SEO sales is hard, right? Search Engine Marketing is a competitive industry with lots of window dressing and false promises. When you win those precious clients you want to do everything possible to keep them happy and paying customers as long as possible.
Long term customer relationships, of course, start with setting realistic expectations and delivering what you promised. But you can’t stop at just doing the work, you have to make sure you effectively communicate progress and manage customer expectations.
To help manage expectations, we gather lots of data and provide full transparency of every link we build or content that we write. We provide monthly reports and access to a reporting dashboard that shows our clients how their rankings and organic traffic are improving.
Recently I had a client call and say that they weren’t sure if SEO was working for them. She said that all of her top organic keywords included her company name. This client did a lot of offline print and direct mail advertising that resulted in lots of people searching for their name.
My favorite tool for addressing this type of question is a trendline graph showing non-branded organic traffic. Let me explain how we get this. First, we take monthly non-paid keyword traffic from Google Analytics. We typically see some pattern that people use when searching for their company name. We then exclude any traffic from those terms. If you then look at the trendline by month you can see how much “category term” traffic has improved over time.
If you log the monthly “category traffic” number in a spreadsheet you can graph and use that as a metric to show progress. We have built software to automate this process and you can see the exact graph we use with our clients in this post.
In the client example above, once we removed her branded traffic it was very clear that the number of non-branded or category term visits has grown over time. I’ve included the graph we shared with her. She was excited to see the progress and is still a client today.
Chad Hill is the CEO of HubShout, an seo software and seo reseller, who works with web agencies to deliver online marketing services to their clients.