Who’s running your SEO firm?

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Being employed by an agency and having my own SEO firm, I talk shop to a lot of individuals about SEO. Often, SEO is very new to people and I end up having to do a lot of talking. I certainly don’t mind though because I love what I do and I could talk about it all day long.

What I don’t understand is when clients want to rule the SERPs, seemingly want to know everything about SEO, hire you to do their optimization, and then they don’t want to implement the SEO that your firm suggests. It’s almost like they like the idea of SEO but not the actual work.

I’ve also noticed that agency life has a lot of complications and obstacles that the freelance world doesn’t. Your have PR, Marketing, Presidents, Vice Presidents and Managing Managers to appease. Everyone wants to be involved with the client and all too often too many cooks in the kitchen leaves a huge mess to clean up later.

When I go home, I put on my other SEO hat. The Alibi firm is a smaller ship that seems to run along pretty smoothly. My clients understand what I tell them and genuinely want to learn more. I don’t know if it’s because people don’t have as much trust in agencies, or if it’s because I spend more time with my personal clients and they are hearing one voice tell them consistent information, but the difference is night and day.

I also think another factor may be that, from time to time, I tell my personal clients NO. Clients come to me for design, development, and SEO. I listen to all of their needs and implement them in the best fashion into the site. If they have an idea that isn’t the best solution, I tell them (politely of course) the reasons it shouldn’t be done, and then we move on. Agency life is a little different. Sometimes you get strong armed into certain situations that you know aren’t going to be good, but because of office politics or policies, you have to do what the client wants.

At the end of the day it’s the clients who end up getting hurt. If for some reason they don’t want to take our suggestions or want to fight us on every single decision then the SEO campaign isn’t going to be nearly as effective as it could be.

What does your SEO firm do when a client wants something that you know is going to hurt their rankings in the end?

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