I’m sure this will sound familiar:
Last week I was contacted via referral by a business owner wanting SEO performed on his site. It was apparent within the first 12 seconds of the phone call that he had had his fill of SEO promises and possibilities. He said his site was just redesigned with some SEO design practices but his site wasn’t ranking page 1 for any strategic keywords aside from his company name. He also said he had been talking to other SEO Specialists who wanted to charge him “an arm and a leg” to rank on keyword phrases he thought he already should be able to rank for.
I told him I would take a look at his site.
Sure enough, his site was filled with typical beginner SEO mistakes: unfilled title and alt tags, chronic duplicate meta data, no keyword-rich anchor text…
So I asked him, “Do you know what your rankings are now?”
“Do you know what your rankings were before?”
I asked the following question, already pretty certain of the answer:
“Do you know what kind of traffic your website is getting?”
You could probably guess the answer.
Skipping to the end of the page, the prospective client didn’t have any web analytics on the site, the site wasn’t in the search engine webmasters, and the person in his company who was monitoring his IT wasn’t sure how to get to the server logs.
So I did something some SEO Consultants will hate me for: I walked the IT guy through the steps to adding Google Analytics to the site and verifying ownership of the site in Google Webmaster Tools, looked over his work, told him what he missed, and helped him finished the process.
And then I didn’t charge the client (you can commence with the yelling now).
The reason I didn’t charge for the hour of consultation was because I can’t show the client the effects of my work if he has no SEO baseline with which to compare. Not only that, but the client would not be able to see how far along his site has come unless he knows from where it came.
And now because the client has the beginnings of an SEO Baseline, he can better appreciate the necessity of my labor.
You will see the SEO Baseline as “metric of progress;” clients will see it as a return on their investment.
Now, because the client has a better grasp on what we’re working towards and why we’re working towards it, I can call him my “client” because I got the gig.
And for those upset I didn’t charge for analytics and webmaster implementations, relax. I haven’t trained the client how to use Google Analytics yet.