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I’ve read many articles about how to pick a good search marketing agency or when to dump your search marketing agency…but I have not read much of anything about a client’s responsibilities as they pertain to internet marketing. Sure, there are clients who ‘know enough to be dangerous’ and can sabatoge [unintentionally] online strategies and online marketing efforts. I’ve personally heard of clients getting dumped because of various reasons but mostly it was due to lack of payments or “knowing better” than the online marketing person or firm.

As this is not a perfect world these things will happen. Conflicts may arise and personalities may clash a bit here and there. For the most part, if both sides of the bench agree on goals, key preformance indicators, expectations, budgets, etc., everything should turn out for the best. It is possible for all parties to come out on the other side with warm fuzzy feelings and sign up for another contract term.

While the above description is the best outcome for all parties involved, I think a big step can be missed when setting up a strategy and working with a new client for the first time. All clients have an active role to play in online marketing. It is not the same ‘sit back and let the cash roll in’ as was once customary with traditional forms of advertising. 

A good search marketing client needs to play an active role with many issues that may arise from tracking to banner ad approval. Taking an active role in your company’s online marketing is a sure way to gain more insight into what search engines can produce for your bottom line and how search engines work. Actively participating in search marketing efforts will certainly help create a stronger relationship between you [as the client] and the search firm or independent marketing consultant. By pealing yourself off the wall or the leather chair the advice and information you provide to your online marketing team or consultant will help the fully understand your business and business model.

Micromanagement over online marketing efforts is not a good idea and can make a difficult job almost impossible. Depending on what type of search engine marketing you have engaged in, it will take time for search engines to find your site or for the data to come in. Taking immediate action based on 4 weeks of information is not enough time to make the proper adjustments for all of the possible variables that need to be addressed for almost all forms of online marketing.

I could go on for a long time about what makes a good online marketing client. I would prefer to spare you a potential box with me on it and give you a punch list of ways to improve your ‘client-ness’  and in the long run it will really help your online marketing efforts.

How to be a Good Client – A guide by Searchology 101

  •  Question – There is no such thing as a dumb question as they pertain to online marketing.
  •  Patience – Pulling the plug or checking data on a daily basis will not make visitors come to your website any faster or convert any better. 
  • Participate – Help or offer with keywords, content writing, competitive information, articles or anything else that may prove to offer more information about your business, goals, and objectives. These should be appreciated by your online marketing consultant or search firm.
  • Learn – This is much different that asking questions. Learning is a process which takes more than queries about this and that. Learn what you can and take notes if you like. I have many clients that do just that….take notes.
  • Dedication – If it is your first time diving into search engine marketing…be prepared that results take time and knowing that is half the battle.
  • Relationship – Your internet marketing consultant or search marketing firm are not simply outsourced…but should be a part of your company and an extension of your brand. Treat them as you would like to be treated and the whole process just may end up becoming a little more like fun and a lot less like work.

These are only my suggestions and recommendations on how to be a good client. When I wear my consumer hat or client pants I do  my best to make it a learning process and enjoyable endevor. My hope is more of us, on both the client side and vendor side, gain a little of our humanity back into doing business. Business can be a lot of fun and quite pleasureable if we can be both good service providers and good clients.

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