Clients Need to Have Realistic SEO Expectations

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Search engine optimization is unlike other forms of marketing in that it needs to be viewed as a long-term process and commitment. Results aren’t going to magically appear overnight. Some SEO clients claim to understand that in the beginning, but as the months go on and there has been only small improvement, or even no obvious improvement, they get agitated and turn around and blame the agency. To all current and potential SEO clients, let this serve as a warning. You need to have realistic SEO expectations from the start.

SEO clients need to understand what SEO success looks like and understand what it means to be doing well. If your website is generating thousands of visitors from organic search which is resulting in thousands of dollars in revenue, that should be considered successful. Some clients tend to be delusional or get greedy and expect to see much more than what is realistic. Clients need to remember that while SEO and internet marketing in general are extremely important, it shouldn’t be the be all end all of a marketing campaign. It’s important to generate leads and sales using other marketing tactics as well.

Due to some negative perceptions, SEO can have a bad reputation and some companies go in with skepticism from the start. This is the wrong approach and clients need to understand that not all SEOs are bad and that they aren’t doing anything wrong by investing in white hat SEO, in fact they would be smart to do so. Since they already have this negative perception, if they don’t get what they want immediately, they assume they are working with a bad agency, when in fact they could very well be working with a good one. Doing things the correct, white hat SEO way will take longer than doing it the wrong way but the end result will be much better.

There is a difference between being “burned” by an SEO agency and just having unrealistic expectations about what you will get out of a campaign. Being burned means hiring an agency that gets you low quality content, spammy links, and search engine penalties. It doesn’t mean not seeing results in the timeframe that you were unrealistically expecting them. It’s nearly impossible to put a timeline on SEO results, and an SEO agency that promises specific results by a certain time is making false promises.

SEO clients need to understand the nature of the process from the start in order to actually benefit from a campaign. Many clients that claim to have been “burned” often just didn’t give it enough time and don’t recognize what good SEO results look like.

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