The What Have You Done for Me Lately Syndrome

So your client dominates search results. Everyone would normally be happy.

One of the most self-destructive things I’ve seen in SEO is the syndrome I call, “What have you done for us lately?”

Once a client has been #1 for so long, they forget what it took to get there – what is was like to not be #1. But there is always a trigger and knowing where it comes from will save your relationship.

There is ALWAYS a trigger. It does not come out of nowhere.

The trigger might be about the perceived expense of maintaining that #1 spot. Budgets are reviewed. Billed hours may seem unnecessary. But more likely the trigger is a siren-song from another marketing firm, usually a large agency or sometimes there is a new employee overseeing the Internet Marketing. Worst case you have both at the same time.

Are you too expressive? That is something only you know, so we won’t spend time on that here.

Lets deal with all the other problems. Firstly, the new employee may not remember a time when they were not #1 – they may not even think that #1 requires maintenance. So lets make sure we deal with this. Enlightenment and education are usually the solution. Bring them up to speed with a lot of high-touch, under-the-hood dialog. The more they know what it takes to remain #1, the less likely they will be romanced by another firm.

There is no need to wreck the castle to build something better, but that is not the concern of the other marketing firm. They will find any weaknesses in your castle wall and create some pretty reporting to illuminate those. Circle back to the above; make sure your client knows about those weaknesses before they show up in a pretty report. That may be uncomfortable, but it guarantees a solid relationship.

I Hate Pretty Reports

The best medicine is preventative care. Its called customer service. Boutique Internet Marketing firms usually don’t have the staff (and the overhead) for customer service. The bottom line is – make the extra effort without the additional resources.

Size matters. A large agency has (usually a disproportionate customer service staff) greater costs. So they spend their time creating pretty reports often meant to hide the fact that they don’t do much work to maintain that #1 position. Once they are in, they know they only have to keep the romance lively. That’s why pretty reports are also a weakness of the agency. While the boutique usually does better work at a better value, the agency must utilize its mass to its advantage. With so many mouths to feed, their overhead is their weakness. The boutique weakness is not enough TLC.