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A study conducted by MediaPost earlier this year projected that businesses would spend $613 billion dollars on digital marketing services in 2016, with $65 billion of said dollars being spent on SEO. This same study forecasted that SEO spend would rise to $72.02 billion by 2018, and to $79.27 billion by 2020.

As SEOs, this comes as exciting news! We deserve to pat ourselves on the back for how much our industry has grown and continues to grow. However, with increased spend comes increased expectations from the clients and C-level execs who hire us. At Wpromote, we already trust you can walk the walk – so check out these five tips on talking the talk to those whose opinions matter most.

1. The Upfront Contract

We’ve all experienced that frustrating conversation with a client on why they are not yet in position one for X keyword…after three days, or still ranking behind Competitor A…who is double your client’s size. It’s important to remember that this type of conversation is just as frustrating on the client’s end – who, at some point in the relationship, misunderstood what it is we do and the process that’s involved.

As professional consultants, we’re responsible for making sure these miscommunications don’t happen. The best way to ensure this is by coordinating an upfront contract. The purpose of the upfront contract is to set clear explanations and expectations, including the client’s agenda, your agenda, and expected outcomes and next steps. Doing so ensures happiness with the campaign’s direction on both ends – and makes rapport between yourself and the client easier to earn and maintain.

2. Tell the Right Story

Your client has had a stellar month. Sessions are up by 20%, X keyword has moved up three positions, and the website earned 10 quality backlinks. The bad news is that this data can mean nothing to your client or C-level execs who have never heard of a backlink nor understand the value that it brings to their SEO campaign.

It is imperative as professional consultants to not only provide positive results, but also tell a story that effectively communicates to the client or C-level why these results matter. Communicating the significance of those earned backlinks answers that ever-present “so what?” question, builds trust with the client, and paves the way for future campaign initiatives.

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When presenting data, consider what KPIs are most important to the client and structure the meeting accordingly. If lead generation is the most important goal, presenting MoM and YoY lead data comparisons will yield a much more fruitful meeting than leading in with a round-table discussion of those great “calls to action” you wrote for their meta descriptions (No really, we are sure they are great!). Make your data work for you to tell a meaningful story.

3. Understand Their Business

Sure, our jobs are to pay attention to our clients’ SEO initiatives, but paying attention to the company holistically is just as valuable when it comes to building and keeping rapport through “thinking of you” phone calls and emails.

Was your client recently mentioned in a news source for a charity event? Did you stumble across an interesting industry-related article? Did you notice engagement on social media seems down? Finding reasons to reach out to your client (for the positive or negative) reassures them that you are on their side and that they are important to you.

4. Size Up the Competition

Most SEOs pay close attention to what their clients’ competitors are doing, both well and poorly. Are your client reports representative of this?

Reporting to your clients on the current strengths and weaknesses of their competitors’ on- and off-site initiatives helps build yourself up as an SEO authority and can encourage faster implementation of your suggestions.

5. Discuss Future Strategy

Few industries change with such velocity as SEO. What is white hat today could be considered black hat tomorrow, and new Google algorithm updates are always on the horizon. A great example of this is “keyword stuffing,” which was once a primary methodology for ranking well on search engines. A series of Google’s quality-related algorithm updates has now made this tactic ineffective: stuffing keywords can actually result in manual actions against a website.

By taking the time to communicate how Google policy or algorithm updates will (or won’t!) affect your client’s campaign strategy, you will demonstrate industry knowledge and set your clients’ minds at ease that, whatever comes, you are ready to adapt accordingly.

Like what you read? See more SEO Consultant Tips here!

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