We do SEO despite clients
Unless you are hired not only as consultant but the guy to implement absolutely everything in a SEO project, quite unusual, most of its success relies on customer side. Pretty simple, obvious, sometimes frustrating and this is what this post is about.
You might find really stupid if a company spends quite a lot of time and resources, money in sum, in consultancy and then not implement a single advice, right? I've seen this happening more times I would like to.
I'm not talking about completely unknown brands with poor business culture and lack of scope about what traditional and online marketing and means, it could be some of the cases, but some of them were world wide brands everybody knows unless you have been living in the deep Amazon forest all your life.
The ones making unsuccessful your SEO project
Guy at the top
The first one and most critical for me is the person in charge for online marketing at the client company pretending to know more than you but he/she does not. Why do you ask for external consultancy? Why don't you do your magic and claim for the triumph and glory instead wasting company's money?
It is not I'm afraid to support all my advices with logic, facts and figures, something every consultant should certainly do, by the way, it is that he/she will question all your advices becoming your worst nightmare just because he read some nonsense blog post about.
I consider this guy the most critical because is the one taking decisions and no workarounds are possible, see the disaster coming.
Wary ones at internal departments involved at client's company or outsourced third party providers. People thinking you have come only to reveal their lack of knowledge or incompetence although you have been very friendly to them from the first meeting explaining that a nice collaboration from their side will improve their professional skills.
This kind of people will give quite a lot of non invoiceable extra work avoiding their sabotage attempts and yes, in some aspects you are there to show them how bad they did their job. Watch out, is uncomfortable to sleep with a fork stuck in the back.
CC the one they report to in all your emails from the very beginning. If anything is discussed by phone or meetings send resumes by email. Words are immaterial and easy to deny if no written somewhere. It won't make them change their mind about you but you are sheltered.
Subcategory of those are the lazy ones delegating their tasks, for example marketing people passing their copy writing work to the girl at the front desk.
Sometimes the ones at the top realize about what is going on at the backstage and react in time. Don' expect such miracle but if this happens thank them a lot.
Departments at client side and/or national/international branches of same company fighting each other to death for obscure reasons you don't have to care at all.
They will turn your experience as consultant in the more surrealistic nightmare. You are caught in the middle without relieve.
Is there any SEO paradise?
The answer is afirmative, no need to despair, I've worked with very nice and professional clients collaborating to get the best of it all and I work my ass off to drive tons of quality organic traffic to their site.
But sometimes simply nothing works to solve these kind of problems. Iron hand in velvet glove or the invisible man strategy? No magic wand unfortunately.
Work becomes 10% of consultancy and 90% of project managing under these circumstances. Be ready for that, try to guess as much as possible before calculating budgets what kind of ugly problems will rear.
It is very frustrating when a SEO project ends up this bad, achieving poor results but it is part of business. Don't let it get you down.
Work your consultancy with the neatness and elegance of a real gentleman to keep the respect you deserve as professional high but be particularly clear telling why things did not worked, cash and go.
The origin of the title of this post is something I'll always remember clearly. During one of those days when all the clients, same time, seemed to plot to ruin our lives at the agency, my mate Gonzalo looked at me over his laptop and, circumstances faced, said: We do SEO despite clients.
By the way, if you are looking for the best SEO content strategist in three languages English, Spanish and French, Gonzalo Arrabal is the one and only all over Europe. You bet!
Any particular bad experience you want to share?