10 Practical Ways Search Engine Optimization Companies and Clients Can Get Along
by: Michael Murray
Even the best of intentions can go awry without careful attention to details and expectations. Weve tested these methods out and they work.
1. Get it in writing.
Define the service scope in detail (i.e. well research keywords and optimize these pages with approved search phrases for this long).
2. Return phone calls.
That goes both ways. If the consultant needs some feedback, dont wait three days. If the client calls, dont wait three hours. It doesnt sound fair, but it makes sense. Consultants need help, but clients deserve more attention (prompt responses).
3. Dont overwrite changes.
SEO consultants can easily overwrite source code if theyre not careful. Web site owners sometimes overwrite the very optimization steps a consultant put in place. Talk to each other and work out protocols to avoid these problems.
4. Return e-mail messages.
Like phone calls, e-mail messages deserve a quick response. Hitting reply is easier than picking up a phone and dialing a bunch of numbers. Clients and consultants shouldnt let a day go by without a response.
5. Own up to mistakes.
Painful and embarrassing as it is, admit mistakes. They can include failing to return a phone call and poor communication in a written report. If you mess up - whether its getting some data columns in the wrong place or placing the SEO consultants META data in the wrong spot, just acknowledge the mistake and move on. Were human. Things happen.
6. Dont switch domain names.
If you sign up with an SEO consultant, dont start with one domain and then get a notion about introducing a new one. It throws the whole program off track.
7. Dont change your page names.
If you have a page called newproducts.asp, dont change it to new-products.html after the SEO program begins. The change will just confuse search engine spiders and hinder or delay high rankings.
8. Dont insert alt tags after the SEO program begins.
Alt tags with images are for search engine consultants to manage. Theyre in the best position to know when alt tags might be appropriate. If you add them on your own, you may ruin the delicate balancing act SEO consultants perform with many page factors.
9. Avoid altering page title tags.
If an SEO consultant has a title tag strategy you approve, dont go back in a week and change it. Some pages can work with a company name in the title tag, others wont.
10. Keep an open mind.
Clients and consultants both need an open mind as creative ideas and approaches are expressed. A client may suggest something unethical, but the consultant should gently steer them away from the tactic. If a consultant finds a useful way of introducing a links directory on the Web site, give it some thought. Just because your Web site lacks a directory doesnt mean it cant support one. How can you have reciprocal links without one?
About The Author
Michael Murray is vice president of Fathom SEO, an Ohio-based search engine optimization firm (http://www.fathomseo.com). We are members of SEMPO, SEO Consultants and SEOPros. Visit our site for our SEO white papers and recent SEO studies on the manufacturing and health care industries.