How to Convince Clients to Stay After Rankings Drop

Aug 4, 2006 • 8:14 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEM / SEO Companies

Google does some sort of update and your client's rankings fall. The client is furious and angry and ready to leave you. What do you do?

That is the topic of a thread at WebmasterWorld.

I have a seo client. All the client's keywords are in top 20. Their website is targeting a very competitive niche where they have to compete with many embassy and consulate websites as well as branded services and networked websites. In some keywords they tries to rank in top 10, there are 8 listings from embassy and consulate websites. In the previous updates, embassy and consulates websites took more top 10 listings. As a result, some of the keywords falls out of top 10, but still in top 20. Now the client threats to dump my service. Do you think their expectation is too high? What do you think I should do?

Well, if it is a "very competitive niche" then maybe the client should leave. :) But seriously, if this was due to one single update and the client use to rank well, why should they leave if they had positive experience with the SEO in the past? This is most likely the case with you and I am sure you had such cases. So how do you encourage them to stay?

I always felt honesty and a sense of caring about your clients rankings would be enough. If the client feels that you are a partner and friend and you truly care about their success, they most likely will stay. Oh, but of course, you go those who have no soul. Do you really want them as clients? If you do, SEOcritique at WebmasterWorld says you should try sending them this style of email.

As you know, search engine optimization cannot guarantee top ten rankings. Our services give you the strength and authority to compete for high rankings. It is also unfortunate that a change in the mathematical algorithms that the search engines use can result in sudden and dramatic changes. No company is immune to these ups and downs. Since I became committed to your efforts 3 years ago you have experienced steady growth in traffic and increased revenues. There is no reason to believe this will not continue and, as always, I am deeply committed to you and your business.

I understand that a temporary setback like this can be distressing. That is why I am here to explain the situation, answer all of your questions and work hard to reverse this temporary course.

Is there anything else influencing your concern that I should know about?

Any other ideas?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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08/04/2006 11:30 pm

Wow, I didn’t expect my response to appear here. Thank you Rusty. Just to clarify, I think this is one of those times when a personal visit is best and if you cannot do that pick-up the telephone. I find that as careful as I am with wording my messages, email simply cannot express the genuine concern and empathy that I want to convey.

Wil Reynolds

08/07/2006 12:42 pm

Now my personal take is this...I have never had an update decimate any of my rankings across the board. We are usually very slow and steady and play within the rules types of guys, so major downward fluctuations rarely happen. I am a big fan of education and expectation setting on the way in, my clients typically understand that while this never really happens, it can. And usually we don't change much and then BOOM they are back up. SEOs often run and change things too quickly with the smallest drop. Sometimes you have to have faith in your process and know that things will bounce back.

drew stauffer

08/07/2006 03:47 pm

Once thing I always try to explain to my clients is that if they do want to leave, I will definitely help them with who they should choose, but they also need to realize that the SEO I provided for them will be stripped out. They will need to start over with another SEO firm. This scary fact will often keep their sites with me. I’m not trying to be mean about it, but just like Google not giving the specifics of their algorithms…I’m not giving away my secrets either. Instead of starting the expensive SEO process with another firm they will be more incline to just relax and let me take care of the SEO.

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