Just like in many types of businesses, there are times when we’d rather work with a certain client over the other. Never mind the potential loss of income, it’s the harmonious business relationships that reward many companies with worthy referrals and win more future business.
In the business of search engine marketing, it’s a business of solving puzzles. But in many ways, the pattern of solutions to problems often change. Which is why many prospective clients can’t easily figure out how things work. Worse, they occasionally bump across misleading information about the whole SEO process.
Not only clients are befuddled, so are SEO people themselves. Consider the argument that SEO is rocket science. Danny Sullivan, dubbed the godfather of search, says yes. David Pasternack of Did-It, another reputable search engine marketing company, says otherwise that gathered some serious and not so serious responses.
We define ideal SEO clients as those who are not any of the following:
1. Only want to avail of free lunch
These are prospects who only want to get as much ideas from us including our methodologies, how we address specific issues that deviate from the whole focus of their own business issues. These are prospects who end up as your competitors out of all information sucked (voice recorded if ever) and don’t bring up budget discussions in getting the job done. Simply because they have none in the agenda.
2. Has a business model that does not seem to succeed
It would be unfair to brand a business model that is bound to fail if we never tried it at all. But perhaps we don’t need to, because we could have had tried it elsewhere before with limited amount of success. Which was spelled as a waste of time (most important), investment and effort. Yes, we can profit from these types of clients whom we try to heroically salvage a campaign from crumbling. But the heroic act fails, the SEO campaign tumbles, and the business relationship ends up miserably.
3. Disregards cost estimates and insists on working only for a much smaller budget
This is the one that often happens more than the others. For prospects who failed to understand the basic steps in SEO process, it is shocking to see five-digit estimates that are never guaranteed at all. Instead, they want the whole thing done for a fraction of the estimated cost. These folks may lack confidence in working with us so we should promptly dump them as well.
4. Sets outrageous goals
Number one rankings for highly competitive phrases, X number of subscribers or Y number of sales in Z number of weeks. Sometimes it’s very obvious that we’d think this is more of a ploy to discredit legitimate SEO practices more than actually trying to achieve these goals. More often than not, we have to be realistic with what lies in the realm of possibility and what lies in our fantasies. Get rid of these people.
If we are successful in filtering off prospects who qualify in any of the four descriptions above, I believe we’re in a better position to find ideal SEO clients. Even if ideal in itself, can’t seem to exist.