Your Clients want You to Do Random SEO Methods Even If they are Against Your Comprehension! Just Do It?



Horia
How do you handle situations where clients read some random nonsense online and then want to do it, regardless of whether or not it's good for their business?
We spend a lot of time mythbusting and trying to rationally explain to some clients why some random Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tidbit they found online won't improve sales or help their business in any way.
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your clients want you to do random seo methods even if they are against your comprehension just do it
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Steven πŸ‘‘
I create polls here and show my clients what the consensus looks like among SEO professionals. It works for me.
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Horia ✍️ » Steven
That's a great idea, actually! I refer clients to proper resources like the Signals Lab group or solid blog posts written by reputable professionals, too. However, most clients don't have the time, patience or knowledge to peruse an in-depth article or a complex discussion on Signals. A condensed version of what you're trying to prove (like a quick poll) is an awesome way to convey the message in a palatable format.
Truslow πŸŽ“
Funny. When I see an SEO Industry Consensus poll, I'm always tending toward doing the exact opposite of what it says. lol
Horia ✍️ » Truslow
It largely depends on who the participants are.
Steven πŸ‘‘ Β» Truslow
You sound like a contrarian. Are you saying all polls are wrong? LOL
Horia ✍️ » Steven
No, he's saying that all SEO people are wrong. πŸ˜›
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Doc Sheldon πŸŽ“ Β» Steven
I suspect his point is more that those with wrong ideas are often more vocal about them πŸ˜‰
Horia ✍️ » Doc Sheldon
Good to know. From now on, I shall have to voice my opinions in a faint whisper, rather than a raucous, bombastic roar.
From now on, I shall be known as the SEO ASMRtist.
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Doc Sheldon πŸŽ“
Don't whisper, Horia – I certainly wouldn't count you among those with wrong ideas πŸ˜‰
Horia ✍️ » Doc Sheldon
I truly appreciate the sentiment, though my wife seems to think otherwise. Especially in what pertains to my fashion choices. πŸ˜›
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Doc Sheldon πŸŽ“ Β» Horia
We all have our roles in life… your wife obviously knows where her skills are most needed. πŸ˜‰
as does mine!
Truslow πŸŽ“
Yeah – basically my point is that the SEO industry as a whole simply sucks at it. They're thinking keyword density, content length, and bounce rate are ranking factors. They're thinking that huge traffic and top ranking for keywords are the ultimate goal for them to be delivering to their client.
Heck… go to any "Top Ranking Factors of 2022" poll and I would wager that Core Web Vitals (CWV) is in the top 10 – top 5 in many of them. And, while it's true that CWV is a good quick-win type thing to look at because you can improve it, get it solved, and call it a day for relatively low amounts of effort and labor, to think of it as a "Top Important Ranking Factor" is absurd.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Truslow
Yup. I think many people misunderstand that rare skills are, well, rare. While average is commonplace, the entire point of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to be better than the average, better than the obvious, the standard, the widely accepted, so you can beat them.
If you are the 250th SEO entering a market, and you do only the same things that 240 of the SEO users who got there first are doing, but got a head start on, then you expect to rank 250th.
Yes, there are common, baseline practices. But the winning is all about the divergence in the right place. The stuff everyone else thought couldn't be done, or wasn't worth doing, or in some cases, never thought of at all.

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Truslow πŸŽ“
It depends upon what they've heard. Quite often, it ends up being something where it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist – so you don't have to talk them down off the solution they heard about, but explain that it's more likely to create a problem than solve any issue we may already have.
Analogies work, too. If you know the client and what they like and know something about – you can usually find a real world analogy that they can easily relate to and understand. For example, one of my clients in New York is big into baseball. Sports analogies – especially baseball – tend to work great because they deal with numbers and statistics. And, for my NY guy, I get bonus points if my analogy goes to prove how bad the Red Sox suck.

