What SEOs Expect From Their Clients
By Kalena Jordan of Web Rank Ltd
I've seen a lot of articles around lately about how to
pick and choose a search engine optimization company.
That's fine and dandy, but it often works the other way
around in this industry. The most successful SEOs pick
and choose their own clients. Good SEOs can spot a
tire kicker from a mile off and I know of a few SEOs
that quickly "fire" clients that give them too much grief.
Why? Because they can. Their reputation is widely
known and they are constantly in demand. Many of
them are too busy to spend time haggling over price or
technique and why should they? Their reputation is
rock solid, their results outstanding, the ROI for their
work impressive. Companies are lining up to pay for
their expertise and to benefit from the amazing income
generation potential that a well-executed search
engine optimization campaign can bring. To quote one
of the best:
"I choose clients who choose me" - Jill Whalen,
So how do you recognize top performing SEOs? Most
will be regular contributers to popular webmaster or
search engine forums and many will have their own
newsletter or web log keeping people up to date with
the latest developments in the search industry. Some
write regular articles about the search engines and
have links to them published in popular search engine
portals and resource sites such as Search
Engine Watch, Pandia and SEO Today. Or
perhaps you've seen their articles syndicated on news
channels like Moreover, ClickZ or ZDNet.
Of course some of them are so busy, they don't have
time to write articles. But if they have a good
reputation, chances are people are talking about them.
Of course the opposite is also true. Want to know more
about their reputation in the industry? Conduct a
search for their name in the search engine of your
choice. I don't mean the name of their company either -
I mean the name of the actual person who would be
responsible for the optimization of your site. If you find
lots of positive references, they're a keeper. Finding
negative discussions or comments? Better think twice.
Can't find them at all? Then they probably aren't worth
Once you've located a top performing SEO, don't
expect to call the shots. Search engine optimizers have
certain expectations of their clients. Let me run
through a few of them. To keep your SEO happy:
1. Don't automatically expect a guarantee -
all SEOs offer them. Not because they aren't good at
what they do, but because offering a guarantee can
give the false impression that SEOs have full control
over search engine rankings when in fact only the
engine has this. Also, while many top SEOs will offer a
satisfaction guarantee, many others don't believe a
guarantee is necessary because of their public track
record of results and because they feel a client should
trust them fully before signing on rather than relying on
some piece of paper to protect them.
2. Don't choose by price - the most expensive
SEOs aren't necessarily the best. By the same token,
don't make the mistake of thinking SEO is not worth
much. Search engine marketing is not an "add on" or a
short term ad campaign - it is a continuously evolving
marketing channel that can bring upwards of 50
percent of your total site traffic if done correctly.
Therefore you should allocate a good portion of your
marketing budget towards it each year.
3. Don't assume an SEO isn't good because
their own site isn't ranking highly - Remember the
old adage that plumbers taps always leak? Some SEOs
are so busy helping clients that they don't have time to
optimize their own sites. Also, as you would imagine,
competition for rankings in the SEO industry is fierce.
Just because an SEO isn't ranking highly for all SEO
related terms does not mean they aren't good at what
they do - maybe they don't have the time or inclination
to compete with their peers. For proof of results, look
to their client site rankings and references.
4. Don't question the SEO process after it has
begun - It should all be outlined in the initial
proposal, but a SEO worth his/her salt will make actual
changes to your site. They will change the visible text
and/or design. They will probably get rid of that pretty
Flash image or graphic from your home page. They
might change your graphic navigation menu into a bland
looking text menu. But remember they are doing this for
a very good reason - to ensure your site is as search
engine compatible as possible. Listen, learn and trust
them - they're experts at this stuff.
5. Don't expect high rankings overnight - It
really yanks my chain when clients call me up a week
after their site has been submitted wanting to know
why they're not ranking highly yet! All good things take
time and it can take up to 3 or 4 months for the search
engines and directories to index your optimized content
and re-rank your site accordingly. That said, you should
notice an improvement on some of the faster engines
within 2 or 3 weeks.
So just when you thought the search engine industry
couldn't get any crazier, Overture goes and buys
another search engine! I don't know about you, but I'm
through trying to predict what's going to happen next.
Somebody please stop this ride, I want to get off!
Seriously though, one thing that's blatantly obvious
from all this wheeling and dealing is that search engine
marketing is hot, hot, hot right now. SEM has finally
gone mainstream and about time too. The media have
started to sense it, the latest statistics prove it (see
below) and companies finally realize it: search engines
can deliver a large percentage of traffic and an even
larger amount of business to a web site.
If you have a web site and you're not currently using
search engines to your advantage, what the heck are
you waiting for? Go hire an SEO quick! Just make sure
you read this month's feature article so you know what
Enjoy this issue and remember to visit our daily
Search Engine News Blog for the latest industry
news and gossip.
Till next time - wishing you high
- Overture To Challenge Google with FAST Purchase
If the search industry in 2003 can be compared to a
fast-moving game of chess, then Overture have
just put Google in "Check". That's right, hot on the
heels of their planned purchase of AltaVista revealed
last month, Overture
announced their intention to acquire the Web
search unit of Norway-based
Fast Search & Transfer.|
|Google Beats Overture to Disneyland
announced this month that it has done a deal with Walt Disney's
Go.com to provide paid
search results in place of those previously provided by
The deal, announced earlier this month, sees Google
providing algorithmic-based or "organic" search results
as well as sponsored links on Go.com. Later in the year,
Google will also provide site-specific results and
sponsored links for popular portals Disney.com,
Movies.com and FamilyFun.com.
|Referrals From Search Engines on the Increase
research gathered by
search engines and direct
navigation now make up the large majority of referrals
to Web sites.|
The StatMarket statistics were collected from over
125,000 sites using WebSideStory's HitBox analytics
platform, representing the surfing habits of
approximately 12 million Internet users. Data was
collected on March 6, 2003 and compared to statistics
from a year earlier. The data revealed that search
engines generated 13.4 percent of site referrals on that
day, up from 7.1 percent measured a year prior.
|Web Rank Small Business Special
Not achieving the ranking you want in the search
listings? Need step-by-step help to make your site more
search engine friendly? Got a small budget?|
Sounds like you need our Search Engine Compatibility
Report. For a limited time, Web Rank is offering SECR's
for just USD 175. That's right - $175!
Tell Me More...
|Overture To Partner With "ScumWare"
More evidence has come to light that suggests that
pay-per-click search leader Overture is
heading towards a permanent partnership with
controversial online advertising network Gator Corp.|
Gator gained infamy 18 months ago for its ability to
install 3rd party ad software on computers without the
user's express knowledge. Gator delivers pop-up ads to
people who download their online wallet software.
Unfortunately many persons downloading the software
don't realize they are agreeing to receive ads in
exchange for its use.
|LookSmart Lowers Pay Per Click Pricing
| ||Pay Per Click directory LookSmart has announced a
number of "enhancements" to their Small Business LookListings
this week, including a considerable price reduction.
- The ability to assign your own tracking URLs to your
LookSmart listings. (Currently a free service for listings
purchased on or before March 18,
- The ability to configure personalized campaign reports
and export them to Excel and PDF.
- Reduced fees: Add new listings for USD29 and update
existing listings for USD19 (previously USD49 each).
- The ability to organize your listings into multiple
campaigns and accounts for advanced control and
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