Monday, 28 January 2013

5 top tips to a smooth SEO-client relationship

It seems like everyone has an idea of what ‘SEO’ means these days – whether it’s correct or not.
It used to be that an agency needed to explain SEO from top to bottom to a potential client, but lately clients at Summit Web Solutions are more often coming to us with a pre-formed idea as to what SEO is.
With the myriad Internet marketing blogs, websites and affordable SEO tools out there, it seems like most business leaders now can grasp just enough information to understand the basic principles of SEO.
But while most of us wouldn’t read a bit of a law blog and then approach someone to defend them in court, some clients think nothing of approaching an agency with their idea of SEO already firmly in mind. This can lead to preconceptions as to what an agency’s SEO work should involve and what the outcome ought to be.
So how do you correct the misconceptions, win the work and build a great client relationship? These are my five top tips – honed over time and experience – to create a smoother SEO-client relationship.

1. Explain your processes

We have been approached on more than one occasion by a potential client who thought that SEO was something you do once and then ‘ta-da’ you were top of Google. (That’s almost a quote from an e-mail I received recently).
SEO agencies therefore have a challenge when it comes to client education and managing expectations. Clients need to know what we mean by ‘SEO’ work. This means we must carefully explain the SEO process to most new clients, including:
  • Keyword research: How we go about choosing keywords, finding potential market niches and how we weigh the options against the competition for those keywords to find those that are achievable in the medium-long term.
  • On-page optimization: The importance of priming a page for chosen keywords, but in a way that isn’t spammy and won’t fall foul of Google’s Panda updates (such as the one in December).
  • Website auditing: For larger sites, we may look at the whole website structure in terms of its accessibility for search engines, internal linking structures, accidental duplicate content and other factors that could limit their search market reach.
  • Competitor analysis: The work we undertake to understand the sites that already rank for the chosen keywords and how that affects the SEO strategy.
  • Link building: Link building in particular has taken a reputational hit since the Google Penguin updates began, with sites still struggling to recover. So it’s important to explain the process in terms of quality, not quantity – and why that will require good, solid content generation through the campaign.
This sets the foundation for the understanding both of the workload for a proper SEO campaign, but also why that work also comes with the price tag that we as agencies need to charge.

2. Simplify your terminology

jargon-word-cloud
The marketing and SEO industry has plenty of its own geeky terminology, starting with the term ‘SEO’ itself. When your clients run the gamut from carpet cleaners to business consultants, you’re going to have a wide range of knowledge level within the client base when it comes to understanding these terms.
Before heading out to an initial client meeting, consider jotting down the main terms you are going to explain. And don’t be afraid to offer the client ‘interruption rights’ during your meeting so that they can ask questions as they come to mind.
Doing this reinforces your knowledge to the client but also fosters a better working relationship. It lets them know you’re not some dark warlock performing SEO wizardry in your castle but an honest Internet marketer working in your clients’ best interest. SEO has in the past been perceived as a dark art – an image only reinforced by industry terminology like “white hat” and “black hat.”
Educating your client does not reduce your chances of winning the work. If anything, we have found it can increase that likelihood.

3. Show your results

One of the best selling points of SEO is its measurability. Granted, since the appearance of (not provided) in our Google Analytics, one metric has become somewhat less helpful. But there are many different conversion metrics you can work with.
Once you understand your client’s business or website, you know what results they care about. That enables you to report on:
  • Successful website sales
  • Inquiry forms completed
  • Blog posts read
Or any other metric you and your client use to measure success of your work. Make the results of your work relevant to the client. If a client is ranking well for “purple dinosaurs,” connect the dots for them to show the visitors that have resulted from that. If a client has seen increased website sales, go through your Analytics Conversion Funnel and show that the cause is increased search engine visitors.
We produce two monthly report for all of our SEO clients which contain additional helpful information explaining their statistics. That report ends with some recommendations and conclusions, so that the client is not just fed abstract data, but they are given something tangible to do in the coming month to help their SEO campaign.

4. Include your clients

Our best SEO results have come through working in tandem with our clients. This means there are some activities we choose to give them to do, under our guidance. This may be content creation, website bug fixing or encouraging them to promote their website content more over social media.
As we are still in tough times economically, anything you delegate to your client keeps their SEO costs down and helps their cashflow. You may feel that doesn’t build your agency, but we have learned it is better to do a little work initially and then grow with the businesses we support.

