, it that clients have an important role to play in the project outcome as they plays central roles at various dimensions of the project. In most case, they need to be pro-active and distribute resources effectively to ensure maximum results.

Coordinating SEO Implementation

One of the most important role of the client is the implementation of the SEO recommendations. In many projects, the SEO consultant is hired to provide analysis and recommendations on how to improve a client's website rankings, but does not actually do the implementation. Most of the time, the implementation done by the client IT team or a third party provider.
The SEO Consultant plays a role in assisting the client with the implementation, however the client do need to allocate appropriate resources to make the correct implementation possible in a timely manner.

Project Briefing & Information Circulation

Often overlooked, but crucial is the initial client briefing. Although the consultant will do in-depth research on the project, nothing replace in-house knowledge. The client is the best to know its industry and business and should try to circulate this information as best as it can to the consultant. Very often approximate briefs jeopardise the SEO project effectiveness.

On the same topic, it is likely that the SEO consultant will have questions, which will need answers. Late and approximative replies, often leads to project delays and confusion. Being available is therefore highly important to ensure that the SEO Consultant can work properly.

Coordinating Resources and Interactions

When the project involve different party such as 3rd party vendor or different departments within the client's company, it is crucial to insure appropriate communication, resources allocations and coordination. For many political and organisational reasons, SEO Consultants are often not in a position to contact other departments or 3rd party vendor directly. As a result the client should make sure that flow of communication is correct and that each party cooperate and can interact effectivelly.

As a summary, I hope this post will make sense to clients and SEO consutants. For the client to better understand how to work with a SEO Agency. For SEO consultants to remind that the client has an important role to play too and he/she should therefore be involved in the project. At the end of the day each party will benefit from an effective cooperation.


Unknown said...

The biggest challenge is not just coordinating the developers but persuading the client AND the developers that what you're recommending is important. SEO consultants are often too thorough with lots of nice to haves that may or may not have impact

My advice - make a developer specific implemtation guide and don't include everything you did in the recommendation document. And then build a relationship with the developer so they want to help.

Alban G. said...

Hi Joel,

Thanks for your comment. This it spot on! You are totally right. A step by step implementation guide is a key factor of success so is a healthy relationship with the developer..

It is giving me ideas for a new post

Andy @ FirstFound said...

Excellent post. SEO is a partnership between the consultant and client.

If you were having a house built, you wouldn't just tell the builder "I want a house" and then walk away - there'd be discussions on number of rooms, floorspace, things like that.

Jason Hein said...

SEO work should be dine hand in hand by a firm and its clients. Thanks for sharing this post. If you get the chance, feel free to visit my site.

Anonymous said...

Hey great post. Thought I'm not sure I agree with you 100%. Keep em coming. Are you interested in having anyone guest post opposing views?

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