Horia ✍️ » Truslow
That tends to happen a lot of time, yes. They will just blindly wish to attempt some random technique they read about online, without really understand the reasoning behind it.
We also use the analogy approach and you're right, it works well if you can relate it to something they are fond of.
However, it's frustrating when the same client does it over and over again. You've knocked down one misbelief, but here comes the next.
As for the Red Sox, I mean they didn't even know how to spell the word "stockings", so there's that.
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Truslow πŸŽ“
We have something in our contract called the "Angst Buffer." As marketing people, we have a bit of human psychology knowledge. While we're onboarding and talking with a new potential client, we're assessing the "Angst Levels" they are going most likely going to be providing… everything from content delays to the amount of hand holding they'll need. A key aspect to this is whether they need to be "sold" every idea or whether they're at the point where they are going to trust our judgment for the most part and simply sign off on things because that's the way we think it should be done.
This "Angst Buffer" is sort of a hidden fee that gets tacked on to each line item in the proposal for the contract. If we decide there's going to be a lot of angst, maybe we bump all our rates 20% to account for the extra time needed and the extra beer or downers we're going need after each client meeting. If they are wide open and it's going to be less, we can even discount the normal rates a bit – though that's rare with a new client.
We have one client that started out with a 25% Angst Fee – they questioned everything and wanted to know exactly what we were doing with their money. Over the past five years, with each 6 month contract renewal, they've backed down – trusting us more and more each time. They now work at a 10% discount because, for the most part they let us do what we want, we're established well enough that we are certain we can hit goals without extra work, and they are generally great people to work for – especially now that they give us a high level of autonomy.
We've had clients where we under-estimated it – but that can be adjusted in the next cycle. We've had clients where we bumped it up to 50% and still put the bid in because… well… if they are willing to pay that much and we can deliver, it's worth it.
There ARE certain types that you simply can never get around, though. We've had clients where no matter what – they not only tell us what they want, but exactly how to accomplish it. No explaining that their method will not take them to that goal ever works. They simply can't wrap it around their heads that we're the experts in marketing and they need to tell us what they want to achieve and let us decide the way to get there. You can try to tell them that they don't need us – they can pay some rookie in a third world country to execute a plan for $6 an hour and get these same results.
For that type – yeah. After the first contract, you either let it go or slap a HUGE angst fee on it knowing that they're obviously going to go with someone else. lol
Aaron Β» Truslow
I love the idea of the "angst buffer" consideration during onboarding. It truly is a cost concern when a client adds to the timelines for whatever holdups they add to the process!

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Pandey
On top of that; my client set up a monthly meeting with me with his ex-employee digital marketer.
They both like each other so much and keep talking bullshit.

Horia ✍️ » Pandey
Seriously, thought, that's a bit of a red flag right there. I don't quite get the set-up, to be honest. So the guy's a marketer now and is a former employee? Why would they need to sit in on your 1-on-1 time with your client?
Pandey
I don't understand. He got a new website built by our company. Then he asked for doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for his website.
Since that day; he's keeping his eyes on our planning and strategy. Also asked to share my strategy with him so his unprofessional Direct Message (DM) guy can review it.
You'd be happy to know. His digital guy shared some links and asked me to talk with them about acquiring backlinks in exchange for money.
(the client reverts, " what a scientific approach")
I doubt; all of those sites are his own because they are all with low Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA)
Horia ✍️ » Pandey
I mean DA is largely irrelevant. However, getting back to the topic at hand, I'd definitely address the issue with the owner.
This sounds like a hellish environment to work in. This is definitely a situation of too many cooks in the kitchen.
Pandey Β» Horia
Why would I get a link from a site like this when it's not even coming in a Google search the sites looks more link sellers to me.

Petter
I'm the SEO expert in that relationship. That's why they pay me. So, if it will help, but isn't the focus now: add it to the to-do list. If it won't hurt and you want to test it – say ok. If its already tested, say no. If it will hurt, say no. Do so in a diplomatic way (e.g. to the person suggesting it only).

