We have all been there. You are inches away from making the sale and the potential client informs you that another company they are considering promised them a first page ranking for one of their top terms. You gather yourself, collect your thoughts and what do you say? A lot of times you will say, “Yeah, we can do that too.” Now you have just locked your company into a promise that might not be easily fulfilled. Even if you know the competitive landscape of their market, even if you know that they can easily out-optimize and out link the competition, you are ultimately still at the mercy of the search engines. As the contract nears completion and you see that keyword you promised to get on the first page hover around the 11 or 12 mark, you begin to sweat. So how could this problem have been avoided? Well, the easy answer is that you should NEVER EVER promise rankings or specific amounts of traffic to a client. There is a thin line to this, however, since you cannot base a service off of complete ambiguity – I mean, you have to promise something right?
Here are some things that you can promise as an SEO company.
- An increase in quality growth Back links
- A growth in relevant traffic over the prior year ( seasonality must be taken into consideration. important when signing clients with seasonal website traffic)
After you have made these promises on things you can be very sure you can deliver, it is now your job to convince the client that the items are relevant to their goals. Matching up what you can promise with what the client wants to achieve is crucial when managing a client’s expectations of the SEO project. Telling a client “No” during the sales process is usually a recipe for disaster, but in some cases, it is better to have not made the sale, then to have a client who will end up losing company time, money and possibly credibility as you rush to make your promises come true.