Yes, you read the headline correctly. I said, “fire an SEO client.” SEO clients can fire you, so why can’t you fire them? We’ve all had an SEO client or two that came straight from hell. We’ve all looked at the caller ID with fear, stress, and frustration when they call. We’ve all hid behind our voicemails and emails to avoid talking to them. Well, enough is enough. It’s time to fire that SEO client who is stealing valuable sleep from you every single night. It’s time to gain back a few years of your life by ridding yourself and your company of an unbearable and stressful situation. It’s time to fire that horrible SEO client and here are 5 really good reasons why.
1. Low budget. High expectations!
We’ve all had the client who wants to make millions with a $500 budget. They are extremely demanding. They want to squeeze every minute of time out of you. They are just a motivation killer because you work so hard and receive so little. Well, no more. It’s time to fire that SEO client. Your time is far too valuable.
3 questions to ask yourself before deciding to fire this client:
- Am I going to lose bigger and better clients because I am spending too much time with this one?
- Am I losing sleep love this small of a budget?
- What’s my real hourly rate for this company?
2. Payments are always late.
Negative cash flow is a small business killer. Basically it means that you are paying expenses before you’re getting the revenue. If your SEO client is always super late when pay your bills this will result in negative cash flow and a ton of stress because you’re paying your employees and your bills before you get paid to do the work.
Either do the following or fire this SEO client!
- Add a late payment fee in your contract.
- Stop all work until payment is made.
- Ask for a credit card to “ding” each month.
3. They offer no resources or help.
Your client knows their business the best, and a HUGE part of today’s SEO is content marketing. They need to provide you with an internal resource that can help with content. Today’s definition of SEO demands help from your clients. If they’re not willing to provide this, it might be time to fire your SEO client.
4. They are obsessed with traffic!
For some reason your client because fixated on traffic. You’ve told them time and time again that traffic isn’t the only metric we should consider. But they don’t listen. Traffic hasn’t gone up, but revenue has and they are still unhappy. They don’t understand or respect your work. It’s time to fire this SEO client.
SEO clients must understand that traffic isn’t the only metric of success. They should also heavily consider:
- Conversion Rates
- Targeted Traffic
- Bounce Rate
- Length of Time of Site and Page Views
- Mobile Traffic
5. Too many chefs in the kitchen.
One of the most frustrating things in SEO, is working with a client who has too many chefs in the kitchen. Everyone has an opinion. They IT guy, the marketing gal, the web design team, the owner’s spouse and kids, and the freaking neighbor. Hey! They hired you. You don’t need 20 opinions on every update and every new SEO strategy. It’s time to first this SEO client, if they don’t get their act together.
Never forget that sales don’t always equal profits. That mindset changed the way I did business forever. It reminded me that sales aren’t always good, despite what we’ve heard or learned in the past. Spending 30 hours per month on a client who is only paying you $500 per month is taking away from your bigger clients. Are you willing to lose a $5,000 client so you can do extra free work for a $500 client? Of course not. That’s why you have to seriously consider if every client is right for you. If not, it might be time to fire that SEO client. Good luck.
I totally relate on the content marketing aspect. I have such a hard time getting clients to write content or hire some one to do it. It’s crazy when people are willing to spend money on SEO but not content when really it comes hand in hand.
Glad you can relate Chase. Thanks for commenting.
This is amazing, may be it will give some power to that business owner who think that client can be done any think and we can not …
Glad you liked it.
Nice article Marvin – I am currently dealing with a potential client from point one, and it’s shitting me to tears. Time to tell them to find someone else!
Thanks Joe. Glad you saw value in it. I ran an SEO company for 10 years before founding MySiteAuditor. I dealt with clients like this many times. Remember, sales don’t always mean profits.
Seems we’re all facing the same problematic clients and issues – at the end of the day I can only agree with you.
Clients that don’t get the value of our work, even though you try to educate them as good as possible, will eventually end of ordering some 600 USD / month retainer package from Pakistan & vanish completely before earning the first dime. As a consultant, you should focus on those clients that already had their fair share of “SEO is included” BS and maybe enough budget left to clean up the mess again ;)