As an SEO firm that doesn’t specialize in any one particular niche, we see all different kinds of leads come in — B2B, B2C, large corporations, small startups, etc. You name it, we’ve probably seen it. Obviously not every single lead that comes in is going to be a good match or what we are looking for in a client. That’s right, the service provider has the right to be picky too. We want to work with a client that we know that we will have a good working relationship with and that we know that we can get good results for. Not everybody fits into these categories. In fact, most potential clients don’t. That’s why it’s so important to ask the right questions during the sales process in order to really get a feel for what would be in store once the prospect signed on the dotted line and became a full service client.
After years of experience, we’ve found that it’s best to avoid SEO prospects that have the following issues:
1. No website
Since SEO is the process of making changes to a website and building inbound links to establish search engine trust and improve traffic, you can’t really “do” any SEO without a website. It’s always shocking to see the number of leads that come in from people that are still in the process of getting their website up and running. It’s certainly a smart idea to get some SEO input before the site is launched, but what you are really looking for in that case is SEO consulting instead of full service SEO. Without a website up and running you won’t be able to take advantage of full service SEO so there is no need to pay for it.
2. A brand-new website
Because one of the most significant ranking factors for SEO is the trust of a website which is partially conveyed by the domain age of the website, full service SEO firms tend to stay away from brand new websites. It will take a new site much longer to see any kind of SEO result than a site that has existed for years but just never did any SEO. Instead of looking for a full service SEO firm, a new website owner should start small and do some SEO on their own by working with a consultant or attending an SEO workshop. Once the site has aged and gained some initial SEO momentum it is better suited for the work of a full service firm.
3. No other marketing efforts
When it comes to marketing a business you never want to put all of your eggs in one basket and SEO should never be the only way that a business markets its website. SEO should be one part of a well-rounded integrated strategy. The SEO industry and search engine algorithms are always changing and it’s too risky to rely only on SEO to improve visibility and generate revenue. SEO is a long term strategy that needs to be supported by other marketing methods.
4. No internal organization
A business needs to be organized and designate a point person to work directly with the SEO firm. An SEO client can’t sign a contract and then disappear. The client remains an integral part of the process and is responsible for keeping the SEO company informed about what’s going on in the business and providing crucial information. If the SEO firm is passed from person to person it’s difficult to get anything accomplished.
Image: Survey from Shutterstock