The Kind of Local SEO Clients To Avoid

While getting an SEO firm off the ground, it's normal to accept any clients that come your way. After all, you have to start somewhere. Once you've established a decent list of regular clients, however, you can -- and should -- start being choosy.

At a certain point, you'll realize on your own that some clients are more trouble than they're worth. Even if you're among the most skilled local SEOs in the industry, there's no pleasing certain people. The question, though, is which clients are worth it and which aren't. By learning to identify problematic SEO clients "by sight," you'll save yourself a lot of frustration, headaches and bad times.

Five Types of Local SEO Clients to Avoid

  1. The Exceedingly Impatient Client - Like an experienced SEO, you probably explain to clients from the get-go that search engine optimization is a "slow and steady" kind of process. Furthermore, it's an ongoing one; there's no actual finish line. For results to be achieved, and to stick -- continual optimization and improvement are crucial. Despite these admonishments, the exceedingly impatient client will constantly express concern about their website's rankings. They will pester you again and again, wondering why their site isn't gaining ground. This behavior typically begins about a week or so after the campaign has begun, and it continues unabated until you've had enough. Adding insult to injury, such clients aren't usually satisfied even when progress is made because it's never enough. The bottom line with this type of client is there's no pleasing them, there's no way for you to make their site zoom to the top and you should cut your losses because things are never going to change.

  2. The Overbearing Client - The Overbearing Client is a distant cousin of the Exceedingly Impatient Client. Despite understanding that SEO takes a long time to produce results, this client expects constant updates from you. It's important to keep clients in the loop, of course, but being expected to touch base on a daily basis is way too much. The Overbearing Client doesn't seem to realize that they aren't your only client. They seem to have a type of anxiety about the progress of their campaign and almost seem suspicious that you aren't actually doing any work. There's no way to convince this type of client that you are, indeed, on top of things, and the mental energy that's needed to come close to satisfying this client is above and beyond what any busy SEO has to offer.
  3. The Overly Reliant on SEO Client - As a professional SEO, you're surely the first to agree that SEO works. However, you'd probably also agree that a well-rounded marketing approach is crucial. The Overly Reliant on SEO Client puts all of their eggs in the proverbial SEO basket and refuses to consider other strategies. This type of tunnel vision virtually dooms their SEO efforts to failure. Without integrating social media marketing, PPC marketing and other techniques, the odds of achieving a high ranking are just about nil.
  4. The Finger Pointing Client - A close relative of the Overly Reliant on SEO Client, the Finger Pointing Client is far too optimistic about what SEO can do. After hiring you, they assume their ranking woes are through. From that point forward, anything that goes awry with their business -- marketing or otherwise -- is blamed on the SEO work you are doing. Sales slumping? It must be because of the optimization you're performing. Conversions dipping? It must be SEO's fault. Basically, this client treats you as their personal punching bag. Even if you stay the course long enough for your efforts to bear fruit, this client will never be pleased.
  5. The Know-it-All Client - On the one hand, you don't want a client who knows absolutely nothing about SEO. It's immensely helpful when clients have a decent grasp of the concepts behind it. However, the Know-it-All Client takes things too far. They do their own research about the topic and constantly compare whatever you're doing to whatever they've read. Unfortunately, they tend to believe everything they read online and will "helpfully" point out perceived mistakes you are making. If you don't like having your every last move nitpicked to death, avoid this client like the plague.

There you have it. If you can avoid these five types of local SEO clients, your business -- and your sanity -- will be the better for it. How do you avoid them, though? Over time, you'll develop a sixth sense of sorts. Another strategy is to write a detailed contract outlining what's acceptable and what isn't. Finally, don't be afraid to give problematic clients the heave-ho. If your results are good enough, you'll still have plenty of clients to keep you busy.

Like our pro tips? Don't miss a post!