SEO Client Management: How to Create Harmony and Success

Peanut Butter Jelly Time SEO Client Management: How to Create Harmony and SuccessIf you were to ask me how I would describe our company and our clients, I would probably say a big peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I might just be saying that because I’m hungry but honestly that’s the first thing that comes to my mind. Why? Here’s why: We are the bread of the company but we of course need something to hold us together otherwise we’d fall apart. Our clients’ are our peanut butter and jelly, they’re the glue that holds us together. We both mutually benefit each other, we both give each other necessary things to thrive. Separate we are good but together we are great.

This is why understanding how to manage clients is extremely crucial. Here are a few tips on how to make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich:

Does he have brown hair? Blue eyes?

Like the old board game of “Guess Who?”, it’s extremely important that we know who our clients REALLY are. They should never merely just be a paycheck to you. As SEO’s, we work with our clients one-on-one constantly and to have a good campaign, we should know exactly who we are working with. After all, the most successful SEO’s thrive on relationships.

When you first meet a potential client, you need to understand what kind of person they are. How do they communicate best? Do they prefer a brief, to the point email? Do they need a weekly one-on-one meeting? It is important you know what is the easiest way to contact your client. Once you know how to contact, find out what is their EXACT purpose on the web? What are their goals? Is this realistic or ridiculous? Then, establish their branding. Without branding, you have nothing. Make sure you understand precisely how they want to present their business online.

Who? Doesn’t ring a bell.

Brand. Brand, brand, brand. Brand, brand, BRAND. Now say that about a million more times. I cannot stress how extremely crucial branding is. If you cannot successfully brand your self or your company, you cannot move forward. Ask your clients this: What is your vision of your company? Where do you see yourself in 10-15 years? 20? What is your company GOAL? Then ask them this: Who is your peanut butter and jelly? What makes you? Who are your customers and consumers? Then reverse it: What do you think your peanut butter and jelly wants from you? What will they want to see and expect to become apart of your sandwich? As your client’s bread, make sure you set out a clear and firm understanding of their product/service and how they should market it. Ask what their branding goals are and give feedback on how to achieve that.

You want the moon? I’ll give you the moon.

Expectations; we all have them, don’t we? Sometimes though the line between what was negotiated and personal expectations can become a little blurred. This is why it is a key point to address and set any and all expectations pre-project start. What are any and all of the projected costs and overall budget? Can you have some wiggle room? What are the exact time frames? Is your new client creating content or is this part of the project? Are the client’s images optimized and relevant? Good quality? Before starting a project, addressing all key points and expectations will lead to a stronger project, relationship, and a better end result. Don’t let there be any skewed expectations that might lead the project astray or potentially lead to a lost client.

We’re toast.

We are nothing without our clients. We depend on their success and for our success, and that is why it is critical to make sure that expectations are clearly communicated and understood from BOTH sides from the beginning. Have a game plan and stick to it. Make your client responsible. Give them that push and make them understand that THEIR website depends on THEIR passion, drive, and initiative for THEIR business. If they don’t push their business, who will? And finally, always keep your clients close. We are nothing without our relationships and we are toast without our peanut butter and jelly.

About the Author

Shannon Travis

+Shannon is the senior link builder and web relations expert at Ethical SEO Consulting. Shannon specializes in organic link building, content optimization, and local SEO. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or her personal blog here.


  1. Marcus on February 21st, 2013 11:57 am

    Hey Shannon

    If everyone in the SEO consulting industry spent a bit more time getting to know the client and better understand their needs AND strongly promoted the fact that whilst we can plan and steer the ship, the best results will always come from them getting involved.

    I think as well, it’s important to set goals that the client can understand and buy into. The days of more traffic and rank checking are behind us and we need better, business driven metrics: leads, sales, social media sign ups, mailing list sign ups – real tangible things that clients can grab hold of and understand.

    The sitting down with them at least once a month as well to show how things are going is also important as in many cases, whilst there may still be tangible SEO elements like links, blog posts, guest posts etc to report upon it is always, always, always worth translating them back to the business goals and showing how X is helping with Y.

    Great read, really enjoyed the style of that article. :)


    1. Shannon Travis on February 21st, 2013 4:11 pm

      Thanks for your reply, Marcus!

      I definitely agree. As SEO’s, we should be focusing completely on how can we get our clients’ the most success as possible/ Not, “Where can I get the best links?”, etc. Everything we do should be based fully on their promoting their business and their success.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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