SEO Expectations: Why We May Turn You Down

SEO Expectations: Why We May Turn You Down


One of the problems with SEO is that there are just two types of SEO company: One that tells a client what they want to hear, and one that tells a client what they should hear. The problem is, it’s hard for the client to understand which is which and which is correct.
There are a lot of “SEO experts” who feel they should tell a client exactly what they want to hear, I suspect this is because it’s the quickest way to “seal the deal”, the path of least resistance if you will.

DP Online Marketing won’t do this. In fact our staff are encouraged to be brutally honest with clients and totally transparent. Why? Because that’s how it should be.
As a company co-founder I encourage our team to tell clients the cold hard truth about their online marketing, no matter what the consequences. I do this because our clients (and prospective clients) deserve the truth and hard facts. Most appreciate this and reap the rewards, others don’t.
In fact, from the beginning our project proposals clearly detail what our clients can expect and we decline projects almost as much as we win new projects. Usually the reason we decline a project is because of misplaced client expectations and this usually falls into one of two categories.


  • Our SEO company has not delivered, it’s been 3 months.
  • We want to rank for the following keywords:


In the case if number 1, it’s true that many companies offering SEO Management Services are 10 years behind the rest of us and do an incredibly awful job of SEO. Usually these firms mistake SEO as a “Who can build the most links” competition. Some though, actually do a good job but don’t get the chance to prove it because they haven’t worked hard enough to ensure the client has realistic expectations where time frames are concerned. If we can’t re-educate the client into understand that SEO can take much longer, we simply don’t take the project.




Number 2 is much tougher: Because of how most SEOs are operating, many clients see ranking for an incredibly obvious and broad keyword as the only way to succeed. Almost always this ends in tears as it often takes an awful long time to rank for incredibly competitive terms and when they do, they don’t always yield the results a client expects.



In this case, we try incredibly hard to help the client understand that yes, we’d like to rank for these terms but lets not forget the thousands of other terms that in aggregate produce more search volume and more conversions. I blogged about this in detail here and here.
I don’t blame the client for this, it’s probably a result of years of misinformation but sometimes, no matter what we say or the information we provide to prove our point can convince a client that we’re right. If this happens, we simply don’t work with the client because if we did, we’re giving them unrealistic expectations and that’s not fair or right.
You see, as an online marketing agency we have a duty to manage our clients expectations: In an industry where frankly most self styled “experts” have a “turn and burn” attitude when it comes to client acquisition we tell it like is – clients deserve the truth.
Like all good relationships which last, we don’t commit to a partner until we know and understand each other. It prevents a messy divorce later.