The success of an SEO agency will ultimately come down to relationships with clients. If you can secure several clients on an extended basis, you will bring in consistent income and be able to invest in the business. Without clients, your operations will be precarious and not able to sustain into the future. One common problem for an SEO agency is keeping clients signed up for a long period of time. SEO is not an immediate process, so there needs to be a commitment to the process. Each client is different, but there are some common threads explaining why a client would decide to end a relationship with an SEO agency. The following methods should indicate why an SEO agency loses a high volume of clients and what can be done to keep them.
Lack of Reporting
Reporting is key to a good client relationship. If clients don’t know what you are doing, they have little reason for buying in to the process. Reporting is typically built around rank tracking, but can also be used to explain the processes taking place across a designated time period.
Setting targets helps clients to understand what is realistic and when they might see some results. As SEO is not precise, it is common for results to vary from the expected. However, if you drastically miss targets, clients will naturally have some doubt about the effectiveness of the plan.
Unfortunately, search engines can penalize sites without warning. Changes to the algorithm can have an impact, with clients uncertain as to why something has happened. Repairing damage can usually be done, but not all clients will be sympathetic.
Unexpected Ranking Changes
Rankings don’t usually stay constant for too long. Google can move pages around to assess the impact, while backlink activity, new competitors, and other factors can play a role in your search position. If a client is not prepared for ranking movements, they may think there is a serious problem.
While it might be rare, there are occasions where your SEO work can impact the reputation of a client. Attempting to secure backlinks could potentially lead to some issues, particularly as you are representing another business. Some SEO strategies involve a more aggressive approach, potentially aggravating sites you are attempting to gain links from.
How Can SEO Agencies Keep Clients?
There is no shortage of reasons a client might end your arrangement, but there are also methods of limiting the chances it will happen.
Frequent Reports and Updates
Good communication and accountability lets clients know exactly what is happening. You could send out a monthly report, listing rankings across the site and the strategies being used. Additionally, you could send out occasional updates when something of note has occurred.
Make Realistic Targets
Making big promises might help you secure a client, but you will need to live up to these standards. Instead, be realistic with a client, letting them know what you have achieved in the past and the likelihood you can reach their goals.
Explain the Process Thoroughly
A lack of understanding about the SEO process can be overcome when you communicate well at the beginning. SEO is not easily understood by beginners, so you need to simplify the topic if necessary, breaking down the key points as they pertain to an individual business. When the client understands what you are doing, there should be fewer surprises at a later date.
Fix Mistakes Quickly
Mistakes can occur in SEO as the process is always subject to change. Most clients will understand the complexity of the task, so won’t be expecting perfection. If a mistake is made, fix it as quickly as possible and ensure there is no lasting damage.
Communicate Need for Ongoing Work
Some clients think SEO is a project that can be completed once and set aside. Unfortunately, though, there is a great deal of competition, so you constantly need to be optimizing for the search engines. Make sure to communicate this concept to the client at the start, letting them know that the process takes time. Clients don’t need to commit to SEO permanently, but they should understand that the work is ongoing.
While every aspect of the SEO process is important, agencies also need to be thinking about client retention. You may be doing exceptional work for a client, but still find they leave you. There are various reasons agencies lose clients and it is not always based on satisfaction levels. By focusing on the reasons that clients leave, though, it is possible to put strategies in place from the start. You can deal with any common objections and educate your clients on the processes, so they are more likely to consider using your services long into the future.