Horia ✍️ » Petter
Ah, yes, ye olde backlog of hell. The list where all bad ideas go to spend an eternity in limbo.
Another unfortunate by-product of the Agile model. πŸ˜›
I agree, though, it's a great way to get rid of unwanted input. "Yeah, yeah, let's just confine this idea to the backlog."
Petter Β» Horia
You prioritize until they forget it πŸ™ƒ

Ammon Johns πŸŽ“
I charge my clients to provide my best advice. Sometimes they may ignore that advice and that's fine. "Who pays the piper calls the tune". You are there to provide expert guidance and counsel, they are not hiring you to boss them around. It's their choice, and always remember that. Hell, I remind my own clients of that.

Roger Β» Ammon Johns
Well said. I had a long time client who went against my advice and bought TextLinksAds and that killed their rankings when Penguin was released and made recovering more difficult because they now had to get rid of links that would have otherwise slid under the radar and not been called out.
Thereafter he was more careful. So my advice to the OP is to make sure the advice is documented and as Ammon advised, let them make their choice.
Horia ✍️ » Ammon Johns
I got it! SEO users new anthem: Toss a coin to your SEO, oh, business of plenty.
The people who laugh reacted understood the reference, the people who just liked it didn't want to come off like they weren't in on the joke and the members who didn't react in any way missed the reference. πŸ˜›
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Horia
pretty much. I kinda like that I'm the Witcher here, while Adam J. Humphreys is a kid slapping stuffed animals… πŸ˜‰
Horia ✍️ » Ammon Johns
I don't know, Stewie Griffin is no pushover. Between Geralt and Stewie… I don't know whom I'd chose over the other. Though Stewie does have the bedwetting as his major flaw, while Geralt's soul handicap seems to be that way too many women want to sleep with him.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Horia
Yeah, the women thing has been a terrible burden in recent years…
Horia ✍️ » Ammon Johns
You poor thing. How do you manage?

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Morgan
I do it anyhow if that's what they want. I'll upcharge it. Of course, I know how to make sure it doesn't damage what I'm doing anyhow.
I have a strategy that's beyond super-safe and unless the entire internet collapses my websites remain safe from such meddling.
So the way I see it. If they're willing to pay me for a lot of nothing. I'll take the money easily and gladly.
Typically, the upcharge is an unmotivating factor.

Horia ✍️ » Morgan
"Unless the entire internet collapses, my websites remain safe."
Google:
Morgan Β» Horia
Google wouldn't challenge me. They'd reward me. I give them what they want, and vice-versa. πŸ˜‰
Horia ✍️ » Morgan
That's what we all tell ourselves, but deep down inside, we know the truth. πŸ˜›

Kristine
I find an official Google document the counters it and give it to them or I get John to say what real info… but I'm having a similar problem right now because I'm doing a large project for them that ends in a month or two and they hired an agency for ongoing afterwards which is fine but that agency is giving them wrong information and so now I'm getting push back all the time and I have to fight to get things done and never did before and it's causing friction which is really upsetting me cuz I've been working with them for a long time and I've never had this issue before.

Horia ✍️ » Kristine
I hate that situation, too. We've encountered it a fwe times. It usually happens after an audit. The client pays us to conduct an audit, but thinking they'll save a few pennies, hire someone cheaper to implement and then you end up doing damage control to prevent disaster.
Kristine Β» Horia
Yeah in this case the SEO team quit and one stayed on with contract terms help me finish this project but I was never expected to be on past this project so no issue that they are on board
But this agency when you look at their website don't even know how to write title tags so obviously they don't know what they're doing but they just want to try to make us look bad on the way out the door.
I mean they've also been there for 5 weeks and haven't asked to meet with me or the guy on contract one time and he's been there four years and I've been working with them a year and a half.

Bogdan
Politely, never telling them their ideas are bullshit.
What usually works is to show them the risks involved with such techniques. What works best is a mix of short Google quotes and tanked websites print screens (plenty of those here after any major algo update).
Sure, it helps how good your image is, how important and mighty you look, so actually the best strategy is to avoid this from the beginning.
Nevertheless, from time to time you lose a customer, that's life. I had this rule for almost 40 years: if I start a book, I'll read it. This is bullshit, you just have to learn how to let go.

Plugaru Β» Bogdan
I had the same rule with films. )

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