The Importance of Transparency in Business
The past few weeks have been extremely frustrating for me. As we opened up the flood gates to new clients recently, we've communicated with a lot of new business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs. All of them were skeptical about SEO and social media ... in 2017! It's not because they don't believe it can work. No, the problem is actually far more sinister.
In reality, they've been lied to, ripped off, and are just tired of the companies they've worked with. In one case, I met with the owner of a health spa. She has been working with an SEO company that constantly gave her the run around, didn't produce reporting she could easily follow, and whenever she asked questions, she was made to feel nosy or pushy.
Agency employees and owners; if you have to utter the words, "just trust us" then you're not explaining your services properly. That's just fact. No one is suggesting you should give away proprietary info, or trade secrets, but you should be able to answer one very simple question, "Why?"
When a client asks why, in the vast majority of cases, they are not trying to be nosy or pushy. Stop being so defensive. They're asking the question because they legitimately don't understand what they're paying for.
Let's run through an SEO "why" exercise.
Client: Why do we need to identify keywords?
Agency: Well because we need to tackle the phrases people are typing into Google to find businesses like yours. If we optimize for those keywords or phrases then you have a better chance of being seen.
Client: Why is the SEO standard supposed to be 1200 words on a page, but we have pages with 300 words?
Agency: Not every page has to be optimized for long-form content. SEO isn't a one trick pony. Many different strategies working in tandem will get you where you want to go. So, we reserve long-form content for pages where it's appropriate, and then for pages with shorter content, we just have to be smarter regarding how that content is produced and handled. It's a balance between informing and boring your customer vs what's good for SEO.
See how easy that was? Don't just tell them what you're going to do, but rather explain why, how, and give them goals to watch for. Now, some of you might be asking why I would write this blog. WHY not let these companies bury themselves in their own bullshit? Well, because they're not burying their company, they're burying an industry.
If your client would rather talk to a telemarketer than you, that's a problem, and that's something I was told by a new client about their previous agency just a couple of weeks ago.
Be transparent, be awesome, and do what you say you're going to do. You'll be looking at yachts in no time.