Most SEO Manages Experience These 3 Challenges: Which One Affects You the Most?

The life of an SEO manager involves change. Just when you think you’ve got everything in a row, Google changes the rules and you have to entirely alter your strategies all over again. That’s how SEO works.

But good SEO managers know how to adapt. They know how to change their tactics to continue getting results. These experiences do much to help us grow. The knowledge makes it easy for us to get back to where we were before.

There are some challenges more pressing than others, though. See which one of these three challenges impacts you the most.

  1. Poor Expectations

The SEO industry is full of people who lack an understanding of SEO, what it does, and what you can expect to accomplish in what length of time. Businesses and SEO managers alike are in danger of expecting the world, only to be disappointed when it, inevitably, doesn’t happen.

SEO means a lot of different things. The goals are different and the way you go about implementing SEO is different. Dealing with mismanaged expectations is critical to the success of any SEO manager.

Let’s look at an example.

Client X wants to see more organic traffic and organic leads from their website. Six months later this has happened, but the client isn’t happy. They thought their investment would lead to double what they have. They thought they would get more for their money.

Here’s another example. Client Y is a marketing manager. He’s fully aware that SEO takes time to work its magic. The problem is Client Y’s boss thinks SEO is something that impacts rankings in the short-term. The marketing manager now has to deal with the fury of his boss who simply doesn’t understand how it all works.

These are two different scenarios, but they’re also some of the most common. SEO managers have to continually reassure clients about what will happen and what results they can expect to achieve.

How can SEO managers do this?

  • Inspect any previous data to see what results are realistic. No SEO manager can provide an accurate prediction, but they can give clients a rough idea as to what their investment is likely to bring them. In the event you don’t have any past results to utilize, you can use results from clients in similar industries.
  • Educate your clients on all levels. Even if you’re working with someone who understands SEO, you should take the time to explain it to their boss. You need to make sure the relationship is harmonious all the way through the company hierarchy.
  • Always report on what the client cares about. Kerry Dean conducted a presentation on what metrics are important to clients. The fact is most clients don’t care about every single metric. They only care about what matters. In other words, their ROI.

Mismanaged expectations are a real problem. They aren’t always a problem caused by upper managers who don’t understand SEO, either. The best course of action is education.

This is why we never promise our clients that we’ll throw them onto the first page of Google within a week. SEO is a long-term commitment. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight.

  1. Problems with Resources

One of the biggest complaints in SEO is not having the resources to get the job done. This is something SEO managers have to deal with all the time. A client wants X results only they do not understand the SEO manager needs a bigger investment to get those results.

SEO isn’t an add-on. It’s something that touches every department from branding to web development. The challenge is getting the client to understand this. They need to provide resources from various departments if they want their campaign to run smoothly.

Here are a couple of examples to illustrate this.

Client X outsources their web development duties. The web development team has a set budget, which gives the client a certain number of hours. When the client begins a SEO campaign, they realize they don’t have the hours built into the budget.

Client Y has big ambitions for their SEO campaign. All is going well until six months later they lose some members of staff due to general turnover and illness. This leaves them with a lack of hands and the campaign stalls.

In both examples, we have the problem of a lack of resources. SEO managers have the job of trying to limit the damage caused by resource constraints.

How can SEO managers help?

  • Get an idea of where resources may be constrained ahead of time. This is where it comes in handy to know as much about a company and its habits as soon as you begin work. You can’t avoid resources diminishing, but you can try to have contingency plans in place for the worst case scenario. This will help limit the damage.
  • If you have limited resources, allocate them at the most important points. If you have three different options and you can’t carry them all out, focus on the one that’s going to get the best results.
  • Step in. Sometimes a client doesn’t have the resources or the inclination to complete a task. SEO managers gain the reputation they do because they’re willing to step in when needed. It may not be ideal, but this could mean the difference between keeping a client and losing a client.

Understand that resource constraint is not something you can do much about. Sometimes clients simply need to scale back because of changes in the economy. During the crash of 2008, many clients made cuts to their SEO budgets, along with the budgets of other departments.

If you can appreciate that SEO is impacted by changes in practically every department of a company, you can better prepare for when your client’s resources are cut.

  1. Unexpected Changes

If there’s one thing we know about SEO, it’s the fact that nothing ever stays the same. Google makes minor and major updates on a semi-regular basis. What worked in SEO campaigns a year ago is no longer viable. In many cases, some practices are outlawed entirely.

This doesn’t apply just to Google. It happens with your clients, as well. Employees move on, budgets are cut; sales aren’t as good as they used to be. It’s a frequent thing and you should always have a back-up plan in your mind. It’s the best way to overcome this challenge.

Let’s look at two examples to illustrate this.

Client X has worked with you for the past five years. You’ve always gotten great results. The problem is the results are so good that an investment firm has taken Client X over. The investment firm decides to employ an in-house SEO manager, so that’s the end of the contract.

Client Y has been with you for just two years. You usually run the program with the marketing manager, but now Client Y has hired a new CMO. This CMO prefers a different SEO company to yours.

The problem here is there are not a lot of options available to you. These are decisions taken out of your hands. The fact both clients in these examples went with other SEO managers is not a criticism of your results.

So what can you do about it?

  • Help your client as much as you can. Even if they’re leaving, try to help them make a successful transition. You should always care about the success of your paying clients. Step in and help them contribute towards future success. You never know whether your contact will return to you again one day.
  • Try to stay in touch with your clients and contacts. Not only should you care about the people you work with, you should wish them well. Whilst keeping in personal contact is always beneficial, there’s a chance they will need you again one day.
  • Don’t let it get to you. One of the worst things you can do is allow a departing client to get to you. It isn’t necessarily your fault. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes circumstances change and they no longer need you. Entering a negative state of mind will impact your work.

Whenever a client leaves, the golden rule is to treat them as if they were your client until they’re out the door. Yes, you’ll get paid even if you happen to slack off, but it won’t do your reputation any favors.

We take pride in facilitating the transition for all of our departing clients. It’s what contributes to our reputation as a reputable provider of SEO services. A reputation can come back to help or harm you one day.

Last Word

A SEO manager will always face a range of challenges. It’s not easy to keep things ticking year after year. These three challenges are regularly faced by our team of SEO experts. We help small businesses that want to take the prospects of their company to the next level.

Contact us today and let’s get started with your SEO campaign. We’re always eager to see what we can do for our clients.



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