What pieces of information should SEOs be prepared to give to their clients? Which ones shouldn't they?
The question of information and how much should be shared with clients is not a straightforward one in SEO. Clients who are paying search engine optimisation companies good money want as much information as possible and SEOs, quite rightly, feel somewhat protective over their information.
Here are items I feel should absolutely be shared.
This data belongs to the client if it pertains to their website. I do believe clients should have access (read only is often sufficient). The client should have complete visibility over their website traffic, conversions and user behaviour at any stage of the campaign.
It should be included in your regular monthly reports, certainly, but I firmly believe a client should have their own access at all times too.
I see no reason at any stage that a SEO would need to withhold Analytics data from a client.
Aside from the fact that a client can always go and check their own rankings, I feel a comprehensive list of rankings should be provided each month by the SEO, along with the change (whether positive or negative) from previous months. This level of transparency is essential as, particularly in the early days, it might be the only means of measuring you that a client has. As the campaign progresses, traffic and revenue will play a greater role than rankings, but nonetheless, it is an important aspect to report on.
What You’ve Been Up To
I don’t believe you should have to provide your clients with time sheets or an entire link breakdown. Why would you just hand over your strategy and suppliers? You wouldn’t. It makes no sense. But some examples of the type of work you have been up to and a summary of activities is something I believe should be given to clients on a monthly basis.
In the early days, providing examples of your link building activities often proves substantial enough to reassure the client and it’s often the case for us that after the opening month or two, no further examples are requested.
This seems like an obvious one, but I speak to a remarkable number of people who tell me they have no direct lines of communication with the people who are actually working on their campaign – just an account manager.
Personally, I believe there should be sufficient transparency within an agency environment that the agency is happy to enable clients to contact the staff involved with their campaign through the office telephone or business email. It makes communication far more efficient and reassures the client that you’re actually carrying out the campaign in house!
Those, for me, are the fundamental four key pieces of information clients should have. What are your thoughts?
This post was written and contributed by Stacey Cavanagh, who is the Digital Marketing Manager at one of the UK’s leading Digital Marketing Agenies: Tecmark SEO Manchester.