Search Engine Optimization for Local Businesses

5 Ways Clients Screw Up Their Own SEO

By on Mar 6, 2012 in Long Haul SEO, Stuff You Should Know | 0 comments

One the biggest issues in getting a website to rank well and make money for a client, can be the client themselves. Yes, I said it.  I know the client is always right… unless they are hurting themselves.  It’s hard to watch a well-meaning client get in their own way and not know it. I want to help them understand what they should do (and not do) to make sure that they get the most out of their money if they hire a seo firm, whether in Tampa for local seo or not.

Choosing the right keywords

One of the most basic mistakes that I see clients make when working with an seo company, or even  doing their own search engine optimization, is selecting  the wrong keywords. It is easy to become mesmerized  by massive projected traffic numbers in Google instead of focusing on the real number that matters to a business – sales.

I have seen this happen constantly, and it never gets any easier to watch. Let me set this up for you. Here is a “pretend” conversation after the SEO company has done initial keyword research and recommended the appropriate keywords to the client:

Client: “I want to target keywords A, B & C.”
SEO Company: “While the research does show that those will bring traffic, we don’t feel those are the right keywords to target for sales for your specific business category.”
Client: “I know my industry better than you ever will and those are the keywords I need to show up for, because my competitor is using those.”
SEO Company: “Okay.”

…After months of work that has resulted in top rankings for the client’s selected keywords:

Client: “I’m not seeing a good enough return on my investment with you to justify continuing with you guys. My sales never increased considerably and it’s not enough to cover my monthly spending with you, let alone make money. You have been working on this for several months now and I don’t get how search engine optimization has helped me at all.”
SEO Company: “Well, we moved your site to the top rankings for the keywords you asked for and your traffic has increased, but maybe we should look at now optimizing for the other keywords that we initially recommended to drive sales three months ago.”
Client: “No, I’m sure that won’t help, I know my business.”

The mistake clients make with keywords is demanding that the SEO marketing company target their efforts on keywords that will not translate into sales. A better strategy is to start with keywords that will have a much higher conversion rate and almost always be easier to rank for. You are much more likely to see a positive ROI by using this strategy.

Not making the Recommended Changes To Their Website

There will always need to be changes made to a site for search engine optimization purposes. Nobody has yet to design the “perfect site”.  One of the ways that a client gets in their own way is in their refusal or slow implementation of those changes. It is important that once some recommendations have been made, the changes are made as soon as possible. The longer it takes to make the changes the slower the rankings will come and the longer it will be to see a return on the investment.  We often hear clients that complain that change is not happening fast enough in rankings but have not made the changes to the site they need to drive these.

Not Adding Content

To get rankings for certain keywords it is necessary to have content that centers around the keywords that you are trying to rank for. Often there will be recommendations to add or alter content to the site. If content is recommended as part of an SEO campaign, it is important to add it. if some alterations are recommended, then make those. If clients are concerned with the recommendation, they should discuss it and come to some compromise that will work for them and the SEO firm, but don’t just “not do them”.

Bad Communication

Talk, talk, talk! One of the most frustrating things for an Internet marketing company is to have a client’s campaign slowed or stopped due to a lack of response from a client. If a client is not answering emails and phone calls, then the SEO Firm is likely at a standstill on their SEO campaign.

On the other hand, some clients are a little over-anxious to communicate. As a client, you should feel comfortable to call or email them whenever you need to. However, a daily phone call to discuss rankings for the day over a three to six month SEO campaign is not called for in any case.  Clients should expect regular, and pre-defined updates that they are comfortable with.


It is important to understand and be comfortable with the strategy that a SEO company is using, but if clients must approve every little move, then they retard progress. Just as clients are an expert in whatever profession they pursue, remember that SEO firms are the experts in theirs and they have done this more than once.

By micromanaging clients cause delays because of waiting for approvals. Clients have a business to run, and they should go do that. Clients should use due diligence before hiring any Internet marketing company and then trust that the company they have hired knows what they are doing and can get the results that were paid for. Clients should discuss with them what kinds of things they want to approve and then let the SEO firm do their job.


Hopefully, this gives some SEO food for thought. Good luck in your national and local SEO ranking pursuits!