Running an SEO project smoothly and effectively requires juggling many skills: creativity, proactivity, effective time management and organisation, to name just a few.
But I would argue that one of the most important attributes of a successful SEO campaign is communication of knowledge – within an agency, of course, but also (perhaps less obviously) with clients. Many clients have little or no knowledge of SEO, and why should they? That’s what we’re here for, after all. But it’s unfortunately a fact of life as an SEO that algorithm updates and other external factors are not the only risk posed to a successful SEO project. Without at least a minimal level of SEO education, actions taken by a client can actually be detrimental to the SEO efforts of their agency or consultant.
One of my SEO New Year’s Resolutions (more Resolutions from SEOptimise in a forthcoming blog post by Matthew Taylor) is to help clients to help us by ensuring they have enough knowledge to understand our work, its aims and methodologies, and what they can do to ensure that we’re able to get them the best results possible. So I thought I’d kick off the New Year by taking a look at the top ways in which an SEO project can be sabotaged by a client. This is not me ranting about my lovely clients by the way – it’s more a retrospective look at some of the bottlenecks I’ve encountered in otherwise smooth SEO projects over the last year or so.
1. Changing the website without telling us
Whether it’s launching a new section, rolling back to an old version of the site, rewriting copy or even a full blown redesign, it’s really important to get the SEO perspective before any changes are made, to ensure that a) new material is optimised from the word go and b) prior SEO efforts are not damaged or lost. There’s nothing worse than finding that your client’s rankings have plummeted because the site has been reverted to an old, unoptimised version without your knowledge.
The solution: emphasise to your client the importance of liaising on potential website changes before they happen, and in plenty of time. If there’s a redesign in the offing, ensure you’re involved from the outset to ensure that the new site is structured in an SEO-friendly way. It’s much easier to make changes in the planning stages than it is to change things once it’s live.