You know the type of prospective clients who come to you know little about your area of expertise. You know that they expect champagne results on a beer budget. You know that they want it yesterday. And lastly you know after years in your channel, that they think they know best.
IF what I’ve just described to you is what you face in your SMB operation, whether you sell products or services, then you know that over here in the SEO world, we get the exact same type of clients too. They “know” SEO cause they google searched it and read a couple of posts on the first page. They don’t have the budgets to spend but then why should they as SEO is pretty easy, right? And they yes, want it yesterday…or to be fair, they want it tomorrow.
Been there, done that…and as usual in all channels, yes, the client prospect has talked to their hairdresser, nephew, accountant, BFF or someone who gave them the “skinny” on SEO. They know SEO. So dont try to explain why they might be wrong….after all, anyone who disagrees with them is just trying to build their own case to charge more money, right?
Sigh…nope, and not even close. It’s important I think as a part of any initial SEO discussion, to point out what’s needed for any prospect to understand the various items that they bring to that discussion and how they “may be” (read always are) incorrect. SEO is not new, but it changes daily. Honestly. Daily. Google changes it’s algo thousands of times a year with updates so to try to stay on top of that for clients, it’s like truly trying to hit a moving target. Can be done. But takes much much practice and effort and yes, skill too.
Timelines for all kinds of online marketing tasks vary of course for any job. Builidng a website can take from one day to hundreds, depending on many many factors including budgets, committees, content producers, knowledge experts, web hosting etc etc. It’s never fair to say that “one timeline fits all” as it just cant. Most clients nod when we use that analogy….
Timelines for SEO are no different. When we start any new SEO Program, we start with a website audit – where the client is right now. We need to also look at current GA – google analytics – info to see where their traffic lies and seasonal fluctuations too. We need to study page after page for the content on same, from normal SEO on-page optimizations that may or may not be present to all the site collaterals too like whitepapers or reviews or testimonials including say optimized .pdfs or YouTube videos too. We know what “should” be done and we can generally mark and tag what has not been done. Not easy, no. But detailed audits lead to detailed “to-do’s” which is the next step…the “doing” of the SEO program.
Timelines for the actual site optimizations don’t take too much time, depending on a series of factors including things like access, trust, reliable hosting, squids, etc etc and for us after being in the SEO world for more than 20 years, we know what works. Today. Tomorrow? Don’t know till tomorrow as google changes daily…
Timelines for the big area of any SEO Program though, the off-page optimizatiosn take a long long time – in our SEO practice almost 65% of the time is spent here…getting the world to pay attention, gain interest, create desire and then action to be found and converted into real live leads. Takes time. Takes knowledge. Takes history too in that you need to build on your relationships to build new ones. Takes skill. Takes budgets. Takes real commitment to gaining traction.
On the whole it takes an SEO practitioner time…so if you think you are getting “sold a bill of goods” when you’re talking to any real SEO firm about their proposed timeline…don’t be discouraged. Good things take time….you do remember that old adage, right? Well in the SEO world, that’s true!