With SEO being perhaps the most Internet-dependent business on Earth at the moment, it’s no surprise the industry is still regarded as volatile, both by analysts outside the field, as well as by seasoned professionals, who helped found it. Experiencing with a relatively rapid change in client roster is something any SEO agency should be prepared to deal with. However, no change in Google algorithm, social media trend, or other technology-related development should be blamed if your business doesn’t hang on to at least one or two clients within its first year of existence. Such a situation would only damage one’s reputation, likelihood of getting recommendations for successfully completed projects, and bring about difficulties in securing new business. As such, since long-term relationships with clients are pivotal in the SEO business, here are five current tips that might help you improve your retention stats.
Take Care of Important Matters
This refers to prioritizing the tasks you are going to undertake, in order to help your client reach their business goal. Not only does it rely on your insight and capacity to articulate a workable SEO strategy, but it’s also a matter of understanding and business ‘empathy’, if you will. Look into what your client believes to be the priorities for their project and find a way to comply, even if this would not necessarily be your course of action. Some of the most successful search agencies out there have managed to retain their biggest clients over the years because they understood that some actions within a campaign hold more value than others and should be attended to more often.
Make Your Strategy Clear and Easy to Understand
This cannot be stressed often enough – agencies will often see clients walk away, even in spite of their best efforts at strategizing, simply because they and said clients were never on the same page. Most clients who come from non-Internet founded industries will need to have an SEO campaign strategy ‘translated’ for them into business lingo they are familiar with. What’s more, visuals always help in making sure everyone is speaking the same language, while sharing is caring. In other words, draft a table timeline, upload it to a shared cloud location, allow your customer sufficient time for providing feedback and always collaborate.
Plan as Much Ahead as You Can
Indeed, the fact that SEO campaigns can only be strategized that far ahead of time is a reality. This is a living, organic industry, in which the best results are obtained by adapting as you progress. However, make sure that your initial strategy draft gives your client as clear a picture as it can, for the following three to six months at the very least.
Report Back and Accept Feedback
If your agency is running a long-term campaign, scheduled to last 12 to 18 months, then meeting with your client in real life at least every other three months is essential. At such pivotal benchmark points, it usually helps to ask for the feedback of a professional who is not directly involved in tailoring the campaign. This person will be able to gauge the success and pinpoint the vulnerable areas of the project much better than yourself.
Don’t Underestimate Human Contact
If possible, try to establish professional relationships with as many people from your client’s organization as possible. Relying on one person alone is the business equivalent of laying all your eggs in one basket. Perhaps communication with that person will not turn out to be as efficient as you thought it would. Perhaps they will leave the organization soon, leaving you with no contact. Reach out as much as possible and make sure you are networking at management level, too.