For some time, I have been wondering about the merits of SEO services. Two or three disappointments this year, due to several factors: lack of means, not enough time, too high ambitions, too strong competition, bad targeting, risky choice of keywords, changing algos, etc… made me interrogate.
I also had to at times let customers direct “me” instead of taking orders. So, I questioned myself and said to myself:
What if instead of doing SEO services for the client, I shouldn’t have to turn to something else?
Natural referencing services
Let’s take an example: A client wishes to position himself on moderately competitive queries, around 6,000/7,000 monthly searches for around 350,000 results. The delivery does not seem more complicated than that.
I then begin to explain to my client what should be done, give him recommendations and define “approximately” the time it will take to position his site (with a margin of error, don’t push grandma ;D).
So I offer him a quote, with a corresponding offer, a 12-month package, which my client signs. 3 months later my client comes back angry because according to him, his site is not positioned 1st on the 1st page.
Error on my part, I did not have to explain to him that I could not guarantee this position. His site was in 7th position at the moment when he started from 46th, I found his reaction a bit strong.
I wouldn’t have thought about it if 3 other customers hadn’t also complained about the positioning of their site.
The positions weren’t bad in themselves, but since the service was over and everyone had chosen to continue on their own (even if I still keep an eye on my former clients) inevitably, my attention was more focused on my active clients.
SEO training rather than SEO services
So that’s the question that’s been on my mind for some time: I can’t “physically” be on top for all my clients, it would be a lie to say the opposite.
I am independent and the amount of work required and the disproportionate ambitions of some, become too important for one person.
So hasn’t the time come to stop intervening in SEO services and offer SEO training instead? more in-depth recommendations?
I know that many do it and it seems to me in the end much more interesting and less of a headache. I have never been criticized for getting my hands dirty (thanks to the papers that I have signed before each service) but the way things are going, it could get out of hand.
So I thought that training my future clients in SEO issues was not such a bad idea. The advantages are numerous: they pilot their project themselves and decide whether or not to follow my recommendations, but I cannot be held responsible.
They would thus touch on the reality of SEO and be confronted with making technical and strategic choices. So they might understand that their ambitions are sometimes disproportionate to the budgets they have and that asking to reach such and such a position is not as easy as they think.
On the other hand, I find it an easy way out, for me of course, and I resent leaving my clients to fend for themselves in the wild.
I still think it’s the right solution. It is essential to educate the client and explain to him, through practice, that SEO is not magic, nor esoteric, that there is no secret to success, that budgets must correspond to ambitions, that time is incompressible, and that the competition did not wait for them.