5 Ways a Client Can Sabotage SEO

Today we are going through a few reasons why clients can scupper or sabotage an SEO campaign. Yes there are the obvious reasons like making changes to the website without informing the SEO supplier, poor CMS, long sign off procedures and many more.

These are all irritating but what really gets under an SEO’s skin? What sort of things can we just not abide? In the reasons below you’ll find a client example and a counter retort from an SEO. I’m sure that you will all agree that these examples are equally infuriating as well as feeling sympathy for the SEO’s answer.

5 Ways a Client Can Screw Up an SEO Campaign

1 – Being curious

Examples – “How are the results looking this month?” “Can we have our overdue report please?” “Why are you writing page titles like that?”

How infuriating! I mean how can a paying customer have the gall to ask about results? You pay me to do SEO work on behalf of your business not to chit chat over the water cooler. The fact that your website is getting less visitors and conversions now than before the campaign is not an issue, it’s probably something to do with Panda, or something. This is number 1 way a client can fuck things up, a real ballbuster.

2 РBeing knowledgeable 

Example – “I’ve read on the SEObook forums that this type of link building campaign is good in the short term but will possibly provide poor results in the long term. What do you think?”

I think that you need to get out of my face, I’m building links here, can’t you see I’m busy?! How dare you question me, I’m an SEO expert. In fact I’m disgusted that you even question my process, those schmucks in the SEObook forum wouldn’t know a good link building campaign if it got them a number one result!

3 – Knowing exactly what they’re after

Example – “O.k, so we are looking to gain an extra 5,000 visitors per month in Q1 which will we believe should result in 1,000 conversions”

Do you know how competitive this sector is?! I mean to get that many visitors per month by the end of Q1 you are talking about at least doubling your budget! There’s nothing worse than a client that knows what they are after, I mean why did they research and plan things properly when everyone knows that the search landscape is so unpredictable? Amateurs.

4 РBeing really co-operative 

Example – “We are more than happy to work with you in terms of content creation and link building as we have staff in house with decent writing experience”

Oh have you really?! SEO experts are they? Well why don’t you just get a guy to do it all in house then, you obviously don’t need us! A client who wants to get involved in the campaign is as welcome as a red hot poker to the eyeball. I mean I’m sure they mean well and want to help but what do they know eh? They’re not paying me to educate them, they are paying me for results, which I’m certain will arrive within the next 5 years.

5 – Wanting to have meetings all the time

Example – “I think we should catch up on a monthly basis before reviewing the overall campaign after 6 months”

What?! Monthly meetings? What for? We get all the information we need at the briefing meeting that you make us go too! If you want to review results how about just reading the reports we send over? You don’t understand them because it’s purposely misleading, difficult to get and features technical jargon? Well that’s your problem, SEO is an incredibly difficult and technical science/art, that’s why you pay us so much for our excellent service.

Do you have similar clients trying to sabotage your superbly structured SEO campaigns? Bitch and moan about it below…


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4 comments on “5 Ways a Client Can Sabotage SEO

  1. AHAH. great post here Sean!
    I work in house so I don’t have problems with client. But I tried to HELP FOR FREE some other companies just to improve my skills and teach them what I’m learning about SEO.
    The boss said to me: “well, I think it’s not important optimize the page right now, nor even metas…because we have other things to do first, like increase the number of clients buying other services”. YEAH! you are an online company, how could you increase your customers if they don’t find you in the web if not for searching the company name (that’s not our goal, right?). And I said…I’m working for free, it’s an opportunity for me to increase my knowledge as SEO for a small company different from mine, let’s try and then we can talk over the results we get.
    NOTHING! they don’t understand, and I decided to stop helping them out. I mean, OK being good and calm, but that’s not the way.

    Another thing that happens all the time is:
    “Hey, I’ve read on SEOmoz this thing…could you please try to see if it’s ok for us to do it? ”
    “why not?”
    “because 5 years ago when we started, they taught us how to do it, and so let’s keep it in this way”
    “yeah…but SEO evolves, and so should we. If we don’t try, we’ll never know…aren’t you curious to get your hands dirty?”
    ” [ weird silence and face staring at nothing]”

    so, there are two examples!

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  2. Clients!!! they think it’s ok to ring you up & talk about your work. Get Skype…

    The worst ones are those that ring you up with new products they’ve launched that will cure famine & AIDs & shit and need me to help get the news out, but half the time they forget I’m busy A/B testing if a picture of a kitten in a pink hat will convert better than a kitten in Purple hat… Or rickrolling German dental workers.

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