It’s not enough to just be a competent local SEO agency. Public perception is part of your branding and competence, and it can affect your bottom line. To have a favorable reputation, you have to know how to manage client expectations for your local SEO campaigns.
This way, your clients have reasonable expectations and become satisfied with the results you can give. This prevents misconceptions that can ruin your SEO agency’s reputation.
1. Understand the client’s pain points
Businesses understand their shortcomings in the digital world, and that’s why they approach local SEO agencies like yours to help. You have to sit down with your clients first to understand their pain points and give you an idea of their intended goals.
Some clients may need help with content strategy, keyword research, SEO campaigns, technical audits, and website building. They may only be hiring you to push them in the right direction.
Some clients, on the other hand, may not even have a marketing department. They may be completely blind to what they are missing. And they may be hiring you to do everything for them – from auditing their local SEO positions, creating campaigns and plans, and executing them masterfully.
2. Know the client’s goals
If you sit down with your client and understand their pain points, you will have a good idea of their goals as well. But still, you need to know directly what the clients want to prevent misconceptions and to set up expectations.
Some clients want a more technical approach. They may require specific key performance indicators like click-through rates, cost-per-conversion, and organic SERPs. You will have to deliver results for the KPIs they want, but make sure they have reasonable expectations as well.
Some clients, on the other hand, don’t micromanage you and just let you do what you want. All they really want is for their rankings and sales to go up – and many times, they don’t really mind the other KPIs.
It’s important to be on the same page with your clients. If you know their goals, you know what to deliver.
3. Give them reasonable expectations and results
Some businesses think that hiring local SEO agencies will skyrocket their rankings to the top. Sure, some businesses know better, especially those that already have their own SEO departments. But you will still encounter clients with unreasonable expectations. You have to know how to sell local SEO to clients and manage expectations and results.
Some of the most common expectations include the fast increase in rankings, the acquisition of incredibly valuable backlinks, and the sharp increase in traffic, leads, and eventually, sales.
As a local SEO agency, you know more about local SEO than your clients, so you should communicate to them properly that such expectations are not realistic in a short timeframe. However, you still have to try to deliver results as soon as you can. Just remember to be grounded – you and your clients.
4. Build a solid local SEO strategy and execute it
Conducting a technical audit is great, not just to help in understanding the pain points and potential goals of clients, but also in giving you an idea of what kind of local SEO strategy you need to effectively deal with the pain points and reach the goals.
Depending on your findings, you can focus on very specific areas in your local SEO strategy. Do you need to set up a Google My Business for your clients because they don’t even have a listing? Or do you just optimize their listing because, clearly, it isn’t? Do you focus on competitor and geo-specific keywords? Or do you prioritize localized landing pages and on-page SEO?
Whatever it is that you plan to do, make sure to put it on paper to build a solid plan. And then execute it properly – this is what you do best anyway.
5. Be transparent with performance tracking and reporting
When you are doing local SEO campaigns for clients, especially when you are dealing with a lot of them, it’s always a good idea to have numbers backing you up. Sure, some clients don’t care about the overly technical metrics involved in local SEO campaigns. They only care about the increase in their sales. But you can always show your competence by showing analytics that proves you are delivering results.
Make sure to report regularly to your local SEO clients. This way, they know where their money is going. It’s also good for them to feel involved in the local SEO process, even just as an audience.