5. Display your value

If you didn’t think you could add value to your clients’ businesses, you wouldn’t be doing SEO. So don’t be afraid to talk about what you bring to the table.
As an SEO, you have knowledge and expertise. As an agency, of whatever size, you have to:
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest algorithm changes
  • Understand the technical implications of site-wide structural changes
  • Talk about website design and the importance of mobile search
  • Understand the client’s competition
  • Look at their business as a whole to advise the best approach to SEO in keeping with the client’s business goals and aims.
We have found that some clients come in thinking they want just “SEO” but are often just as grateful for our business advice, branding guidance and social media training.
The roles of the SEO are only going to become increasingly diverse. If you offer SEO services, be self-assured in the knowledge and expertise you bring to the client relationship, but do not be afraid to educate them either. The better you communicate with a client, the more you’ll be able to work together to bring their businesses and websites success.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search Engine Market ShareSEO is the active practice of optimizing a web site by improving internal and external aspects in order to increase the traffic the site receives from search engines. Firms that practice SEO can vary; some have a highly specialized focus, while others take a more broad and general approach. Optimizing a web site for search engines can require looking at so many unique elements that many practitioners of SEO (SEOs) consider themselves to be in the broad field of website optimization (since so many of those elements intertwine).
This guide is designed to describe all areas of SEO - from discovery of the terms and phrases that will generate traffic, to making a site search engine friendly, to building the links and marketing the unique value of the site/organization's offerings. Don't worry, if you are confused about this stuff, you are not alone.

Why does my company/organization/website need SEO?

The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines - Google , Bing  andYahoo! . If your site cannot be found by search engines or your content cannot be put into their databases, you miss out on the incredible opportunities available to websites provided via search - people who want what you have visiting your site. Whether your site provides content, services, products, or information, search engines are a primary method of navigation for almost all Internet users. (See: Search Engine Market Share below)
Search queries, the words that users type into the search box which contain terms and phrases best suited to your site, carry extraordinary value. Experience has shown that search engine traffic can make (or break) an organization's success. Targeted visitors to a website can provide publicity, revenue, and exposure like no other. Investing in SEO, whether through time or finances, can have an exceptional rate of return.

Why can't the search engines figure out my site without SEO help?

Search engines are always working towards improving their technology to crawl the web more deeply and return increasingly relevant results to users. However, there is and will always be a limit to how search engines can operate. Whereas, the right moves can net you thousands of visitors and attention, the wrong moves can hide or bury your site deep in the search results where visibility is minimal. In addition to making content available to search engines, SEO can also help boost rankings so that content that has been found will be placed where searchers will more readily see it. The online environment is becoming increasingly competitive, and those companies who perform SEO will have a decided advantage in visitors and customers.

How much of this article do I need to read?

If you are serious about improving search traffic and are unfamiliar with SEO, we recommend reading this guide front-to-back. There's a printable PDF version for those who'd prefer, and dozens of linked-to resources on other sites and pages that are worthy of your attention. Although this guide is long, we've attempted to remain faithful to Mr. William Strunk's famous quote:

Sunday, 6 January 2013

SEO Tutorial

SEO Tutorial - Search Engine OptimalizationWhat is SEO

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a very important technique for any website willing to be noticed. This technique is the technical part of online marketing as it helps to promote your website but it also needs some technical knowledge and skills. With everyone using the internet to obtain information has SEO becoming very important the last years to attract visitors to your site through search engines. With SEO you want your website to appear higher in search engines results for certain keywords which will result in a higher volume or quality of visitors.
We started this website with skills we built working with companies like FlemishCompanies.com and Infocom Limited .
With SEO there are a lot of factors to think about and it needs a lot of devotion if you want to do it right. Each seo tutorial will inform you about the different aspects of search engine optimization and how to adapt your site to correct SEO. At first it is import to know how search engines work and how they look at your site. Continuing the seo tutorial you need to adapt your site for thekeywords you want to rank well by changing the content and modifying the metatags. Afterwards you need start applying linking strategies and keep track of your progress by using SEO Tools but be aware of common mistakes in SEO. SEO tutorial is a great start for learning search engine optimization  and following these steps of each seo tutorial will make your site rank better, following the SEO Tutorial blog will keep your site on that rank!

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